You can read the signs of the weather can’t you? Well then you should be able to read the signs of the crisis ahead. My question is whether we are noticing the signs around us of the dangers ahead?
Luke 12:54 – “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘here comes a shower.’ And you are right. When the south wind blows you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. Hypocrites. You interpret the sky well enough, but you refuse to notice the warnings all around you about the crisis ahead.” (Living Bible Translation)
These are Jesus words to the crowd following him. The crowd were made up of people interested in what He was saying and doing (his miracles). Many were probably sensation seekers and that is why they were following Him. He did not speak here specifically to his disciples. He spoke to the crowd.
It is clear that Jesus thought that the people in the crowd (non-disciples) were good enough to read the signs of the weather. Therefore, they should be able to read the signs of the time they were living in. I believe this is still valid in the world we live in today to both non-Christians and Christians. All should be able to notice “the warnings all around about the crisis ahead”.
Not guess work
We are supposed to read the signs of the times we live in. It is not guess work. Jesus clearly says and I paraphrase, “you know the signs of the weather, so you should know the signs of the times you live in as well.” It was expected of the crowds who were not His disciples. So how much more should the disciples (His followers) read the signs?
The rat race
However, today we live in a world where a large majority of Christians are oblivious to the signs around them. We are caught up in juggling our lives to fit in with everything that the world system tells us we need and need to do. It is called the rat race. We just follow and very few, if any, stop to read the signs of the times we live in and ask “where exactly am I heading?”
That is what life in this 21st century has become, a rat race.
We race against the clock most of the time from home to work, from work to shopping, collecting children from school activities and then home. Racing to prepare meals and try to have quality time with the rest of the household. If you live in and around the big cities you spend hours stuck in gridlock traffic. All in the name of what is called being a responsible, working, law abiding, tax paying citizen.
There is very little time for doing something that can be called free time to relax, dream and plan. Never mind taking stock of one’s own life and its course. Many are just running the rat race to be acceptable to the society around them.
Christians who are members of a church and active in commitments to serve their community, have to squeeze that into an already full and busy live. This leaves very little, or no time, to take stock of whether the events that are happening around us are going to have major influences on our lives going ahead. No time to think about the signs (events) taking place around us or time to evaluate these and make decisions that are moral and right and in line with our beliefs.
When events in the country we live in or in the world around us happen, we watch the news, read the newspapers and opinions of others. But how many of us actually ask questions such as –
- hey, what is this about?
- What is this event really saying to me, as a person of the crowd and as a Christian?
- Is there a big picture here?
- Will this have an effect on my future and my children’s future?
Talking to people around me, in my circles of different contacts, I get the distinct impression that many do not stop to read the signs. Some events cause concern but people’s lives are so hectic there is no time to ask questions. The answers to the questions may just force them to do something about the road they find themselves on. The fact that the rat race is leading to the selling of their soul (values, beliefs, morality), is not considered. There is a general consensus that things are going wrong. Yet, no time is taken to read the signs, ask the questions and make changes.
No soul searching or boundaries
No, rather just keep going, that way there is no uncomfortable soul searching, questioning, referring back to basics. We are living more and more without boundaries in our lives. Bouncing back and forth on every new philosophy and decisions world leaders (and church leaders) are making. No time to ask questions about the effect these will have on our and our children’s lives.
We are living in dangerous times needing critical evaluation but we are too busy to read the signs around us.
My challenging questions to you
- Do you read the signs of the times you are living in?
- Have you read the signs of the paths your own life has taken lately?
- Are you wandering in a world where you cannot find God’s path for your life because the present world system has enticed you to take easy paths?
- When last have you opened your Bible and read what it says about the signs of the times we live in? or
- When last have you taken any time off to just be with yourself and give yourself space and time for assessing the path you find yourself on?
- Do you attend a church where the Word of God is not preached but the philosophy of man is?
- Are you trusting other people who do not share your values and morals to make decisions that will affect your life and those of your children and their children in the future?
An individual endeavor
Reading signs is an individual endeavor. Each person needs to be able to read the signs for themselves. It is not a community endeavor, or a group project. No. Everyone is required to read the warning signs of the times he or she lives in and of the crisis/danger ahead. The NASB translation of Luke 12 verses 56 and 57 reads: “…but why do you not analyse this present time: And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right?” (emphasis mine).
The world does not like people who think for themselves. Some churches don’t either. So don’t expect any encouragement from those who love the world and the things it offer.
Read the Bible
To Christians I suggest that you go back to the map for living here as a stranger. I am talking about the Bible. That book that you may not have opened for a long time and is gathering dust on the shelf. I know because I also, at some stage in my Christian journey, left the Bible to gather dust. Go and read the Bible. It will show you where you are at present in your own Christian walk and the change of direction you need to take. It will also show you where your family, community, country and world is heading.
Are you still following the right signs in your life of faith? Have you been backsliding and falling behind on the journey? The Bible is God’s word which gives guidance, encouragement and strength to help us make the difficult decisions in life.
Life is a journey. Where are you heading? Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years because of their stubbornness and refusal to obey God.
Values and morals are being re-written
Jesus spoke about the signs of the times to the crowd which was made up of people who followed Him. In other words, they were not His disciples.
It is my hope that my writing will also be read by non-Christians. Even If you are not a Christian, you should be able to make an evaluation of the road the world is taking. Read the signs as it concerns your own life. Evaluate the changes in accordance with the values and morals your parents taught you or the culture you live in. Because, believe me all of those values and morals are being re-written, bent and twisted and re-interpreted to suit the world system and its leaders with their own agendas.
Those values, morals and cultural laws served humanity well. They kept us humane, safe in our culture, our communities and our families. We, disciples of Jesus and members of the crowd, are all at risk to be caught off guard and unprepared for what lies ahead.
Find time to read the signs
You must find time, that precious commodity that the world system demands you spend on what it tells you is necessary and important. Only you can decide, once you have looked at some scary signs around us. Can you afford not to find the time?
I will be writing in future posts about some of these signs that I think are important warnings. Signs to take note of as well as my views as a stranger here in this world. Remember it is your choice to read the signs of where your life is heading. Where your country is heading and the world as a whole. If you feel up to it, pray with me –
Prayer: Dear Lord please help us all to make the effort and find the time out of our rat race lives, to go back to our Map, the Bible. To read it and find the signs we need to see and understand regarding our own lives and our country and world we live in. Forgive us Lord for blindly moving with what is popular and ostensibly easy to follow. Help us through the power of the Holy Spirit to be strong enough to make our own decisions according to the signs of the times we live in. In Jesus Name, Amen.