Dwell With Jesus

Advance copy of Rapture Ready article.

In my previous Rapture Ready article, Gather Up Courage, we considered our prepositional God, the One who is with us and in us and for us and how His proximity to us allows for us as believers to gather up courage in these final days.Whether we have one day, one week, or one year (plus) before the coming of the Lord Jesus for His church in the rapture, we must respond accordingly to the blessing of being part of that final generation by becoming God’s prepositional us, a people dwelling with Jesus and being about Jesus.

I’m sure we can agree that we have already seen more than our 2020 selves ever believed we would, and we don’t dare ask what more 2024 might bring for fear that the answer to that question may very well be a national refining like we’ve never known. Whatever is to come, we must ask ourselves if we have what it takes to stand and be effective for the kingdom every moment we’re here, be it one more week or several more years.

I’ve taken inventory of me, myself, and I and have found that I don’t have what it takes. But a tap, tap, tap from within reminds me that I have Who it takes, Jesus. This prepositional us, I in Him and He in me (1 John 4:13), changes everything. He will do in me what it takes to prepare me. He will be through me that which He asks of me. But His activity in me and through me is conditioned upon my willingness to yield to Him and be used by Him. So, what does it take to shape my will to His? It takes dwelling with Jesus.

Practically speaking, what does it look like to dwell with Jesus? Simple answer: Be where He is. John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. Now that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father and not physically here on earth, how might we dwell with Him? Certainly through prayer, but today’s topic will focus on dwelling with Jesus by dwelling in His Word.

Jesus knew the Word

While Jesus is the Word, during His time on earth, He took on human form (John 1:14). To dwell as a man, Jesus chose to grow and mature as we do, which would suggest that He studied Scripture as is required of us (Luke 2:52). Because He knew the Word, when in the wilderness, Jesus was able to combat each temptation with “It is written” statements. How well do we know Scripture? When confronted by the massive deception of the last days, is the truth so ingrained within us that we can spot the lies of the enemy right away?

Is it possible that we’re studying the deceptions more than the truth? Some rapture watchers spend more time examining the preparation for the Antichrist, the plans of the WEF, the IMF, the UN, etc., than dwelling with Jesus Christ. Video after video, article after article, news junkies await their next fix of what’s happening now and what might happen next. Yes, we should stay informed, but not at the expense of growing up in the Word (Ephesians 4:15). If more bad news is seeping in than good seed being planted through the Word, then we are off balance. Be certain of this: An off-balance believer will surely topple and not withstand. What’s needed in the days or possibly years ahead are steady and strong Christians, ones armored up and ready for battle.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)

The optimist in me wants to believe that those of you who are reading this are in the Word of God daily, not just skimming a verse or two, but truly submerging yourselves in its cover-to-cover truths. A statement I made in the previous article was that only Scripture-strengthened arms can bear a God-given cross. We must be people of His Word, ones who dwell in, are strengthened by, and are armed with the Word of God. We don’t stand a chance without it. If the Word of God isn’t your living water each day, then when the heat of this world is turned up, you’ll be found weak and withered. News flash: The heat is being turned up daily!

We all must take inventory. If or when bad things come, will we be givers or takers? What I mean by that is when the shell-shocked lost and undiscerning believers are running around with their hands on their heads in sheer panic, will you be among them? Will you look like the rest of the world, living in fear and confusion, or will you be spiritually grounded and armored up, able to comfort, console, and counsel? Please don’t skim past that last question. Read it again and pray about it. Do you have what it takes because you are yielded to Who it takes?

What concerns me about many rapture watchers is that they only listen to pastors and teachers who all but assure them the rapture must be today or tomorrow or next week. So they’ve convinced themselves that God will get us out of here before anything really bad happens. In that case, I’m guessing there’s not much armoring up going on. Rather than reaching for the armor and gathering up courage, they are busy only watching for the escape hatch. Here’s a tough question: Could there be a shred of truth in some of what mid and post-tribbers say about pre-tribbers, that we’re guilty of escapism, so set on the rescue that we won’t allow ourselves to consider what may be required of us in darkening days?

Jesus obeyed the Word

While dwelling with Jesus, an eventual overflow of being with Him is that our steps will naturally align with His and how He obeyed the Word and lived out its principles in His daily life. In John 6:38, Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” It’s one thing to read, but another to act upon what you know. James 1:22 warns us that those who don’t do what the Word says delude themselves. Verse 25 says that an effectual doer will be blessed in what he does. If anything can be said of most of us, we sure do love our blessings. Well, here’s one way we will be blessed, by our obedience to God’s Word.

Search your heart. Are there areas where you feel a call to obedience by the Spirit through the Word? If so, don’t ignore those whispers. You may feel called to begin or join an unexpected area of ministry. Jesus, through the Word, may be nudging you to extend forgiveness or to allow Him to plow up a root of bitterness. Perhaps you hear an urging of needed repentance or redirection. Whatever the Spirit’s call, don’t ignore Him.

Jesus lived out the Word

To be a disciple of Jesus, one who follows after Jesus and lives out the Word, we must gather up courage now more than ever to stand for Jesus and for truth. Since Jesus is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), dwelling with Him requires us to live out truth in the midst of growing deception. Even if it hasn’t reached your home church yet, massive deceptions are infiltrating churches nationwide. These days, the body of believers lives more like the world than like Jesus, making those of us who choose to live truth the exception and not the rule. As our circle of friends grows only smaller, do we have what it takes to keep standing for truth when people around us, even our families, fall victim to the enemy’s deceit?

A few examples of deceptions infiltrating the church include:

  • New Apostolic Reformation/Kingdom Now/Dominion theology
  • New Age practices
  • Woke ideology
  • Prosperity gospel/Word of Faith movement
  • Ecumenism (the coming together of different religions)

Speaking of ecumenism… I must warn of The Chosen and its Mormon and Roman Catholic influence. And the very fact that the world, including Whoopi Goldberg and the cast of The View, love this show should give discerning believers reason to pause and ask why.

Whoopi: “I am a huge fan of the series, The Chosen, which shows the humanity of Jesus in a way we haven’t seen before, and highlights him and the apostles in a different way…”

This would suggest that The Chosen is portraying another jesus, one the world loves rather than the Jesus who said the world hated Him (John 15:18-19).

Admittedly, I almost didn’t include this in my list of deceptions. I even told a coworker that I didn’t want to open a can of worms since I don’t have room to cover it thoroughly. But I know that I must practice what I “preach.” I don’t need to provide you with all the details since this isn’t the focus of the article, but I do want to urge you to do some investigating on your own by reading the informative links I’m providing.

BookletThe Chosen Series—10 Critical Concerns
List of resources on The Chosen at Lighthouse Trails

We talk often about preparations being made for the one-world economy and the one-world government, but do we recognize the coming together of what will become the one-world religion? As disciples standing for Jesus and for truth, we must be prepared to share with others how these deceptions are paving the way for the worship of the Antichrist.

Discipleship Tested is the header above this passage in my Bible:
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:27-30)

The longer Jesus tarries, the more our discipleship will be tested. There is a cost for those of us who desire to build the body of Christ and serve the Kingdom of God. In my earlier article, I mentioned how we believers want the joy without the cross (Hebrews 12:2). Sadly, for as long as we’re here, the ridicule we now face will intensify. Persecution will intensify. Deception will intensify. Unless we are dwelling with Jesus, knowing the Word, obeying the Word, and living out the truth of the Word, there is no way we will have what it takes to withstand an uncertain future.

Are you saturated in Living Water? Are you building a tower with strengthened arms and gathered-up courage? Are you armored up and prepared to die to self so that you can carry whatever cross you are destined to bear? Dwell. With. Jesus. Apart from Him you can do nothing (John 15:5).

If you would like to go a little deeper or discuss this topic with a friend, feel free to use the questions I used with my small group. Questions link

I’ll see you back soon with the next article that will remind us, as we’re dwelling with Jesus and preparing spiritually for whatever may come, that we have an assignment: Be about people. Sign up to receive the continuation of this article on my Updates page.

Waiting on Jesus with you,
Lisa

Quick note: A Rapture Ready reader kindly wrote in to let me know that I incorrectly mentioned how Pastor JD used theOliver Wendell Holmes quote about being so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good. Sorry for my error.

If you would like to read Lisa’s previous Rapture Ready articles, you can find them here: Lisa’s Rapture Ready Articles/Series.

Gather Up Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

If there’s ever been a time when we need to know our prepositional God, that He is with us and for us, it’s now (Joshua 1:9, Psalm 118:6). We need to know that He is behind and before us, and that His hand is upon us in these final darkening days (Psalm 139:5). One of my teachers taught prepositions using a tree: in a tree, beside a tree, with a tree, above a tree, etc. Over the years, God has used His pre-position, where He has always been and will always be in relation to us as believers, as a way of assuring me we’re never alone in our suffering or pain or desperation. While we as rapture watchers are waiting for Him to come, we can find courage in knowing that He’s already here. He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). That never changes, even and especially when we see this world spinning out of control.

I think most of us would say that we thought He would have come for us long before now. The fact that the rapture hasn’t yet happened may have many of us reeling and feeling a little stunned to be seeing the rise of evil and the fall of our nation. Make no mistake; no candidate or party will or can save us. There is only one Savior, the One who is tarrying for perfect reasons that adhere to His perfect plan. We can trust that. We can trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). Continue reading…

2024: Embrace the Wait

I seriously thought we would be out of here in 2020, then in 2021 and 2022 and 2023. Yet here we are, still waiting and longing and hoping. Might 2024 be the year? Or will we be called to endure another year, God’s gift of time offered to this lost and dying world? If another year is required of us, how might we better embrace the waiting?

I admit, I’m not the best at waiting patiently. I’m guessing you’re not either. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done more complaining than embracing along the way. How can we not with the sorrow and turmoil we experience in our families and in this world? Some days I find it hard to view our extended time here as we wait for the Lord as an opportunity for the lost rather than a burden to the found. I’m burdened. Every. Single. Day.

I host a group on Zoom for rapture watchers. Folks from all over the U.S. meet to discuss last-days topics (You’re always invited. See more here.). Last week, Nancy (aka my mom) closed us out in prayer. She thanked the Lord for our time here (on earth) and even asked that He leave us a little while longer to reach the lost. Jokingly, I told her we were kicking her off the prayer team for asking for more time. But deep down, her prayer struck a nerve with me. It’s something I’ve written about a few times, how they, the lost, are worth our extended time here. I know we all “know” that, but it’s still a tough prayer to pray. So thanks, Mom, for praying from your heart and piercing mine. Continue reading…