Echoes From the Campfire

The training of the range man will not let him sleep beyond dawn; and his vitality springs freshly up after a few short hours of rest, no matter how much physical punishment has gone before.  This is his birthright, and never does he lose it until he forsakes the queer combination of sweaty drudgery and wild freedom of cattle land and tries another trade.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Whispering Range)

    “And the spies questioned Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to anyone, but You teach the way of God on the basis of truth.'”
              –Luke 20:21 (NASB)
In these lessons on how to live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World, there are four major themes I want to look at.  With the help of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones and others I hope to help us have a better perspective on how to live.  Look at the questions that confront the believer in the day in which we live.

    1)  What is possible to the believer?
    2)  How he is to face it?
    3)  How he is to stand up to it?
    4)  What must he do?
    5)  What is his relationship to this world?

    “Life outside God is not life, it is existence!” according to D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  People exist, they think they are going somewhere, or they seek to go somewhere, but in reality all they are doing is existing in a particular point in time.  Without Christ, they are literally “dead men walking” waiting to become a clod of earth again.  Hope is only in what man can do, and that is fruitless.  Look at what a little virus did to the confidence of man’s ability–fear ran rampant, confusion was the norm, hope had vanished for the only hope the unbeliever has is in man.
    This is a world of panic, difficulty, distress, perplexity, stress, uncertainty, what is going to happen next is in the minds of all.  Man changes truth to fit his situation and when it doesn’t work or no longer fits, he changes it again.  Truth is relative, yet it is in these times the believer “knows whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:12, NKJV)  Trust in God’s Word; it is there to steady us in troublesome times, through a depraved culture and society but presenting us with the truth.

         “It [Bible] is never out there just to soothe and comfort us for the time being.  No, its message always is that there are certain principles, and that if we only lay a firm hold upon them and grasp them, if only we base our life upon them and plan the whole of our existence in terms of them, then we can never really go wrong.”
                   –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    What is our first obligation or duty to not panic?  TRUST!  It is imperative that we know who God is.  It is vital–I can’t emphasize this enough–that we know the truth of God’s Word; take a firm hold of the doctrines presented.

         “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
                   –2 Timothy 1:13 (NKJV)

         “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
                   –Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)

Then after Trusting, we must pray.  However, we must know the truth before we can pray properly.  Do not pray something that is contrary to God’s Word.  Lloyd-Jones states, “Prayer is sometimes an excuse for not thinking, an excuse for avoiding a problem or situation.”  Too often prayer is not specific and the reason why is that we do not know the truth of God’s Word.  We must always take firm hold of the truth so that we know what we are doing when we pray.  “Duty is first to face the truth, to face the doctrine and to apply it.” (Lloyd-Jones)  Remember, the purpose of God’s Word is not to simply ease the situation, but to look at the truth.  God may forsake our comfort for our character.