“The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
I was out driving around one evening recently in the north side of Rapid City, South Dakota, heading into the downtown district. I happened at a stop light where there was a man around my age, full of tattoos, mean looking dude, with his woman driving their car.
Their car was booming from the bass of the speakers, shaking the windows a bit and I took a glance over at this gangster who glared back at me, thinking to say something, one of those things were you feel the nudging of the heart from the Holy Spirit, but your not quite sure, but I take off, getting stopped at a light just a couple of blocks away. They pull up next to me again.
This time I put my window down and look over. He looks my way again and I say to him…
“It’s all fun and games, but what are you going to do in the end?”
He looks back and hollers, “I ain’t worried about it dawg.”
He started to say something else, if I could guess it was asking what I was going to do, but the light had turned green and the driver of this car turned left, while I was making a right.
Oh…my heart goes out to that man, that God would grant him the opportunity to continue to hear the Gospel, to consider, to perhaps repent towards God and by faith believe into Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior (Acts 20:21), accepting the free gift of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
I’m not trying to be mean here, but sometimes being blunt is just the best way to be. I run across such people from time to time and they will normally take a tract out of my hand, but usually there is not any sort of confrontational ordeal, such as this. God doesn’t want anyone to perish, Christ died for that man also.
“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9
So why isn’t the man worried about it, as he claims? Well on the street there is this false security in self, which in reality equates to the power of nothing. False faith, let me explain.
Years ago a famous rapper called Coolio came out with a hit called Gangster’s Paradise. When I was a senior in high school, this song was very popular. In it, I recall there being one line that included ‘though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death’.
I’m not ignorant to the ways of the street. I’ve walked and drove through some of the roughest and toughest areas of Detroit, Orlando, Phoenix and Chicago. I’ve been shot at in Phoenix, had a gun pulled on my in Orlando. Then again, I have been threatened to be killed in Kalispell, Montana, as well as have my then toddler son kidnapped in the same town (this at only 10pm at night).
I’ve walked through the jungle, I’ve been in the middle of nowhere, many times, where exploring I could easily have run into serious trouble. My family and I had the heavy hand of the federal government come after us, federal agents everywhere trying to arrest or possibly even kill me, yet I remained calm and trusted in God.
Really quite simple is this, either I place my life wholeheartedly in God’s hands, Him who Created me anyway or else I don’t . While I don’t believe in purposely taking risks or heading into the worst neighborhoods with assumptions that nothing bad can happen, if I am there I am there, if God has me doing something for Him, then whatever happens is according to His will, not mine.
For David talks about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but it is wholeheartedly with his focus on God Almighty, knowing these very things, not on your friends, your colors and the 9mm on your side.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of Jehovah forever.” Psalms 23:4-6
You see there is a false faith and that faith is based on self, the hardness of the world, a worldly faith, one not based on the Christian faith that a true Believer has.
All over this country and indeed the world there are the worlds’ ways and there are those who are street hardened, involved in gangs. They go around seemingly without fear, marching, not afraid to kill a man, not afraid to go to prison, tough, expressionless, but in the end what are they going to do?
“And what will you do in the day of judgment, and in destruction when it comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your glory?” Isaiah 10:3
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment,”… Hebrews 9:27
As Believer, when and where God leads, we can have confidence and faith in Him, whether it is simply putting down our window of our vehicle and saying something or talking to our neighbors (totally different topic here, but I would say that many who profess to be Christians are afraid to share their faith with their neighbors for fear of what they might think, let alone with some thug who in theory could kill them) or going wherever God leads.
“Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Jehovah and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7
I will tell you something, something that most would not understand. I believe clearly and biblically God called me to move to South Dakota. At the time I could have purchased a home in Michigan and had enough work, somewhat easy work. Yet I wholeheartedly follow Him, who seemingly confirmed coming here and gave it all up.
There is no boasting here (Galatians 6:14), but simply using it as an example. For let me not boast, in all reality I am not worthy to do anything for the sake of the Gospel (Ephesians 3:8) or even fit to be alive. For God is very merciful and has had mercy on me (Psalms 103:11) and has not given me over to death (Psalms 118:18). Considering this goodness of God, certainly I must bow myself before my Creator and ensure that His good work be done and my focus clearly be on Christ of whom I await for (Galatians 2:20; Titus 2:13) the remainder of my days.
When we arrived, we had no income, I dropped an advertisement and had managed to have one estimate setup prior to arrival. The VERY first month we earned enough to pay all of our bills without having to touch on our meager savings and have been living here ever since, God is good, we can trust Him.
I’m not worried about it, because I have trusted in Christ, who will keep me. However, if your name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27), you ought to be worried, very worried (Revelation 20:11-15; Daniel 12:2). There is NOTHING more horrible then dying, even a natural death at an old age and being cast into Hell for all eternity.
Cast off the works of darkness and seek God Almighty before it is too late!
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12