Worms

12/01/2008

“I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you…”
Jude 4 (NLT)

Worms, creepy, crawly, slimy little creatures that God designed. In fact, God designed 2,700 different kinds of earthworms, and in one acre of land there can be more than a million earthworms. Our son, Jimm, says he can attest to this fact--he sees two to three worms in every hole he digs while out hunting with his metal detector.

“Worms tunnel deeply in the soil and bring subsoil closer to the surface mixing it with the topsoil. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. The sticky slime helps to hold clusters of soil particles together in formations called aggregates.” (Taken from “Worm Facts”-Urban Programs Resource Network)

Guess who liked to study worms? Charles Darwin, he spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago. The same man who we are reminded of almost daily on the backs of cars on the roads…you’ve seen the reminders! The little fish…with legs! Darwin taught that we evolved through a process called natural selection, instead of being formed from the dust of the earth as God’s Word tells us. “His theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930s, and now forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory.” (Wikipedia)

Some say Darwin was converted to Christianity on his deathbed. This is what I found about Darwin as I went looking today:

Darwin's work had a tremendous impact on religious thought. Many people strongly opposed the idea of evolution because it conflicted with their religious convictions. Darwin avoided talking about the theological and sociological aspects of his work, but other writers used his theories to support their own theories about society. Darwin was a reserved, thorough, hard working scholar who concerned himself with the feelings and emotions not only of his family, but friends and peers as well.

It has been supposed that Darwin renounced evolution on his deathbed. Shortly after his death, temperance campaigner and evangelist Lady Elizabeth Hope claimed she visited Darwin at his deathbed, and witnessed the renunciation. Her story was printed in a Boston newspaper and subsequently spread. Lady Hope's story was refuted by Darwin's daughter Henrietta who stated, “I was present at his deathbed ... He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier.”
(Lucid Café Library)

“In mid-July 1837 Darwin started his first notebook on Transmutation of Species, his ‘B’ notebook, and on page 36 wrote ‘I think’ above his first sketch of an evolutionary tree. …When asked about his religious views, he wrote that he had never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God, and that generally ‘an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.’” (Wikipedia)

It’s interesting the impact Darwin still has on us today. Wouldn’t he be surprised! But would he be happy? It seems that the 1851 death of Darwin’s daughter, Annie, marked the end of his dwindling faith in Christianity. How many lose hope at a time like that?…A time when we need God more than ever, but many times we’ll turn away because the lies of the enemy bombard us, and confuse us, and shake our faith to the core. When we hold onto the fringe of Jesus’ robe during those times, He will lead us through the valley of the shadow of death…through the muddy muck filled with wormy lies that want to invade our faith. Maybe even Darwin had a thread of Jesus’ robe in his hand when he died…

We can’t really know where Darwin is spending his eternity until we get to Heaven ourselves, but what we can think about is, who is Darwin compared to God? Who is any man or woman, and their ideas, compared to God? To think of all those Darwin is still influencing to this day from his studies, and to see an actual page from his writings with the words, “I think” written at the top…is not only sad, it’s tragic in eternal proportions. Why are we sometimes believing what human beings are “thinking” above and beyond the Word of God? Some say, “Because man wrote the Bible,” and they are right, man did write God’s Word, but the fingerprints of God’s wisdom and guidance and inspiration are all over the Bible. Even through all the different translations, through all the years, it can still hold water…Living Water to be exact. Do Darwin’s theories?

I received an e-mail today, putting together some interesting facts about the Bible. It stated:

What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 117
What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119
What is the center of the Bible? Psalm 118
There are 594 chapters before 118, and 594 chapters after, which adds up to 1188
Where is the center verse in the Bible? Psalm 118:8
What does that verse say?
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (NKJV)

Man’s ideas, or God’s? Darwin’s ideas, or the LORD’s? Which will it be? Those that choose to display fish with feet on their cars, holding to Darwin’s theories instead of the Lord’s Word, better know which direction they’re heading in… Too many are putting confidence in a man who studied worms instead of the Lord who designed 2,700 different worms to study. No one, not even Darwin, is responsible for what we believe; we will all face God alone one day—even Darwin had to, and answered to our Father for his life’s work. We all have a choice to make. That’s why it’s important to be careful about who we follow. Many things in this world will influence our thinking, and it’s our responsibility to find out what is true and what is not—because even little fish with feet on a stranger’s car can have an impact…

“…these people mock and curse the things they do not understand.”
Jude 10 (NLT)

In reading through Jude these last few days, I find it interesting how it describes so perfectly the world we live in today, and yet when it was written in approximately A.D. 70, today’s world was far, far in the future. Jude is a small but powerful book in the Bible. It’s filled with insights, just before entering into the Book of Revelation. The man, Jude, was the brother of James, as stated, which would make him the half-brother of Jesus Christ. Jude begins the chapter by saying that he had been “eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the truth of the Good News. God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you, saying that God’s forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives.” (Jude 3,4)

Jude went on to say in verse 18, that Jesus had told them “that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. Now they are here…”

Now they are here? Already? In A.D. 70? If so, then how much more so are they here today! What was Jude seeing back then compared to what we are seeing in today’s world? And if so, why do we put our trust in any man or woman? How do we know whom we should trust, no matter how wise, well-intentioned, or well-known?

Just today I got a phone call from my sister. A very good friend of hers was having a time of it…why? Because of something I had said to her friend just a couple of weeks ago. The reason it was causing her friend such “turmoil” was because she trusts me very much. She knows I love God, and always try to speak the truth—and I had said something that disturbed her. So, my sister gave me a call today to get to the bottom of what I had said to her friend. Now, it’s not really important what I said, but what’s more important is that I was taken very seriously by this friend and yet when it was brought to my attention, it didn’t seem like something I would have said, because it’s not something that I know. It’s not something that anyone knows; only the Father knows exactly. It seems, after talking with my sister, that one word in the conversation I had had with her friend sounded like another word, which changed the whole meaning, which led to misdirection and unease. My sister and I laughed, as sisters are known to do, and she said she’d get back to her friend with our “revelation” about the misunderstanding.

It really was touching to me personally that my sister’s friend would think so much of me that I might know something of such importance—but we should always remember that it doesn’t matter how wise we think the person is, how well-educated, how well-known, or how well-liked, or even if they lived a very long time ago…if what we hear doesn’t jive with God’s Word, don’t believe it! Instead, investigate what God’s Word has to say about it. Of course, if we don’t care what God’s Word has to say about it, that’s another matter that needs tending to. Some “live by natural instinct because they do not have God’s Spirit living in them.” (Jude 19 NLT)

This message is not a debate on whether seven days in Genesis is an actual seven days, because I know some Bible believing Christians who also believe that the creation of this earth and placing man upon this earth took longer than a week, but this is more a discussion about lies and distortions worming their way into our lives, whether intentional or mistakenly, and then getting sucked into them like they are truth. One thing we can know about God’s Truth, is that it is unchanging as it says in Jude. God is a God of His Word, and we can count on Him. There are “false teachers, who claim authority from their dreams, live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at the power of the glorious ones.” (Jude 8) We have to be keenly aware of the Truth, and test anything that comes into our daily lives that goes against Scripture.

There’s a lot of talk today about the recent election, as there is after any election. There’s even a great deal of fear in some of the Christian community. Some wonder, are we entering into the end times, and is our new president really a Christian? I have two thoughts about that, and I will share them with you.

  1. If Obama is a Christian as he claims to be, then Halleluiah and praise God that he is saved and will live eternally in Heaven because of Jesus Christ.
  2. If Obama is someone we should be watching, along with other worldly events, because this is the beginning of the end, then Halleluiah and praise God that believers are saved and we will soon be living eternally in Heaven because of Jesus Christ.

These thoughts may seem blunt, but I don’t think it’s anything that you haven’t heard already. Probably every time there is an election, we wonder about our new leader, and the world we are living in, and we should. We should always be watching what is going on in our world. As for me, I’m not particularly political. I’m not a fan of heated discussions about how wrong one side is as opposed to how right the other side is—most times I’m thinking, “There’s gotta be something good to say about both sides, they can’t be ALL bad.” I’d rather be more Biblical than Political, because it’s not a matter of if this world will come to an end, but when. It’s not a matter of if there will be an anti-Christ, but whom or what will it be? It’s not a matter of saving this world, but of knowing one day there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, because God’s Word says so.

The other day I was asked, in a very serious tone, by a very concerned person, “Do you think we’re in the end times?” My answer might have been a little more robust than was appropriate, but I responded with, “Yes, I do!” I don’t know anything more than any other Bible-believing Christian…I do know that Jesus is coming back again, and it could be soon. Jesus foretold the future in Matthew 24. He explained, “…many false prophets will appear and will lead many people astray. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold….false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you.” (Verses 11-12, 24-25)

Jesus doesn’t want us to be ignorant about end times, or afraid of them, but He does want us to watch this world for them, be ready for them, and be with Him when He “will gather together his chosen ones from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.” (Matthew 24:31 NLT) As believers, we should be excited if we think we’re nearing these times. Even if they contain some hardship, we can and should look forward to the place Jesus is preparing for us where there will be no more tears, and no more sorrow or suffering. As believers, the day is coming when we will all be moving on together to a better tomorrow that will last forever and ever and ever! There is no stopping it, but there is a way to be ready for it. We don’t want to be one of God’s chosen ones who are deceived. Jesus is warning us! He said, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near…when you see the events I’ve described beginning to happen…” (Matthew 24:28 & 33 NLT)

In Matthew 25, there is a story of ten bridesmaids. “Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.” When the Bridegroom came, “those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.” Jesus said, “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.”

Our job as Christians is not to fear, but to stay awake and to “Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you.” (Jude 21 NLT)

“The Infinite to love an insignificant creature, a shadow that
declines, is this not a marvel? For God to pity me I can understand,
for God to condescend to have mercy upon me I can comprehend:
but for Him to love me, for the pure to love a sinner, for the infinitely
great to love a worm, is matchless, a miracle of miracles! Such thoughts
must comfort the soul.” Charles H. Spurgeon

In talking with my brother, Steve, today, he said that to PRAY is:

Persistent
  Rest
   At the
     Yoke

God had given Steve these words, and I thought how appropriate they are in our present day. If we are not persistently praying, there will be no rest in this crazy, mixed-up world! If we are not laying our burdens at the foot of the Cross, and taking on the Yoke of Christ which fits perfectly and is light, we will become very tired in living this life. The more I am with the younger generation while I’m in school, the more I hear the answer to the question, “How are you?” with the words, “I’m tired.” It seems my baby-boomer generation is usually, “Busy”—which I’ve heard as “Being-Under-Satan’s-Yoke.” And now the younger generation is “Tired.” (Many are Tempted, Irritated, Resistant, Empty, Demanding) They seem too often to be looking for a way out, going it alone, feeling panicked, barely making it, running out of the energy it takes to live life each day… That can describe all of us when we’re not depending upon Jesus Christ—we’re going to feel beyond TIRED…we’re going to feel hopeless, lost, and scared because this world and its lies will worm their way into our thinking and we’ll want to give up. To have an “unchanging truth once for all time” is to be able to rest in what we need, even if it doesn’t always seem like what we want. Jude reminds us that “the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged, God has kept them chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the day of judgment.” (Verse 6) How many of us live in chains of darkness, physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually because we’re not where we belong?

My husband, Jim, shared an interesting news story with me just this week. It read: “Doctors in Arizona thought a Phoenix-area woman had a possible brain tumor, but it turned out there was something else penetrating her brain – a worm.” In talking about uncleanliness, Dr. Peter Nakaji said, “It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem.” What kind of uncleanliness (lies from the enemy) are we all being exposed to in this world, things that will develop into problems in our thinking if we’re not focusing daily on the unchanging Truth of God?

“…it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God.”
Oswald Chambers

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (NLT)

I asked my son, Jimm, if he could send me some quotes from a book I recently bought him. The book is called, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. When Jimm first started reading this book, he wondered just what his mother had given him?…until he realized that this is a fictional story and the “Enemy” in this book is God. Jimm reminded me that the character, Screwtape, “is a high level demon who is mentoring the low level demon that is his nephew, Wormwood.  Wormwood is just out of the Demon Academy it seems, and this is his first assignment.” It takes a little getting used to when reading it, but it has some great insights into the enemy’s (Satan’s) worming his way into our lives, confusing our thoughts and upsetting our emotions, causing unrest. Here’s a bit of what Jimm sent me from the book, as Screwtape sends Wormwood out once again to mess with the thoughts of a human being (the patient):

In the first one, Jimm writes, “Screwtape is telling Wormwood how to exploit the troughs of dullness and dryness in his patient’s life, and the possibilities that present themselves when someone goes through one of these troughs.”

Another possibility is that of a direct attack on his faith.  When you have caused him to assume that the trough is permanent, can you not persuade him that “his religious phase” is just going to die away like all of his precious phases?  Of course there is no conceivable way of getting by reason from the proposition, “This is false.” But, as I said before, it is jargon, not reason, you must rely on.  The mere word phase will very likely do the trick.  I assume that the creature has been through several of them before-they all have-and that he always feels superior and patronizing to the ones he has emerged from, not because he has really criticized them but simply because they are in the past.  (You keep him well fed on hazy ideas of Progress and Development and Historical Point of View, I trust, and give him loads of modern Biographies to read. The people in them are always emerging from Phases, aren't they?)

Another quote Jimm sent from the book is this one, which he says is “talking about peer pressure and doing what is socially acceptable rather than what you love or what is right.”

Of course I know that the Enemy (Remember, the Enemy is God in this story) also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way.  Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them.  When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamor of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever.  Hence, while He is delighted to see them sacrificing even their innocent wills to His, He hates to see them drifting away from their own nature for any other reason.  And we should always encourage them to do so…I myself would carry this very far.  I would make it a rule to eradicate from my patient any strong personal taste which is not actually a sin, even if it is something quite trivial…The man who truly and disinterestedly enjoys any one thing in the world, for its own sake, and without caring two-pence what other people say about it, is by that very fact forearmed against some of our subtlest modes of attack.

The Devil is messing around with us in this world, just as he is here in “The Screwtape Letters,” but God isn’t playing around with His children. Our Father doesn’t even mess around with His angels, as the Bible talks about in Jude. If we, or even the angels, leave the place where we belong and live this life in a way that is not pleasing to our Father in Heaven, then we will wait in chains of darkness until the Day is done. And those chains include fear…if we’re not where we need to be, in a close and intimate relationship with our Lord, we will not be looking forward to that Day of meeting God face to face. As God’s chosen ones, those who choose to follow Jesus Christ through this life, we should not fear the end of this world, but instead be living in such a way that causes us to look forward to where it will bring all believers—it will bring “you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy.” (Jude 24)

“God’s revelation of Himself to me is determined by my
character, not by God’s character.” Oswald Chambers

God is unchanging…and His plan will unfold in His time and in His way. We cannot stop it, we cannot delay it, we cannot reverse it…but we can be ready for it and rejoice in it! Jesus said, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2 NLT) Jesus concerned Himself with His Father’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus didn’t fear, because He knew all things are in His Father’s Hands. He didn’t get confused, even though the devil tried especially hard to worm his way into Jesus’ life and the Father’s plan. Jesus stayed focused on unchanging Truth, even as He “was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 1:1 NIV) Jesus responded always with, “It is written…” He knew that Scripture turns up all the worms…

We don’t know who or where or when about many things in this world, but we can be excited to watch and wait and worship in them and through them because “glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in the beginning, now, and forever more. Amen.” (Jude 25)

Until we meet again, “Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.” (Jude 22,23 NLT)

Diane