A few weeks ago Karen and I did a book signing at the US Marine Corps Exchange (MCX). I so enjoy doing book signings, what a wonderful time sharing the Gospel with complete strangers and selling a few books to support Beholding His Glory. We usually bring a six foot folding table and two comfortable folding chairs, many items from Africa and Asia for the people to handle which opens the door for questions, copies of our newsletter, some of our contact cards (not business cards the sharing of the Gospel MUST never be reduced down to becoming a business), some books, and of course our Bibles. We usually stay around six to eight hours or as long as our bottoms can last. Well by ten o’clock we were all set up, people were scurrying about (on this Saturday morning) things really looked promising, but as time slowly moved on no one stopped. Karen and I just sat there talking to each other as people passed by, it was like we were not there or invisible. A couple of our friends who saw us stopped, but the majority of the people walked by not even stopping to say hello or to see the strange and interesting items on our table. As I sat there the Holy Spirit brought to my mind these verses from Amos, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12) I thought today is the day. Few people really want to hear the good news of the Gospel, but then I remembered it is God who will “send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” Now I have always read these verses and thought I understood them, but they really came alive (as we were sitting there) in my spirit due to the lack of curiosity or attention. They could see it was a Christian book and I am sure they saw my Bible maybe that was enough to keep them at arms length. Now I have some Christian friends who would have a problem with this verse, knowing it was God Himself that sent the famine in the land of hearing the word of God. Not the preaching of the word, but the hearing or having the spiritual ability to understand and comprehend what God is saying by His Spirit through His written and spoken word. They would say God would never do this He loves us so much. Oh yeah? Can you believe God creates evil? If you cannot believe God creates evil than you cannot believe God loves you. Most Christians do not believe this they pick and choose what they want to believe, but in the Book of Isaiah we read, God taking about Himself, “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:5-7) Well my friend they do not know the true God of the Bible. God has been known to send evil spirits (Judges 9:23). God even hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7:14) to bring His will to past. Can you believe God would turn over (give up on) people (who were once Christians) to a reprobate mind? This does not say much for the Southern Baptist once saved always saved doctrine. Oh my friend, do not be deceived. Paul tells us, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Romans 1:21-28) Now Paul was talking about Christians in the local body at Rome. They knew God, but became vain, were not thankful, and glorified Him not. Today in the paper Karen read to me an article about a Presbyterian Church that started a service for their dogs (how about cats, snakes, turtles, birds, etc.) in hopes to draw more people into church, what foolishness. Special services, promotion, programs, and gimmicks will not draw people to Christ, only the Holy Spirit as we lift of Christ. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up (not your animal, denomination, or religion) from the earth will draw all people to Myself.” (John 12:32) They are worshipping creatures and a worldly thinking and not the Creator in Spirit and truth, because of their lack of hearing the word of God and their continual walking (in presumption) away from God, how sad and oh so dangerous. Paul said, “God gave them over to a reprobate (Strong’s #96, that which does not prove itself such as it ought, unfit for, unproved, spurious, reprobate) mind.” God did these things, because these people heard the word of God that could meet the lack in their lives, but like the people at the MCX they did not recognize the real word of God because (I believe) they have been attending churches and denominational religious services that have been telling them lies and half truths ignoring the word of God. Karen and I had the truth we had the word of God, but the people did not stop they were too busy within themselves and spiritually lacking a hunger and thirst for God’s word in their lives. Many have heard the half truth message of the Gospel (like one man we knew from the past who stopped) and in their heart they have been numbed, deadened, and stripped of the power of the word of God’s convicting Holy Spirit. Oh my friend take heed, having our hearts hardened (like Pharaoh) by God to the hearing of His word, a lack of knowledge of who God is to us, and our great desire for a worldly waywardness are some of the most dangerous things in the world, because the end of this process in our lives is destruction. Amos shares these words with us, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. 10For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD:” (Hosea 4:6-10) Please never forget God is to us what we are to Him. If we reject God my friend He will reject us. Listen to the last verse, “For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD:” Does that not sound frustrating? Oh my friend let us take heed to the Lord never to walk away from the Lord, but let us always have a open heart for knowledge (God’s personal dealings and judgments in our lives), and a desire not to walk in the way of the world or in the counsel of the ungodly.

I hear many Christians walk around saying they have the victory or we need to get the victory over Satan. Why do we talk about needing to get the victory? It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory, because Jesus (our victory) ought to have us so completely we need not worry about victory. It is one thing to say we have Jesus, but it is a totally different thing to say Jesus has us. Do you see the difference? All we need to worry about is allowing Jesus to meet our lack in our lives. Why should we worry about having faith to do something? If Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith we need not worry having faith, we will live “by the faith of Jesus Christ” and every word that proceeds out of His mouth. Paul shares these words, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16) I am ever amazed at the women we know who may be qualified (have the schooling and ability), but are not authorized to teach the word of God. But they do anyway in direct rebellion to the word of God and are not content with being the wife of their husband. The Holy Spirit through Paul was very clear on this topic, Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (1Timothy 2:11-14) How can we walk with the Lord and lack such understanding? Is getting our way that much more important than God’s word being held high above our denominational religious rituals and customs? These women (and other Christians) have a famine of hearing the word of God in their lives as “they wander from sea to sea, (even in ministry to the nations) and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek (in conferences, crusades, and seminars) the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. It is God’s word, He will open it up to whom He desires and that person is the one who has qualified and approved themselves before Him in sacrifice and obedience. Only God can meet the lack in our lives. When will we really (that includes me too at times) learn that? When will we (me again at times) wake up? The day is far spent and night is soon upon us let us keep our thoughts on Him, He who can meet our lack in Him, He who can met our need.