It saddens me to see the extent of fear that is being generated in the Body of Christ in the present Financial Crisis - certainly I am not suggesting that it is not serious. BUT, we are not of the world, we belong to a different Kingdom - the Kingdom of God.
Of late I have been inundated with messages by every prophet (and loss) of doom and gloom. It's funny how a crisis brings out every weirdo and kook. But what saddens me is when Christians believe what the world is saying and not the Word of God. How's this quote. "We are not going to say, ‘Yahoo, this is over,’ and extend credit like we did without fear," Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, said in a recent conference call. "If you’re not fearful, you’re crazy." Sadly this was sent to me by a Christian!
Now I have lived through a crisis or too, one of the most memorable was the Y2K fiasco. Remember? When the prophets of doom were speaking the end of the world, every computer was going to crash and throw us back into the Dark Ages? Remember? The planes were going to drop out of the sky. Sadly the worst instigators of fear were some Christian prophets - one newspaper even credited them with creating more fear and panic than anyone else. Christian authors of doom capitalised on the fear big time - they sold 45 million books - that's million, not thousand. How sad! The result? Not a computer crashed - remember! There was merely a hiccup throughout the world! Yet not one of the Christian authors of doom have ever apologised for helping create that fear that pushed the world to the brink of total panic!
My family and survived Cyclone Tracy - the prophets of fear had a field day then. They prophecied that the Lord was going to send a second cyclone (and Tsunami) to finish off the job. I know people who sold their homes and bolted because of the fear and panic those people created. None of it ever canme to pass and not one of the prophets of doom ever apologised for their part in creating panic.
Should I go on? How about the numberless prophecies of earthquakes wiping out almost every city in the western world (in recent times). I can remember specific prophecies of doom about Adelaide (again people sold up and bolted in fear), New Zealand - and get out your notebook when it comes to prophecies about California dropping into the sea. Should I go on?
May I ask you a simple question - are we believers or are we doubters? Are you part of the answer or part of the problem?
May I remind you - if you are a believer - the Bible tells us not to worry about the things we need to eat, drink and wear - the necessities of life, but to seek first the way His Kingdom operates and all of these other things shall be added to us. The Message Translation puts it this way: "What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not to be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God's-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out.You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the kingdom itself." (Luke 12:28-32).
The principles of the Kingdom of God operate radically different to the ways of the world. I love the way 'The Message' Bible puts verse Matt 5:48: "In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it..." Amen to that, and may I add we need to pray like it and speak like it!
Yes here is a lot of fear out there at the moment, but this isn't the time to become pessimistic or afraid. The fear is so strong that it is tangible! It's self perpetuating! But unlike the world, we have a promise from our God to stand on! Don't forget that the Kingdom of God is not in recession, it's not now, never has nor ever will be! The economy of God's Kingdom is guaranteed!
The greatest problem we face is fear itself! Even the world's leaders recognise this fact! But this not the time to succumb to fear and panic - God has not given to us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind! Remember - the righteous are as bold as lion! DON"T FEAR! If Y2K, September 11th, Cyclone Tracy, SARs, Chook Flue and many other things couldn't finish us off - then this current crisis wont do it either! When the smoke and dust of battle settles, we the believers will still be standing!
Remember the Kingdom of God is not in crisis, and we must not allow the world's thinking and fear to shake our faith. Don't allow the numerous prophets of doom to cause fear and panic in your life. Certainly we need to pray about the situation - BUT PRAY IN FAITH! SPEAK FAITH WORDS!
Jan and I encourage you to stand strong in this season of your life! To seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things - the necessities of life - shall be added to you!
Remember, we are the head - not the tail! You're going over - not under!
Col and Jan Stringer