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When things go nicely for us here on earth, we get warm, fuzzy feelings about God. Soon, however, we tend to become complacent, believing God to be irrelevant. Then when disasters occur, everyone rushes to the church, much a like child who rushes to his mother after skinning his knees.
Nominal Christians go to God only when they feel that they need His help. When things go smoothly for them, they believe that they do not need God. This shows that they have no serious relationship with God. Their shallow relationship is based mostly upon their own needs and desires, and they use God to obtain what they believe they need.
When disasters occur, people react in different ways. There are those who believe that God is God and could therefore have prevented the disaster. Such people become bitter against God for allowing it to happen. Others, though, who are more "educated" in the Church, believe that God is not really sovereign, but that the devil has done this dastardly deed to them.
Both views spring from a shallow (or non-existent) relationship with God. When people do not take the time to understand the mind of God, they think like children. By not understanding spiritual things, they do not have any comprehension of the spiritual causes of earthly events, both good and evil. They equate spiritual things with religious things. They equate spirituality with biblical memorization or with participation in religious rituals.
To be an overcomer, however, one must have some understanding of the mind of God. To put it another way, one must "know God" as revealed in Jesus Christ. One must know how He thinks and why He does what He does. Above all, one must know that He really is sovereign in the world. This is not a contest between God and the devil, where the devil usually wins. God is not the "gentleman" wringing His hands on the sidelines, waiting for us to ask for His help against the rampaging devil in the world.
In the beginning God set up "rules" by which the universe is governed. These laws involve cause and effect. There are consequences to violating those rules. We experience those consequences whether we understand the causes or not. Is it not time, then, for us to learn those rules, so that we may participate in governing the earth? Is it not time for us to understand the spiritual causes of earthly events, so that we may participate in the divine plan and not be surprised when disasters occur?
I do not pretend to know all the answers, but I confess that I am learning more each day. The Bible is a valuable study, because it gives us precedents from the past which show us the Truth about God and His ways. Much of this understanding is bound up in the study of Timing. Psalm 103:7 says,
"He made known His WAYS to Moses, His ACTS to the sons of Israel."
Israel saw God's "acts" but did not understand what they were seeing. Moses knew God's WAYS, because He understood the mind of God and knew WHY God did what He did.
To understand WHY, one must also have some grasp of Timing. If you understand WHEN something happened, you will understand WHY it happened, and then you can begin to know His WAYS.
A good biblical example is when Noah cursed Canaan for the incident in Genesis 9. This curse put Canaan on "Cursed Time," which is characterized by the number 414. (See my book, Secrets of Time.) Cursed Time is the time between the sentence of the law (i.e., the judgment or "curse" of the law) and the execution of the law's sentence. The interim, called "Cursed Time," is actually a grace period, because God in His mercy always gives people time to repent.
The problem is that people normally misinterpret God's grace as being a license to sin more. When the judgment does not hit them immediately, they fancy that they have gotten away with their sin, and that there are therefore no consequences of sin. People mistakenly believe that grace is indulgence and that a God of Love would never discipline or correct the child.
In the case of Canaan, God gave the nation 414 years in which to repent. After 414 years, God tested their hearts, giving them a final opportunity to make their decision. The story is told in Gen. 21, where the Philistines, representing the Canaanites at the time, had stolen (usurped authority over) the well of Abraham at Beersheba (21:25). The Philistine king (Abimelech) apologized and made a covenant with Abraham (21:32).
That act of repentance and covenant diverted judgment upon Canaan for another 414 years. It bought time for the Canaanites, but did not cancel the judgment fully. Why? Because to cancel that judgment, King Abimelech should have recognized that God had made Abraham the heir to the throne of the land of Canaan. In submitting to Abraham, he would have been submitting to the God who had given Abraham that land to rule.
Yet the judgment was deferred for another 414 years. The judgment came due the same year that Joshua led Israel across the Jordan to inherit the land of Canaan. I showed in Secrets of Time that Canaan's curse was spoken in the year 1660 from Adam, just three years after Noah had emerged from the ark and had planted a vineyard. Joshua crossed the Jordan in the year 2488, which is 828 years later.
If the Canaanites had wanted to avoid the consequences of Noah's curse, they should have recognized the calling of Joshua (Yeshua, a type of Christ). In submitting to Joshua, they would have been submitting to the real Yeshua who had called Joshua and anointed him as the leader of Israel. But they did not recognize Joshua, nor did they know the ways of God. Hence, they decided to fight, and so they were largely destroyed by the judgment of God.
As usual, the Canaanite leaders made the decisions, and the "innocent" people supported them and fought as "patriots" for their leaders, believing that they were in the right. So all of them paid the price for their disobedience, including men, women, and children. Why? Because they did not know the ways of God, and virtually none of them made the connection between the curse of Noah and the conquest of Canaan. They did not understand that their Day of Visitation had arrived.
Because men do not understand the ways of God, the judgments nearly always arrive unexpectedly. Without understanding the spiritual causes, the people are left confused, bewildered, and often angry at God or the devil. Their Church leaders are just as bewildered, for they do not learn spiritual things in seminary.
But those who do understand are the ones called to intercession and spiritual warfare. These are the ones who have opportunity to lessen the judgment or give more time to the people to repent. These are the ones who might bring down the glory of God from heaven, resulting in a change in the hearts of the people, which might even avert judgment altogether.
In our warfare in 2001, we not only had to fight off the Prince of Persia, but also the Church itself. Both of these disagreed with God's verdict, and both decided to fight (appeal the case) in God's court. Hence, we found ourselves assailed on two fronts. The issue was decided on Feb. 21-22, 2001, but the disagreement continued. Hence, we had to enforce the divine decrees by means of spiritual warfare for many months.
Now, ten years later, we are seeing evidence of this warfare in the world, as spiritual events are translated into historical events on earth. The quake at Christchurch, New Zealand, was the direct result of the spiritual conflict in 2001, when the Church decided to fight to retain its right to rule as King Saul. But God has now transferred His authority to the overcomers.