I’ve had a couple of stimulating conversations this week about signs of the times. A friend and I were chatting over coffee about whether to expect shaking, doom and gloom in the future or a glorious church and widespread spiritual awakening. We didn’t come to startling insights but were thinking and sharing through what we glean from scripture and sense in our spirit.
Another friend was sharing with me about how a course she is on is helping her understand global issues in much more depth. She wants to know what God is doing in the big picture ready for the Lord’s return.
In terms of understanding the future and end-time events, I feel a beginner. I was stirred as a teenager by reading books on the 2nd Coming, but whose timelines were all wrong and were slightly eccentric. I can’t get away from Jesus challenging teaching on signs of the end. I have also been challenged in my thinking a few years ago when I noticed how songs written in revival times often have Jesus’ return as a key theme.
Like many people the book of Revelation has both fascinated and flummoxed me; I have also been aware of major prophetic writings in the Old Testament pointing to the end of the age, but felt they were beyond my fathoming.
So where do I find myself? As in the Sound of Music Song, ‘at the very beginning’, not needing a tune but wisdom. I think that is a good place to start, for in Proverbs 2v1-6 there is a blessing promised to people who are:
2 … turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding —
3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.’
I read a challenging statement in a leadership book recently that asked: ‘are you in a place of knowing or enquiry?’ Basically it was checking how teachable you are. If your mind is inflexible and made up on an issue, then you are no longer teachable. If you are in a place of enquiry, with a ‘you can teach me something’ attitude, then you can continue growing.
I want to know the times we are living in, I eagerly desire understanding on future events and how to live in the light of Jesus’ return. If I continue to ‘treasure hunt’ and ‘cry out’ for God to give me wisdom on these issues, then I will understand more in a year’s time and much more in a decade, along with a fear (fascination, awe and deep devotion to) of the Lord. That is worth the effort, don’t you think?