Koinonia House Online   “Bringing the world into focus
through the lens of Scripture”
Home > Personal > Christian Living > Standing The Test Of Time First Time Here?  

Christian Living

Standing the Test of Time

by Dr. Dan Stolebarger


I think what we need is less of what the world has to offer in terms of entertainment and more of what God has designed for equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.

Jeremiah, What Do You See?

Over the past few weeks I have been looking at the world around me, trying to answer the question that was asked of Jeremiah:

Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.” And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.” Then the Lord said to me: “Out of the north calamity shall break forth On all the inhabitants of the land.”

Jeremiah 1:11–14

The Church Today

Here are some of the things I see. I see the Church loaded for bear but using all the wrong kinds of ammunition. We have a lot of cool stuff (great music, great videos, great sound systems, and high-definition screens everywhere), but it’s just not being that effective in making true disciples!

I think what we need is less of what the world has to offer in terms of entertainment and more of what God has designed for equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.

You know, if you have a lot of cool stuff it is not that hard to draw a crowd, but the problem with the entertainment thing is that whatever is “next” always needs to be better than the one before or else we risk being boring and outdated.

We put ourselves on that hamster wheel and allow technology to become the tail that wags the dog!

So, just what is it that stands the test of time, that is not faddish and will never become irrelevant?

1) Study the Bible

We need the Word of God to be a part of our daily lives and not something that we just get on Sundays. We really do need the entire Counsel of God as it pertains to the Word and not just some salt-and-pepper verses to support a feel-good message.

In other words, we all need a systematic system to study the Bible!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:12–13

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17

2) Pray Daily

We need to develop and grow our prayer life. Our daily prayers have to go beyond just asking God to bless our food! We need to have daily conversations with the Holy One in which we spend time in Adoration, Meditation, Confession and Intercession! Saints—remember prayer should never be our last resort!

It should be seen as our most explosive weapon that has the power to destroy the strongholds of our enemy and to leave the place where we have prayed shakin’ and quakin’!

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:31

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

2 Corinthians 10:3–5

3) Be in Fellowship with Other Believers

Finally, we really do need to connect with brothers and sisters in the faith. As the times continue to darken we are no longer going to be able to remain aloof and self-centered. We are going to need to build true Christian Community. Notice I did not say we need to build more buildings for churches to meet in! We’ve got to move past the external and roll up our sleeves to build the internal!

Remember when God asked Jeremiah what he saw and he answered, “an almond rod” and “a boiling pot.”

The Almond Rod

The almond rod was a play on words that ended with the statement that God is watching over things in order to perform His Word. The Hebrew word for “almond tree” is šaqed, from the word “to watch or to wake” (šaqad). The almond tree was named the “awake tree,” because in Israel it is the first tree to bud and bear fruit each year. Its blooms precede its leaves as the tree bursts into blossom in late January.

Jeremiah’s vision of the “awake tree” reminded him that God was awake and watching over His Word to make sure it came to pass.

The first part of what I see and what I think we need has to do with the vision of the almond branch, but the boiling pot aspect that follows is just as important for the Believer today.

The Boiling Pot

So what about that boiling pot? Here we see that God informed Jeremiah that there was imminent danger ready to pour forth from the North. For Jeremiah, at that time that danger had to do with the threat of the Babylonians, who would soon pour in from the North and destroy Israel as well as the Temple! But what might that have to do with us today?

I believe that Israel plays a central part in end-times prophecy today, and we as the Church must be like the sons and daughters of Issachar who understood the time and knew what the next step for Israel should be.

As we look to the North today we see Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Russia. Truly boiling pots threatening to spill over at any time and when they do, it is my belief that we will be on the precipice in regards to the Day of the Lord! And when that Day comes, no one should be surprised by the Harpazo!

We need to keep our eyes open because we are truly living in what I like to call The TIME of the SIGNS!

I see that the time has come for the Church to WAKE UP and get busy with the things of God!

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 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. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Romans 13:11–14

Brother or Sister in Jesus … What do you see?


Privacy Policy

Copyright © 1996-2017 by Koinonia House Inc., P.O. Box D, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816