Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Micah: Though I Fall, I Will Rise

You fall first before you rise. 

Because we're humans, this has become a sort of SOP--a standard operating procedure. We first fall into pride and self centeredness and rebellion, then God disciplines or punishes us, then we stand up again, if we repent and surrender to God. 

Once we become born again, the same SOP happens. We join a church, be active there, fall into pride and self-centerdness and rebellion (all while "serving God" in church), then God disciplines us. If we repent and surrender totally to Him, we rise up again to quit our "church" ministry and do His will alone. If not, we regret our fall and say sorry to God, then continue in our rebellion while "serving" God. 

"Therefore, I have begun to destroy you due to your sins," [Micah 6.13]. This is followed by a series of hard work "for God" without real fruit that remains. You eat but remain hungry, store up but remain empty, plant but not harvest, press olives but have no oil, crush grapes and yet have no wine [6.13-15]. 

And this is mostly due to the "statutes, practices, and traditions of Ahab and Omri" who were kings who desecrated the Word and Presence of God with worldliness and who were anti-prophetic. Remember the Ahab-Jezebel tandem that killed the Lord's prophets left and right?

It wasn't that they didn't have anything to eat or store up or harvest or press or crush in those days. They did. The problem was, nothing satisfied them. Yes, there was a severe famine and drought in Ahab's time, but Elisha the prophet of God solved all that. Nonetheless, they remained unhappy and empty. And many churches today keep up with their traditions--and they increase in members and money. Yet, they're empty. Sin and wickedness abound unchecked and they reject the present move of God--the genuine prophetic. 

Sure, there are many churches today that look prophetic, but they just keep prophesying good times and prosperity and other sweet and comfy sounding stuff. Sin remains unabated and no one is giving up anything. They even display their "prosperity" and promote materialism in church. No one is giving up everything as Jesus did. 

"The best of them is like a brier, and the most 'holy' is worse than a thorn hedge," [7.4]. But Micah knew what was needful: "I watch in hope for the Lord. I wait for God my Savior."

HOPE AND WAIT. These are words churches trash today as silly and a waste of time. They want to make things happen immediately. They cannot wait for God. This is pride, self-centeredness, and rebellion. The greatest test of faith today is if you can drop everything, keep still and do nothing, and rest and wait for God. No one today wants any of this. They all want to do something and be seen in the limelight and be recognized as a successful ministry.

Micah says, "Now is the time of their confusion," [7.4b]. People who lose faith in waiting for the Lord end up fighting and betraying each other--because they all want to be great and looked up to--what you actually see in churches today.

To get out of such mess, we have to fail and fall. Thus, when you're failing, rejoice! For God is about to destroy your wretched condition and give you a second chance to do His genuine will. You have to admit your wrong and be willing to suffer the results of your waywardness. "Because I have sinned against God, I will bear His wrath, until He carries my case and put me in His righteousness by grace. God will bring me out into His light: I will see His righteousness," [7.9]. 

The moment you finally "see His righteousness" (and your worthlessness), real victory starts in your ministry. Because the moment you see His righteousness is the moment your enemy sees your light and be filled with shame and defeat [7.10]. "My eyes will see the downfall of my enemy!" Thus:

"Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I fall, I will rise. Though I am in darkness, the Lord will be my light!" [7.8]. 

When you genuinely see God's righteousness and His light becomes your LIFE, then it's time for a genuine church ministry that is centered on God's very will: "The day for building your walls will come, the day for extending your boundaries. In that day people will come to you..." [7.11-12]. 

As in Jesus' ministry, genuine church ministries need not have human effort or hard work...because people will come to you....