Today: Psalms 43; Luke 12:35-59; Deuteronomy 11 & 12

Luke 12

Have you ever heard someone say that we are living in a simulation (like a video game)? Or that we are in the Matrix?

In a way, that is very true. We are living through this time when our consciousness exists connected to our physical bodies. Everything physical is temporary. We will grow older and eventually die and our bodies will disintegrate into dust.

But our souls, our true identities, will exist forever. Our true selves are eternal and will continue to exist after our physical bodies die. There is a spiritual plane that exists all around and within us that many people aren’t even aware of. That spiritual realm is, in a big way, much more real that this physical plane, because it is eternal and the physical is only temporary (and fleeting when compared to eternity).

So, in a very real way, we do live in a matrix like world similar to the Matrix movies. People who are aware of the spiritual reality, who understand that we are in the midst of a cosmic spiritual battle between good and evil, are the “red-pilled” people. God’s message to us, the Bible, is our manual to understand this matrix. Jesus Christ is our red pill, our doorway into the spiritual realm, to connect with God. And the Holy Spirit is our personal guide and instructor.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we should “be prepared” as we “wait for [our] master.” (v.35-36) We don’t know if Christ is returning in “the second watch, or even in the third” (v.38) but we know that some day this simulation will end. And blessed are those of us who are “ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not think He will.” (v.40)

Luke 12

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” Luke 12: 49

I think Jesus’ words here, as usual, contain multiple meanings. I think one meaning of this passage is the fire of the Holy Spirit.

In my own Christian life, I’ve experienced several different time periods, distinct “spiritual baptisms” where I grew much closer to God and He opened up my mind and soul to understand Him much more deeply. The last one happened in August 2019 when I began having vision experiences in which my soul was transported to heaven to pray for the earth with all of the saints in heaven.

These visions have continued, several times per week, this entire year and a half since they began. God has shown me many amazing things in these visions but there has been ONE singular theme: intercessory prayer. I believe the most important purpose of these visions is that God has called me to intercessory prayer – to pray fervently for our world and for specific people and situations as God reveals them to me. I feel that this is my “assignment” from God and I spend many hours — one or two hours every day — on my knees crying out to God in intercession.

Often the visions have included the glory of God which appears as fire. This is why I think that this was a “baptism of fire” when the visions began back in 2019.

Lest anyone think I am boasting about any of this — I can tell you with certainty that God didn’t choose me for this assignment because I am really smart, or pious, or better than anyone else. I am not any of those things. God often chooses the least of people to do His work so that He will get the glory. That would certainly be true in my case! I’ve written openly about my checkered past here. Anyone who has been reading this page will know that I certainly qualify as “one of the least!”

Deuteronomy 11

I believe that many of the physical promises God gave the Israelites in the Old Testament apply to US spiritually.

If we “love the LORD [our] God, and always keep His directive,” we will “be strong,” we will “prolong our days on… a land flowing with milk and honey.” (v.1, 8-9)

If you “love the LORD your God and … serve Him with all your heart and all your soul… He will provide rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, so that you may gather your grain, your new wine, and your oil. He will also provide grass in your field for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” (v. 13-15)

I believe these are SPIRITUAL promises that apply to US today. The land, grain, new wine, and oil are deeper portions of the Holy Spirit. The more we seek and serve God, the more He rains down spiritual blessings upon us — the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control…

In this turbulent time of fearfulness and discord, these beautiful spiritual promises are the most valuable gifts indeed!

Artwork by Ryan Smoluk

Deuteronomy 12

Like the Israelites, we are also in a foreign land surrounded by peoples who hate and mock God, who commit and extoll “every abominable act which the LORD hates… even [burning] their sons and daughters in the fire for their gods.” (v.31) It is so easy to become ensnared by the death culture that surrounds us, to be blinded to its wickedness when we are constantly bombarded by it day and night. It is so easy to wonder “how do these nations serve their gods, that I may also do likewise?” (v.30) Slick marketing and heavy-handed messaging make it all look so fun and inviting.

God warns us to “beware that [our] hearts are not easily deceived, and that [we] do not turn away and serve other gods, and worship them.” (v.16) Our culture parades many gods around in front of us today, enticing us to worship at the false altars of greed, pride, sex, and envy — pornography, abortion, political correctness, cancel culture, critical race theory, gender fluidity, etc., etc., etc.,… the list is long.

But we Christians are called to be separate. We are called to worship and serve the only one true God, the God of Jesus Christ who created the heavens and the earth.