I was going to title this-
“Are you shopping in here with me, or waiting outside?”-
But then as I thought on the scenario I wanted to get across, the name of a store came to my attention.
I don’t know if you know this store in particular,
But you may know one like it-
The kind you would rather just wait outside on the mall bench,
Rather than partaking in or putting your eyes upon all that could be “in there.”
I’m not picking on stores, I’m just proving my point.
I assume that there may be some that are 🔴 (here) at this store-
of Hot Topics, spiritually speaking, that would rather not go in.
This is the store that sells betrayal and how to deal with it.
It sells death to self.
I can tell you that I’ve definitely, at least browsed this store before.
Shall we go on in?
Into… Hot Topic.
Let’s start right here,
With this one-
Where Jesus said they would deliver you up.
We’re still in Matthew 24, by the way.
So, Who is they?
Well, they are the deceived ones.
The religious elite.
Those who think they know.
Therefore they love to teach.
And when someone starts to speak the Truth, which is Jesus, they, are grieved.
And immediately they want to shut you up.
I have a reference in my bible to Acts 4:2-3
“Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. They laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for now it was eventide.
They shall deliver you up to be afflicted.
Have you ever been afflicted?
It’s not fun.
Yet God’s Word promises that many are the afflictions of the Righteous, but God delivers them out of them all.
As sure as I’ve been afflicted-
I can testify to also being delivered.
In every account, starting from Joseph and the afflictions from his family, to David and his afflictions with what should have been leadership- (Saul)
They were all delivered.
Even the Hero of them All….
His brothers made fun of Him. His best friends betrayed Him, and yet Father, never left His side.
Everything that was meant to keep Him down was swallowed up by Victory.
If we were really shopping, this would be where the-
ooh la la-
of items would be held up-
Victory-just look at it-
as if light were dawning all around it.
Deliverance is Promised, you know.
It may not come they way we assume, but it’s eminent as we Follow after Him.
Let’s see now, if this fits?
This stunning apparel of Victory.
For some, it’s too tight.
I’ve been there.
Too much me to fit into where I need to be.
Asking God to just take me out because it was easier than going through.
But I have a “t-shirt” from this experience.
God will never leave your side.
Let’s take another Pretzel break…. in the form of a song.
send out an army to find you,
in the middle of the hardest fight, it’s TRUE,
I will Rescue you.”- Lauren Daigle
This was my anthem the past year.
I blared this song, every time, I believe–
God nudged that radio DJ to play it for me.
This reminds me of our Hero, Jesus, in that Garden.
The second Garden.
The one where he began to sweat blood.
Now… I don’t know of any of you reading this, that have ever suffered to this point.
I know I haven’t.
But we see, in this garden, the Love of the Father, sending the host of angel armies to Strengthen our Hero at just the right moment.
He does the same for us.
Pretzel break is over.
Time to try this on-
If this Victory didn’t quite fit right, the next verse might be the answer as to why.
And then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
I would love to tell you I never bought this shirt,
But sadly, and with much regret, I have.
It was feeling better at the moment.
Like an oversized sweatshirt after I had my way with pizza.
I shouldn’t be making light of it.
Offense is dangerous.
Praise God we can overcome, if we want to.
If we don’t give ourselves the right-
To be offended.
Yes, I tried squeezing my- SELF into verse 9, and without Grace, it just won’t fit.
You can have a form of Godliness-
A one size fits all mentality,
but it not really be a “right fit” of the heart.
You can preach love, buy someone’s lunch and drive around with that fish sticker, while singing “Overcomer,”
and still be offended.
Harboring bitterness in your heart.
Until one night, your restless,
full of fear-
Worrying about leaving your crock pot on-
And Imagining the possibility of burning down your house with your loved ones in it-
while you’re not home, but away preaching to others….
Then crying out to the Lord, what is going on-
Kind of night.
That was probably a run on sentence, but it was also a run on train-wreck time in my life.
“I’m preaching FOR YOU…God, so
Why am I so scared?”
I cried out.
And He gently said to my heart,
After hours of agony…
“I want Truth in your inward parts.”
I was afraid of something left unattended that could possibly burn my house down.
And what was happening on the outside, was going on….on the inside.
Much like David at Ziklag. (1 Sam 30)
Try this one on for size! (That chapter)
God was dealing with some things that David had said in His heart. (Chapter 27)
He may not have voiced it, but God knew.
And it needed to be addressed.
I, needed to be “ad-dressed”.
And I was….