..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wearing Out the Saints of the Most High

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Daniel 7:25

The prophet Daniel writes these words as he sees future events unfolding to him in  a vision scarier
than a horror movie. He is greatly agitated because this is not a movie, but a warning and a preview
of what will happen in the latter days. Daniel sees the Antichrist rising, and he sees these two things:
that the Antichrist will "speak great words against the Most High" and "shall wear out the saints of the most  High."  These words are written for our benefit and we need to take heed to what it is they
are warning us about.

The enemy of our souls has many techniques that he uses against the saints of God.  In this verse
it says that he shall "wear out" the saints of the most High.  Life can be a long journey. We start
out well, but the question is, will we finish well? It is question we all must prepare to answer with a
resounding "yes!"   It is the strategy of the devil, even now, to wear us out, bit by bit, without our
noticing how drained we have gotten. And from the looks of it, he is winning a lot of ground. Jesus tells us, in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25), that five were very foolish and did not labor to prepare for the long period of darkness that came while they were waiting for the bridegroom. The darkness was longer than they expected and took more preparation then they realized

In this parable Jesus places both the responsibility of preparation and the blame of  not preparing, on the virgins themselves. So in this it is important to see that while the devil is our enemy, we are the ones who decide what will happen to us.

The Antichrist (and the apostle John has told us that many antichrists are already in the world at work) will wear out or wear down the saints.  Have you ever been so tired that you could make no
effort? Have you ever been so discouraged that you could not get up? God gives to His servants
all that they need to accomplish His will. But that impartation can be whittled away. How does this happen? In several ways! In the first part of verse 25 it says that the Antichrist will speak "great words against the most High."

Even now many words are spoken against the most high and we feel the affects of them.  People live in godless ways and speak of godless things. In Ezekiel 13, God speaks against false prophets who speak in such a way that the righteous are made sad and discouraged:  "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life " (Ezekiel 13:7) . Here it is not even the heathen that are speaking with  ungodliness but false prophets who say they are from God! Let the reader ponder this!

To hear things that grieve the heart of God, and to see things that grieve the heart of God wears
upon the souls of the godly.  This exposure to evil is not going away and is promised to increase as we near the day of the Lord's victorious return,  so we must learn to guard our hearts with the truth that God will soon blow away the wicked and His kingdom of goodness will be an everlasting one. The problem and effects of evil will be with us until the Lord's coming but we must see past the temporal and encourage our hearts in the eternal.

A second way that we are worn down is to spend our time and resources on that which does not
satisfy.   God asks, "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live (Isaiah 55: 2 &3). 

God admonishes us to incline our ears to listen to Him and to delight ourselves in rich food!
I am sure that He does not mean cheesecake! We must feed upon the rich food of the Word,
upon meat and not milk. Milk is not meant to sustain an adult whether spiritually or naturally.
If we are only nibbling at empty tidbits and the words of men, rather than learning to eat for 
ourselves from the grand buffet of God's meaty word, than we will soon be weak and thus, will
 be worn out. Satan seeks to rob us by putting spiritual junk food in front of us. Thinking we are full we soon fall flat because we have no nutrients. 

Another way that we get worn out is to do more than God has asked us to. Jesus said,   
 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. (John 5:19).
So often we think that "more" is more valuable spiritually. So often we do not ask God if He
wants us to do something, we just do it thinking it is a good idea. So often we buy into the world's idea of what a full life is: to be busy is to be someone important and to be living life with gusto.
This will soon wear us down to a thread. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and 
showing Him to do.  And so often we are lured into busyness by the will of others and made to
feel bad if we do not pipe to their musical cacophony.  So let us be careful.

There, also, are seasons in life when things swing out of control and we are thrown into situations that will wear us down and there is nothing we can do about it--but that should not be ALL  of our life.  God allows certain of these ordained seasons to see if we will draw on His strength. During these times we draw upon the wells of  deep water in our spirits -- hours and days of time we have spent with God in quiet and confidence during quieter days and from the Holy Spirit who ministers grace in due season.  It is that stockpile that carries us through.

These seasons are times of testing and times when we learn more fully to not trust in our own strength but in the merciful strength that God has planted within us for such a season.  Later, when the trial is over, there is time when God gives us a chance to rest and we must take it and see its value as equally important to our busiest God-ordained movement. Our strength needs constant replenishing. If we let our strength run dry we will be like the foolish virgins whose lamp goes out just when it is most needed. This is  the plan of the enemy and  a most important consideration for all of us in these days.

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