"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| When God Turns Away from Us by Alan Martin|
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Deuteronomy 23: 9-14
"When you are encamped against your enemies, keep away from everything impure. If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. But as evening approaches he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp. Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that He will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you."
Israel lived as a federation of twelve tribes who spent the majority of their time in their own tribal areas apportioned to them by Joshua. Three times a year all the devout men from every tribe were to appear together before the Lord at the temple in Jerusalem for the appointed feast. The only other time when all the tribes would gather together in one encampment was when they were called out to war against a mutual enemy. The verse in Deuteronomy is addressing such an occasion.
The cleanliness of the camp was a requirement for having the Lord's moving about in the camp to both protect from their enemies and to deliver the enemies unto the those encamped. The Lord warned that if He were to see the indecency of human excrement lying uncovered on the open ground within the camp, He would turn away. When the Lord turns away - protection and victory turn away with Him.
The church today is much like Israel of old in that we exist in a loose type of spiritual federation of tribes. Our denominations have become like the tribal areas where groups of Christians spend most of their time with those of their own spiritual heritage ie. their denomination. We acknowledge that other denominations are Christian even as the Benjamites would acknowledge the Gadites and other tribes were Israelites. Like Israel though, we still tend to dwell with our own tribes and identify ourselves by our particular denominational affiliation.
There are occasions when events call for a larger assembly of the whole and we attempt to come together under the greater banner of Christians while still holding our denominational identity. The threat of a common enemy is one such occasion where tribal denominations still come together as Christians to battle whatever endangers our Christian liberty. If there were strength in numbers, we would expect to have seen great victories wrought in those events where millions have gathered to be heard and stand together for the faith; however, there is no such promise of strength through majority. Quality rules over quantity with God.
The only promise we have for both protection and victory is based upon the presence of ONE - GOD Himself. God's presence among an assembled federation of believers is the only surety of divine blessing.
The condition for God's presence in the midst of encampment of tribal denominations is the holiness of the encampment. There can be no uncleanness within the camp and there must be no human excrement exposed within or without the boundaries of the encampment. When men had to relieve themselves they were to go outside the camp to a designated place. They were instructed to have a digging tool so that the excrement could be placed in a hole and covered up. This would insure that the interior of the camp would be clean and the Lord would be able to freely move about within the camp without having to see human excrement lying around the camp itself.
Christians still attempt to gather under one banner, the name of Christ. Denominations come together to seek revival or battle the injustice of corrupt government. All such gatherings will at best only produce the results of energized human effort if we fail to take heed to insuring that the camp is clear of all human excrement. To have divine power for protection and victory God must be able to move about freely in the camp. God will not move about within a gathering of tribal or denominational federations if He sees human excrement - exposed and uncovered.
Our Lord Jesus made it clear that it was not what entered the mouth that defiled a man, but what came out of the mouth from within the heart. God will not move about large gatherings of Christian tribes when the presence of corrupt communication is littering the encampment. This is one of the dangers of tribal Christianity. We attempt to come together in the name of Christ and while gathered together our communication litters the ground with the strong opinions particular to our own tribal denominations or convictions. Consider one of the first words Jesus used to describe what comes out of the heart to defile a man - "thoughts or opinions". Yes, the Greek word "dialogidzoi' means thoughts or opinions.
Here are several other verses where this same word is used:
Romans 14:1 - "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over opinions."
Philippians 2:14-15 - "Do all things without complaining and disputing (opinionating), that you may
become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in the midst of a
crooked and perverse generation..."
I Timothy 2:8 - "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath
Sadly, many of our attempts to come together in our denominational tribal federations are sabotaged by the human excrement of carnal opinions that litter the encampment. All such communication prevents the attendance of the only true KEY NOTE SPEAKER - GOD. The Lord will not move about freely in such gatherings where men are free to defecate their opinions openly. The Unity of the Spirit will never be experienced where men have failed to "put away perversity from their mouth and keep corrupt talk far from their lips, to seek peace and pursue it." Some of the most unwholesome and corrupt speech encountered at such gatherings is the defecation of carnal opinions defending or exalting a particular opinion of a unique denominational conviction. Speech that does not build up others according to their need and that does not minister grace to the hearer will litter the ground and insure that the Lord will not freely move about within the gathering where it is present. Such speech grieves the Holy Spirit of God and the Spirit will depart from every place where He is grieved.
No wonder we are told to "endeavor to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Carnal opinions will never produce peace - always strife. Carnal opinions are the human excrement coming from within our hearts and out of our mouths. It is so rare for brothers to be gathered in true spiritual unity that we are told to "BEHOLD how good and pleasant it is." It is when brothers are truly gathered in the unity of the Spirit and all carnal opinions have been taken out of the camp and covered over that the Lord will move freely about in the camp. "For there the Lord will command a blessing - even life evermore." The blessing of the Lord is the presence of the Lord Himself in our midst!
May we learn to put a watch over our mouths and keep the door of our lips. May we learn to take our carnal opinions outside the camp and to dig a hole when we feel we must relieve ourselves. The Israelites were instructed to carry an implement to insure all human excrement would be covered. We have been given the same instruction - "and over all these virtues PUT ON LOVE which is the bond of perfection." "For LOVE COVERS a multitude of sins." When we learn more about covering our brothers' faults than we have about exposing them through our open communication, then perhaps we will be able to gather together and have the Lord freely move about in our midst. May we experience the blessing of the Lord - His presence in the midst of our gatherings, because all our carnal excrement is outside the camp and covered over.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2010/8/3 12:35||Profile|
| Re: When God Turns Away from Us by Alan Martin|
When we live in a world of constant dung. The hate of the color of another's skin, only the receiver of such is the only one to know how very painful this is, especially when the media and commentary which streams every where from Facebook to AbC news to all 200+ media outlets depicting people of color in an unjust and obsessed manner. I wonder why God then turns away from the reciept of the sling defacation of the victim who receives such a constant battering of hate. Until anyone knows what this feels like, I can then understand or even accept why God would walk away from me, when He Created me to be this person whom is so hated by all. It has nothing to do with "character" or if the person is decent. The die is cast. It doesn't matter if the person is worthwhile, serves the Lord, calls on His name as much as possible, The Lord seems to sustain the assualt and those who create the battle of hatred are not only forgiven, they are rewarded, meanwhile, those who are demeaned by a spouse, or by a certain group who gets away with calling evil any good that comes from God within me. Tonight, I want to end my life and I know that I can. My Lord only seems to allow so little victory and with that, how can I be salty for Him or for anyone. NO, I do not need pity or the unoriginal oslaught of responses which come from simpleton limitedness. I just need to share this with anyone who happens to be "saved" as it were. Last year, I could hear Christ speaking to me non-stop and I yearned for more and more. And through the Holy Spirit I obeyed with fear and trembling. Soon as I did, He left me in a very deep desert. I gave Him the very thing that His Word told me to give, to trust him and now it has gone on longer than He originally implied that it would and now I have no idea what it is that He wants me to do. I have confessed, there are areas where He has transformed me and I am thankful and I offer my members to be used for righteousness and yet I am treated as if I were a criminal, a murderer, a treasonist. I am treated like dung. Now I cannot hear Him very well and all that I have come to is that "maybe the dung in my mouth should be buried and then my Lord shall return". He knew what I was and He knew that I would fail no matter how many times I have asked to stand firm and to call on HIs name. I gave an important life decision to my Lord Jesus and now He is either silent or is whispering things that I cannot bear to hear. How could I stand this truth even when I need to hear it. I wish that I were not born at all because I am so exhausted with going through the fire of my life. I have lost so much and I am about to lose my marriage because I am leaving because we cannot get along on simple things and yet my husbad agrees with a unbeliever on how badly a woman of color should be treated and how a white woman is divine and above all human beings and that it is okay for black women to bow to white women, if when the white woman is uneducated or evil or oppressive and that I am second class citizen and my husband agreed with this stranger on the street literally. He never stood by to remark differently of who I am to my husband (who claims to have the Lord Dwell in him ..but who is fearful to mankind even when mankind sets our home on fire and when my husband is allowed to cheat and selecte 40 women to become his new wife with me as his third wife. So why am I even here in the first place. I am obviously a clay jar to be used as dung by the world and I deserve nothing. So why am I even here in this wolrd. I am sure that Father God wants to get rid of me soon. I wish He would have been rid of me 40 years ago when He knew that I was no good, that I would be borderline homeless, I cannot have children. I am quiet and I do bother or harm anyone. Whenever prayer is needed I know that I am empowered by the Holy SPirit. Yet, the peace I seek and the needs I have brough before HIm are worthless to Him because His will and Glory will be done. SO why am I even here . To listen to the hate rhetoric to be robbed again, to watch my life go into a tornado of hell while every one laughs and prospers and uses credit reports as a tool of prejudice and exclusion. I wish that Lord Jesus would have put me into deep sleep in 2004 during my surgery so that I would never again have awakened to this hell that I am being tormented. All that I do is confess my sins. I know that I am nothing and no good. I agreed with that but I do not ascribe to it neither willingly or deliberately. All that I know is that I am being punished in the desert at 40 something. I am disabled and no one cares, not even the search. I have sought, knocked , humbled self, poured out my heart as the psalmists had. I do not mean a thing to God in Christ Jesus. But don't worry I will not turn away, I am in a desert and I mean nothing and when Christ does show up it helps. But if I were never born, I would have been a bird and I would have enjoyed Christ rather than to fail and to be oppressed by this ugly world for it is my fault for responding to its ugliness as Elijah, the man with many passions, had. I am a second class citizen according to my husband and the stranger and I have blocked my husband's calling and life and I am nothing to no one. Now not even to The Living Father. So I ask, will You Dear Lord, place me in a deep sleep and take me home. Forgive me for being a weak sinner and just take me home tonight and allow me to endure no more pain in this world or in the next. Amen
| 2012/4/27 22:00||Profile|