Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is nice to have a day off on Martin Luther King’s birthday. And this day is particularly historical as our country is about to install the first African American President. No matter how our view or opinion may be different toward this new President, the Bible teaches us to respect and pray for leaders above us, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men…Show proper respect to everyone; love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king/President (1 Peter 2:15-17)…I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings/President and all those in authority (1 Tim 2:1-2),” because it is the God of history who put him in that office. And I sincerely pray that our new President will encounter our Lord Jesus Christ in a fresh new way, while he serves this enormous task with trembling and fear.
An interesting description in Genesis 15:12 caused us to reflect upon the vision of God, “A horror of great darkness fell upon him…” Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, He puts him, as it were, in the shadow of His hand, and the saint's duty is to be still and listen. There is a darkness which comes from excess of light, and then is the time to listen. This happened to Apostle Paul when the Lord met him on the road to Damascus, where he planned to persecute the followers of Christ. He was blinded by the light of God and was in darkness for three days. During those days, I am sure Paul went through a lot of reflections and self evaluation. That encounter or vision of God totally shattered Paul’s theology and religiosity. He was a new person and his purpose of life completely transformed.
Genesis 16 is an illustration of listening to good advice when it is dark instead of waiting for God to send the light. When God gives a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will make you in accordance with the vision He has given if you will wait His time. Never try and help God fulfill His word. Abraham went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all self-sufficiency was destroyed; there was no possibility left of relying on common-sense ways. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not of displeasure or depression. Never pump up joy and confidence, but stay upon God. Our Lord warned His children in Isaiah 50:10, 11 by saying, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, TRUST in the name of the Lord and RELY on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: you will lie down in torment.”
Have I any confidence in the flesh? Or have I got beyond all confidence in myself and in men and women of God; in books and prayers and ecstasies; and is my confidence placed now in God Himself, not in His blessings? "I am the Almighty God" - El-Shaddai, the Father-Mother God. The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that God is real. As soon as God becomes real, other people become shadows. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.
I pray that this “darkness” of God will come upon our new President, so that he will learn not to depend on his own wisdom and knowledge, but to rely on God who ultimately put him in office. If God’s willing, I pray that such darkness/vision of God will also come upon you and me, so that we will grow in our trust and obedience toward Him even more each day.
Love you by the mercy of God,