More Sabbath than Storm

A few weeks ago the music stopped.  Riding the crest of a prosperous wave that had Americans living in self-assured presumption, the economies and societies of the whole world by and large ground to a critical halt.  As of this writing, unemployment stands at a rate worse than the dark days of the Great Depression, and unless we are able to get everything moving again in relatively short order, the deepening damage to our economy and the economies of the world will become increasingly more difficult to repair.  While we are a long way from hopeless, the current circumstance is most assuredly critical.

So is this an attack of the enemy?  That seems to be the pressing question in religious circles these days, and the answers fall into familiar refrain.  The glaring isolationist that begins every evaluation with distrust sees conspiracy and a simpering church capitulating to the dominating spiritual Hun.  The radical utopian idealist sees this as an opportunity to try out those heretofore politically impossible sweeping social changes.  The fiscal and religious conservative sees this as a time to circle the wagons and protect the bird in the hand.  The bleeding heart liberal sees this as a chance to validate the provision of collective benefits and the virtue of a nanny state.  The nationalist zealot sees this as a reason to shut down the borders and cut off the rest of the world until this is sorted out – after all, trouble is always ‘their’ fault, right?  Pick your prejudice, but no matter from which persuasion men emerge, they will always see the world through their own particular tinted lenses.  Until they remove their glasses, that is.  I’m reminded that those of us who suffer from trammelled vision assisted by similarly individualized external correction will almost reflexively remove said eyewear when tired, sleeping, or otherwise stressed.  I believe we are in the middle of a global moment of similar effect on our perceptions, and that we have the option with our corporate ‘glasses’ removed to either see things in a new way or clamor to restore the old.

This moment of divine interruption on such a global scale has not occurred in history.  I meant just what I said.  There has never, in the history of mankind, been this exact type of global scare with such universal impact.  Before our time, things that we saw through historically synthesized recollections never had the capability to scare or direct people simultaneously into action or common response.  Many will see, as do I, the groundwork being laid for an unimaginable abuse of that faculty in the future when such influence and power falls into the wrong hands.  We who have studied and preached prophecy of the end times recognize the alignment of the essential capabilities on a global scale, and even how this all seems to be a sort of macabre dry run for global domination.  We should be rightfully wary, but also we should not be afraid.  The force that ‘hinders’ (2 Thessalonians 2:7) is still very much alive and in place.  In fact, I believe this entire season is a time of divine Sabbath for the Spirit empowered Body of Christ.  We have been put in ‘time-out’ by the Creator that far too many for far too long had supposed uninterested in the affairs of His creation.  The trappings of the church industry have been by necessity replaced with a whites-of-their-eyes intimacy brought about by forced cessation of often misguided labor.  The purpose of Sabbath was originally to rest, reflect, and retool for the coming assignment in the coming week while honoring the Father with our worship and gratitude.  My prayer is that we redeem this time and hear what the Master is trying to reveal to us by revealing what is in us.  He is no absentee landlord, nor is He some dullard old man sitting on a dusty, disconnected throne.  God is most definitely in His heaven, and the sovereign of the universe is in full control.  It is Him who is calling us off our hamster wheels and out of our rat races to catch our breath and get in a place where we can hear His voice.

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