freedom, there is another way to look at our future.
Abraham Intercedes for Sodom. 16 With Abraham walking with them to see them on their way, the men set out from there and looked down toward Sodom. 17 The LORD considered: Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18now that he is to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him?e 19Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household in the future to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD may put into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him. 20f So the LORD said: The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave,* 21that I must go down to see whether or not their actions are as bad as the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.
22As the men turned and walked on toward Sodom, Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23Then Abraham drew near and said: “Will you really sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there were fifty righteous people in the city; would you really sweep away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people within it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike! Far be it from you! Should not the judge of all the world do what is just?”g 26The LORD replied: If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake. 27Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am only dust and ashes!h 28What if there are five less than fifty righteous people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?” I will not destroy it, he answered, if I find forty-five there. 29But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it for the sake of the forty. 30Then he said, “Do not let my Lord be angry if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?” He replied: I will refrain from doing it if I can find thirty there. 31Abraham went on, “Since I have thus presumed to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?” I will not destroy it, he answered, for the sake of the twenty. 32But he persisted: “Please, do not let my Lord be angry if I speak up this last time. What if ten are found there?” For the sake of the ten, he replied, I will not destroy it.i
33The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.
From Mark Mallett’s website:
—Spiritual Food For Thought—
DO you have plans, dreams, and desires for the future unfolding before you? And yet, do you sense that “something” is near? That the signs of the times point toward great changes in the world, and that to move forward with your plans would be a contradiction?
The image the Lord gave me in prayer was that of a dotted line shooting through the air. It is a symbol of the direction of your life. God sends you into this world on a course or trajectory. It is a path He intends for you to fulfill.
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. (Jer 29:11)
The plan for you personally, and the world as a whole, is always for welfare. But that path can be thwarted by two things: personal sin and the sin of others. The good news is that…
God makes everything work for good for those who love Him. (Rom 8:28)
There is a broader perspective also, one that I have tried to give in these writings… that there is a third thing which can alter the direction of our lives from its trajectory: the extraordinary intervention of God.
Jesus tells us that when He comes again, people will still be going on as usual. Many will be on their trajectory, others will not.
As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They ate and drank, they took husbands and wives, right up to the day Noah entered the ark… It was much the same in the days of Lot: they ate and drank, they bought and sold, they built and planted… It will be like that on the day the son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-33)
The context here, though, is that these previous generations ignored the warnings of imminent judgment due to unrepented sin. God was required to make an extraordinary intervention in their time. But it was not an inflexible deadline. In many instances, God relented when there was sufficient repentance or some intercessory souls standing in the gap, such as at Nineveh or Tekoa.
Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time. I will bring the evil upon his house during the reign of his son (1 Kings 21:27-29).
Because of this possibility for the mitigation or removal of God’s judgment, His creative Spirit continued to inspire within souls plans for the future. I wrote several months ago that the time of grace we live in now is like an elastic band: It is being stretched to the point of breaking, and when it does, great travails will begin to unfold on the earth. But each time someone prays for mercy on the world, the elastic loosens a little until the great sins of this generation begin to tighten it again.
What is time to God? Perhaps the pleading prayer of just one pure soul is enough to stay the hand of justice for another decade? And so, the Holy Spirit continues to inspire your life and mine upon the trajectory which He has designed us for, anticipating, so to speak, the patience of the Father. But the time of grace will expire, and the winds of change will blow hard enough, pushing the world into a completely new direction—and possibly your life and mine with it if we are alive at the time—altering our trajectories which seemed at the time to be God’s will. And that’s because it was.
LIVE IN THE NOW
Whether or not this extraordinary intervention of God will happen in our time, no one can say for absolutely sure (however, there is definitely a general sense throughout the world that this present evil cannot continue unabated.) So live now, in the present moment, fulfilling with joy the will of God as He reveals it to you, even if it involves grand plans. It is not “success,” but faithfulness He wants; not necessarily the completion of good projects, but the desire to fulfill His holy will.
So the story goes…
A brother approached Saint Francis who was busy working in the garden and asked, “What would you do if you knew for certain that Christ is going to return tomorrow”?
“I would keep hoeing the garden,” he said.
The duty of the moment. The will of God. This is your food, waiting for you moment by moment upon the trajectory of your life.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” but added, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Wait and watch for the Kingdom to come, but seek only daily bread: God’s trajectory, as best you can see it for today. Do it with great love and joy, thanking Him for the gift of breath, life, and freedom.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess 5:18)
And do not worry about tomorrow, for there are three things which remain: faith, hope, and love. Yes, hope—a future full of hope—always remains…