I read a couple of devotionals in the morning before I get started, usually David Jeremiah’s and recently Greg Laurie’s. Today, Laurie had something that I thought fit. He wrote of the rapture and how it will be an event that will happen to us, not one we will “do” ourselves. I did a little word study that I won’t get into here, but in John 14:3, Jesus “takes” us. In Luke 16:22, angels “carried” the poor man to Abraham’s side. In Matthew 24:40-41, some will be “taken” while the others are left. In 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, we will be “changed” in a twinkling of an eye. And, this one, probably one of my favorite images in the bible:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.
It seems to me that this that God is doing all this on his own initiative. I don’t get the impression that he asks us if we want to go, nor does it seem that there is a checklist of any kind that must be met before he snatches us. No, I am pretty sure that God decides for himself. Of course, this gets back to the whole election topic – who, really, is the one making decisions? What’s nice about all this is that I can’t blow it. If I am alive when the Lord comes, I can envision soiling myself and being paralyzed. I would probably not be able to go with him even if he asked. Furthermore, I would probably say something really stupid like.”I don’t want to go.” Certainly, I would have doubt in my mind, just like I do today. Don’t we all? Of course we do. All I can say is I am SOOOO glad that I don’t have to have pure, 100% faith in order for this stuff to be true. It is a good thing, for me, that God is the one that is running the controls.
Think about this. We are required to have faith, right? How much? Certainly faith is fickle, sometimes strong and sometimes weak. It’s a good thing that faith is a gift of God because I don’t know what I would say if Isis is about to hack my head off. Honestly, folks, the more I think about this stuff, the less and less I am confident in my own abilities to do anything. Don’t get me wrong, I still have confidence and am doing “more” things now than ever before; but my confidence is not in my own fortitude but rather in God’s intervention in my life.
God is the one who will take me to heaven. He is the one who gave me faith in Jesus. He is the one who saved me. He is the one who is transforming me. The only thing I contributed to this program was a warehouse full of sin. He changed me to follow him. He put the desire in my heart to say, “Yes.”
Boy, am I glad about that!
Father, take me by force, by whatever means may be necessary, to do whatever it is you desire of me. I pray that all I need is a gentle nudge of your guiding hand, but please use the rod, if need be. I desire to follow you. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers