2020 Update

It’s been way too long since i posted anything here. Suppose you’ve been anxiously waiting to hear my thoughts on something. In that case, i apologize, but i also kindly ask that you utilize my contact page and ask me questions. I want to write things that actually benefit to my readers, instead of just my musings on various topics. (Be sure that i will still be writing my musings, but i would like my primary focus to be your questions, so please: Ask away!)

What do you guys want to read?

* * *

So where have i been recently?

In and out of depression.

I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water with everything going on: Transitions coming up in my life; knowing that most of the world is headed to hell, but many churches (especially “influential” ones) are too cowardly in this time to do anything about it; transitions coming up in the world; wanting to make a difference in this time, but feeling like my voice is a whisper during a heavy metal concert; contemplating what i’m truly called to in this life; constantly wondering if the end of the world is near.

It’s exhausting, and it’s mentally taxing. But it’s been good. A little over a month and a half ago, i realized that substitute teaching was probably not a viable option going forward (especially since i’m moving into my own place within the next week, now, and getting married in 44 days). As such, i started applying everywhere–Hobby Lobby, Lowes, Target Distribution Center, Christian schools, a church–but in the back of my head, a voice was whispering, “Pursue writing! You’ve tried before, but you know more and have more resources now. Chase your writing dream!” But i was afraid, so i ignored it and took the only job i was offered–Target DC, weekend overnights.

As i tried settling into the job, my first semester of seminary started. Because of the job requirements, i was forced to switch my class schedule around–last minute. As such, i cranked out an online class in 4 weeks that would have met all-day on two Saturdays this month otherwise.

This class’s goal was to help me discover what God has called me to do in this life. What vision has God given me for my future?

And slaving away at Target DC, unable to sleep at night (or during the day), combined with the constant feeling that God hasn’t called me to anything more than surviving the day, was destroying me mentally, spiritually, and physically.

By the end of the class–last Friday–i turned in my final paper, explaining that i don’t know precisely what God has called me to (nor do i feel i need to), besides loving and serving my soon-to-be bride. But i do feel called to write for His glory and the spread of His fame.

You see, i quit Target after merely working there three whole weeks. And once i did, after committing to getting back to regular writing again, it felt like the cloud lifted from around me. Are there still fears and doubts and concerns? Yes. Are there still uncertainties? Yes. Is God still on the throne? Absolutely! I fell into some sinful complaining over the past month, and God has been working on that in me.

And He’s been doing it most clearly through one of my classes–Exegesis of Isaiah.

For those of you who don’t know, exegesis comes from the words, ex, meaning “out of,” and hēgeisthai, meaning “to lead.” In other words, exegesis is the process of leading the meaning from out of a text. This is why i cite sources in my blog posts. I want you to know that i’m putting in the work so that my words are accurate and trustworthy and not just random, potentially “heretical” thoughts. I want you to learn and grow and be able to trust my writings here.

But back to Isaiah. Chapter 6 was where we landed last night in class–after finishing moving from chapter 1 through chapter 5. Here’s where the passage starts:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple.

Isaiah 6:1, HCSB

Isaiah was concerned because Uzziah, a godly, wise, good king, had just died. And power transitions can be frightening times–look at our world today if you doubt this fact. But Isaiah was shown a vision of God on His throne.

Why?

Because Isaiah needed to know–as we also do today–that it doesn’t matter who is “ruling” in Jerusalem (Washington). God has never stopped ruling and reigning and controlling all that goes on in this world.

This is good news. Because if God has been reigning from eternity past into eternity present, it means nothing throws Him off guard. It also means He can speak at any point in history, and it can be meaningful for people at any point in history.

If we skip down to verses 9-13, we see that God gives Isaiah a mission. However, this mission can be summarized as: “The people will not listen to you.” Isaiah responds by asking God how long? (This could be “how long will they ignore me?” or “how long do I have this mission?”) God’s answer in verses 11-13 is telling.

Until cities lie in ruins without inhabitants,
houses are without people,
the land is ruined and desolate,
and the LORD drives the people far away,
leaving great emptiness in the land.
Though a tenth will remain in the land,
it will be burned again.
Like the terebinth or the oak
that leaves a stump when felled,
the holy seed is the stump.

Isaiah 6:11b-13, HCSB

The answer is: “You will do this until the people are punished for their sin. However, even despite their punishment, I will spare some for My name.”

While it might seem like a harsh response, the fact of the matter is that God is working out His plan. And–as Isaiah’s prophetic book unfolds–we learn that because of Israel’s disobedience, the nations can trust in God and be saved as well. Gentiles are allowed to be part of the “holy seed.”

And another necessary takeaway is that God reveals His will to His prophet (His people). He doesn’t leave us guessing. He could have ignored Isaiah’s question, but He told Him the hard, honest truth.

That’s why Isaiah can trust his Lord: he hides nothing from him; he tells him exactly how tough it will be. And that should–perhaps in a back-handed way–hearten us as well.

I say this because sometimes our Christian sub-culture gives the impression that if you have enough faith, if you practice biblical principles of relationships, if you bathe your activities in prayer, if you formulate a creative ministry strategy, if you devise a workable vision statement, if you attend the latest how-to conferences, subscribe to certain Christian magazines or listen to particular Christian blogs–well then, you cannot help but have success in Christian service or ministry. Really? I don’t know if Jesus swallowed that. He told his disciples some pretty tough stuff (John 15: 18-27) and then said, ‘These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling’ (John 16: 1, nasb). Isn’t God so very good to tell you how very nasty and difficult and cruddy it may be? Can’t you trust a truthful God like that?

Stump Kingdom: Isaiah 6-12 by Dale Ralph Davis, emphasis added.
https://a.co/eiA0kjH

If we want to be like God in this world, we must make it our mission to do the same. This world is perishing (literally), but those called by God should follow God’s lead and tell the world the truth:

  • You’re going to die
  • You’ve sinned against a holy God
  • God demands an accounting for your life
  • If you fail to trust Jesus, not only will you die physically, but you will also die spiritually

It’s not a popular, sought-after message, but it is the message our world desperately needs right now. And if we call ourselves the people of God, then we are supposed to be “as He is in this world.” He tells people the truth; He warns them that judgment is coming if they don’t trust Him. Do we?

Do you?

* * *

Well, that’s all i’ve got for now. But if you’ve read this far, please do me a favor and check out the link below:

2020 experiences Survey

It’s a survey on your experiences this year. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy; i just want to know how you are dealing with all the various things 2020 has brought. And at the very least, even if you don’t take the survey, please copy it and share it on your social media platform.

Thank you.

* * *

I’m going to try to post at least twice a week going forward. That will officially start as soon as i’m back from my honeymoon–mid-November–but before then, i’m going to do as much as i can. The next post will be a continuation in my series on the Gospel of Mark. I need to get back into in-depth Bible study, so i’ll pick up where i left off there.

But again, please ask questions or leave suggestions on topics to write about. I want to be as helpful to you as i possibly can.

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Sola Fide
Sola Scriptura

Thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “2020 Update

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