Posts Tagged ‘righteousness’

The Boy on the Beach

October 16, 2015
Imprint of Life

Imprint of Life

The horror of finding a drowned boy on a beach is more than a news headline to me. The recent ‘news’ photograph of a dead refugee child on a beach brought back awful memories for me.

Some years ago I was on holiday with family and friends and we went swimming in a lake on a hot day. The beach was developed for leisure and the section of the lake for swimming was partitioned off with a cable and floats. In fact many swimmers would swim out the 15 metres or so to the cable and hang onto it as a resting place. Children paddled on the sandy shore and older kids played on inflatables. Towards the end of the afternoon many families retreated to their BBQ and snacks. I took that opportunity to swim in the freed up expanse of water. As I did I became aware of a young man calling out across the water. I was immediately concerned: Calling to people from the shore is fine when there are people swimming or floating, but the lake was empty. I asked the young man what he was doing and he said he was looking for his cousin. I asked if the missing lad could swim, to which the reply was no. I raised the alarm and shouted to people to start looking in the adjacent woods in case he had wondered off that way. I then swam back and forth underwater urgently looking – knowing that every moment might be a matter of life or death. As I searched I hoped that I was over-reacting and that the boy would wander out of the woods any minute. Within minutes as I swam and stared through the murky lake water I saw a sight which will never leave my memory, the motionless submerged body of a young man.

With all my strength I hauled him up to the surface and held him afloat while trying to get to shore and shout for help at the same time. I dragged the heavy limp lad onto the dry sand and yelled for help. My friend took over with attempted mouth to mouth resuscitation. Although he, and then the paramedics, tried for a while, this was unsuccessful.

As I stood next to the lifeless boy, while every effort was made to revive him, I prayed, and asked God what this was about and why it had happened. I was painfully conscious that I, a strong swimmer, had been near this tragedy for the whole time. I felt God speak to me in that intense moment. The gist of what I heard was, ‘Many give the impression of being able to swim, and lack of accountability leaves them in danger of death.’

Accountability is not about someone being in control of us – but a relationship which guides and ultimately protects.

It seems that this young guy had probably worked his way along the cable – well out of his depth – and lost his grip. He must have thought it unlikely that he might let go of the cable – but one slip was deadly.

Lack of real relationships means that many in our disconnected world are giving the impression of being able to swim in life – but can’t really. Many are in mortal danger. Many know the language of knowing God and his salvation, but may be in danger of slipping off at any moment. Many act confidently but are disconnected and unsupported. In a world of flimsy connections on Facebook and Snapchat we  all need to ask whether we are in right relationships – life giving relationships.

If one person had asked that young man if he could swim; if one person had been watching when he slipped; I could have been that person and he might well be living life to the full right now. We are all accountable for those around us.

Imprint of life upon life

Imprints of Many Lives

The Bible says that ‘Righteousness exalts a nation” (Proverbs 14:34) William Barclay translated the word ‘Righteousness’ as ‘Right Relationships’. God calls us to righteousness – let us pursue a right relationship with Him – which is possible through Jesus, and promote right relationships all around us – for the sake of life!

500 days

September 29, 2015

499 days ago I believe God spoke to me about tomorrow (30 September 2015). I believe that God was talking to me in terms of a coming crisis.

I was in a meeting in which we were discussing the challenges facing the United Kingdom and the nations and some of the consequences of the choices we have made in this generation, and I believe that I heard God say “500 days” to me. Over the past 499 days (more than 16 months) I have prayed and considered what God was pointing to. I believe He has highlighted for me two things in particular about 30th September 2015:

Firstly I believe God has been speaking to me about his countdown and directing me to think in terms of the urgency of the state of our nation and the global situation in terms of days rather than months or years. It is a matter of life and death.

Secondly I believe that God is warning us of a coming crisis in this nation and globally. I don’t know if this related to a specific event on 30th September 2015 or if this date will be a turning point in the history of our nation. Such a turning point might be apparent in time to come when we look back.

As an aside I should say that at the time that God spoke the words “500 days” to me I was either unaware of the Blood Moons that many have talked about – or if I’d heard I was pretty sceptical of attaching importance to the dates of a particular lunar eclipse.

I believe that God is warning us of a tremendous increased shaking (Hebrews 12) which will take place in human affairs as a direct consequence of doing things which are contrary to His direction, and a shaking in the earth, outside of human control, which is the hand of God shaking rebellious nations. The purpose of the shaking is to stop humanity on the road of foolishness and take our eyes off materialism, secular humanism and the deception of evil beliefs. God is loving and for the sake of our eternal wellbeing will shake us in this life to interrupt our path toward even more destruction.

We are already in the place of a perfect storm which is about to break: The global debt position is like a rotten wood beam holding up a building. It is utterly rotten and barely able to take the load, and will suddenly give way without warning; The pursuit of secularism in the developed nations, and now also in many developing nations, is promoting a spiritual death and hopelessness which is a form of national suicide; trust is evaporating; families are fragmenting, and the glue which holds communities together is decayed. All this leaves the United Kingdom (and many others) in a highly fragile state. All this can be traced back to an abandonment of authentic Christian values and deliberate removal of God honouring principles in government and society.

The shaking which will escalate from now is the hand of God. He wants our attention and He wants our repentance. Repentance means turning from our chosen path of humanly constructed wisdom to His ways. Righteousness primarily means ‘right relationships’. Right relationship with God and right relationships with each other. Unrighteousness brings a people down – nationally, locally and in the home. Some things work and some things don’t. God’s ways work. Opposing God does not.

The consequences of our actions in this nation and globally are about to become even more obvious.

Over the next few days I will publish some of what I believe God has been speaking to me about in these 16 months.