HIDDEN IN CHRIST
For every believing Christian, we are already hidden! Colossians 3:3 reads that “your life is hidden with Christ in God.” That’s why the devil can’t touch your eternal spirit. It’s hidden in Christ where the enemy has absolutely NO access! HalleluYAH!
On the other hand, we might through disobedience give the devil opportunity to mess with our souls (mind, will and emotion) and bodies. The Colossians passage goes on to tell us to “put to death” (Col 3:5) those tendencies that would give the devil a foothold in our lives. (James 4:7) (Eph 4:27)
Since the judgments in Zephaniah were brought about for failures and sins, the best way to avoid those earthly judgments is to meekly obey God in these areas which He specifically addresses. So here are:
ELEVEN POINTS FOR BEING HIDDEN
1. Seek the LORD (Zeph 1:6)
2. Inquire of the LORD (Zeph 1:6)
3. Be silent in the Presence of the LORD (Zeph 1:7)
4. Don’t be complacent (Zeph 1:12)
5. Don’t think that the LORD is aloof or apathetic (Zeph 1:12)
6. Don’t rely on riches for deliverance (Zeph 1:18)
7. Uphold justice (Zeph 2:3)
8. Seek righteousness (Zeph 2:3)
9. Seek humility (Zeph 2:3)
10. Don’t curse Israel (Zeph 2:10)
11. Intercede!!!! (Zeph 3:18-20)
1. SEEK THE LORD
Points number one through three, are actions not being done by Judah and are cited as reasons for the judgment. Judah has turned from the LORD. They are not seeking nor inquiring of the LORD. If we are not inquiring of the LORD, we end up inquiring from less than reliable sources.
We need to seek the LORD daily to learn to recognize His voice. It is crucial to know the LORD’s voice so that we clearly hear from Him, especially during crucial times.
2. INQUIRE OF THE LORD
Many a battle has been lost because of failure to consult the LORD. King Ahaziah died because he did not inquire of the LORD, but instead inquired of another god. (2 Kings 2:16) On the other hand, King David had a godly habit of inquiring of the LORD before decisions. In times of crisis, it is even more crucial to ask the LORD, “What do I do now?” Much pain and suffering on the part of the saints could be avoided would we only consult with the LORD before taking a course of action.
In the days to come, it will become more and more critical for us to consult the LORD. Sadly, even Christians listen more to other voices than to the voice of their Father. But if you want to be hidden, you will need to hear His voice telling you which way to turn.
3. BE SILENT BEFORE THE LORD
Many of us fail to listen and sit quietly before the LORD to wait upon His voice, His guidance, His heart. Even if we don’t have a specific inquiry at the time, the LORD can warn us of snares ahead of which we are unaware. Listen for that whisper, that “still, small voice” of the LORD. (1 Kings 19:12)
4. DON’T BE COMPLACENT
In this list of eleven, there are seven “do’s” and four “don’ts”. This first “don’t” cautions against complacency, against “lukewarmness”, against apathy. You might NOT be hidden from judgment if you are hiding from the Lord and His people, concerned only about yourself and your family and unawares of the big picture. Will you be prepared for trouble, if you have the attitude that you need only concern yourself with your own life?
“First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) concerning apathy towards the Nazis.
5. DON’T THINK THAT THE LORD IS ALOOF
If you think the LORD is aloof, the chances are you won’t pray. Yet, in these perilous times, we need to “pray without ceasing”. Trust Him no matter what! He is for you and not against you.
6. DON’T RELY ON RICHES FOR DELIVERANCE
If you can’t rely on your riches (Zeph 1:18), then you had better be trusting the LORD! In times of trouble, God works miracles for His people. He can have a prophet strike a rock in the desert and water gushes forth! He can send manna from heaven. Don’t think that God won’t do it! (Point #5)
Seek the LORD (Point #1) whether or not you need to stockpile something. He may have some doing this, but others are called to something else. Only run with the pack, if the LORD tells you to run with the pack. What does God want you to do in preparation? As the song goes. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way…”
One thing the LORD has told us all to stockpile: treasures in heaven! (Matt 6:20) Which can be done through these next five:
7. UPHOLD JUSTICE
8. SEEK RIGHTEOUSNESS
9. SEEK HUMILITY
These three exhortations in Zephaniah 2:3 are echoes of the words of the Prophet Micah:
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
10. DON’T CURSE ISRAEL
Judgment is pronounced on Moab and Ammon because “they have made arrogant threats against the people of the LORD of Hosts.” (Zeph 2:10) If you threaten God’s people (Israel or the Church), you are messing with the “apple of His eye” – not a smart thing to do.
“For thus said the Lord of hosts,…. for he who touches you [Zion] touches the apple of His eye.” (Zechariah 2:8)
Indeed, the LORD said to Abraham, from the Book of Beginnings: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.” (Gen 12:3)
Be very careful how you speak of God’s anointed people.
18 I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, Who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. 19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you. I will save the lame and gather those who were driven out, I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
for I will give you fame and praise
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I return your captives
before your eyes,” says the Lord.
(Zeph 3:18-20 NKJ)
Those who sorrow over Israel, those who bear the burden to pray and intercede for Zion, have a promise that the LORD will “deal with all those who afflict” them, and a promise that the LORD will give them, in the end, “fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth.” Wow!
A duty of a priest is to make intercession before the throne of God on behalf of others. We, Christians have the great privilege to intercede. And our promise is that we shall “reign with Him’. (Rev 20:6)
So, Zephaniah closes not with gloom and doom but on a note – a singing note – of hope!
“Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your judgments, He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; You shall see disaster no more.” (Zeph 3:14-15)
And then there is the verse that tells us that GOD will sing over us:
“He will rejoice over you…. exult over you with loud singing.” (Zeph 3:17) WOW! God will sing over His saints!
Glory to God!
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7)