the people respond.
“Don’t prophesy like that.
Such disasters will never come our way!” Micah 2:6 NCV
I spent all of my teenage years and well into my adult life believing that I could have God in my life... “My Way”. That is... I liked hearing about God and His ways when what was said about God was pleasing to my ears.
If I heard a Christian speak about “sins” that I didn’t agree were “real” sins...or speak about God’s judgment one day... (as if God would ever run out of patience and actually judge us)...or if they spoke about a hell that wasn’t a great party place to go to... Well, I just didn’t want to hear any of it!
I can recall many times in my early 20’s when as a flight attendant, as I worked along side of a Follower of Christ, that I would instantly reject anything they said about God that was contrary to the way I wanted to live or believe.
I had also worked with many more Christians who only spoke about “Jesus’ love and how forgiving He is of everything we do. They never spoke about what our “sins” cost Him or about God's coming judgement. They spoke only of a “user-friendly” god...one that does not offend.
Yup...I loved those Christians. They were “good people” and didn’t offend my beliefs or criticize anything I did...In fact...they even joined me in my life-style at that time. We engaged in many conversations about God as we’d sit in a bar over-indulging in too much alcohol. ”Too bad” I thought, “that all Christians couldn’t be as loving and fun and non-judgmental as these.”
“But you people want a false prophet
who will tell you nothing but lies.
You want one who promises to prophesy good things for you
if you give him wine and beer.
He's just the prophet for you.” ~Micah 2:11 NCV
The way I once thought of God and of His messengers (Believers in Christ) are not fond memories for me...but ones I pray I have learned from!
As I meditated on the words of the prophet Micah... I wanted to know more about the people he was speaking to. I thought perhaps if I understood the circumstances that surrounded him, I might learn how to speak a more bold truth as well, in the face of being rejected by people I care deeply about and some I do not know.
Here is a very brief portion of what I discovered. (Please do some research as well! Bible.org is a great resource for information and is one of several I use.)
Micah prophesied during the reign of Ahaz and was a period of upheaval and crisis. Ahaz reign brought spiritual lethargy, apostasy and hypocrisy. The people still worshipped God, but it was ritual without life-changing reality.(1)
Yikes! “worshipped God...without life-changing reality.” This sounds familiar!
Why did the the people not believe Micah? Because for every Micah, there were many more that were saying that things would be fine. Yup... That was me all those years ago... Just keep telling me things will be fine and I’ll listen to you...but the moment you start doing that “warning thing”...
“But I must say this...
The Lord is becoming angry about what you have done.
My words are welcome
to the person who does what is right. ~ Micah 2:7 NCV
So what changed my mind about God? Well, I honestly believe it was people praying for me. As my heart began to search for real security and peace, Jesus Himself placed into my heart that it was “ok” to come back home and become the daughter I was created to be...the daughter of the King, and the Beloved of Christ.
I had run far way from my Father’s house and was covered in the filth and stink and coldness from a lifestyle that could never satisfy me and had left me desiring a purifying bath and a warm home to dwell forever in.
At first when I came “home” I tried to hold onto with a slight fist some of my prized possession (opinions) of rebellion...
I thought I could have this new relationship with God and keep some of my long held beliefs that were contrary to His Word. However, the more time I spent listening to God’s messengers who taught God’s Truth straight from His Word... and studying God’s Word with prayer...the more I recognized that what I was holding onto had been a counterfeit of what God’s love really is.
Once I had the real thing in my life... I not only want to hold tight to it...but I wanted to share it too!
But I was afraid... Afraid of offending friends...losing friends. Only the faithful love and wisdom of the Lord could take what I feared most doing and give me the courage to say with Micah; “But I must say this...”
May it always be God’s Words and not my own...spoken in Truth and with love when I share my concern for those who have not yet accepted Jesus and turned from a life of sin to a life of Hope and eternal joy!
My words are welcome
to the person who does what is right.~ Micah 2:7 NCV
The power of praying for our family and friends who do not know Christ or have walked away from the daily and life-changing relationship with Jesus should never be underestimated! Pray my friends and be bold with the wisdom of God!
(1) Micah Study by: Hampton Keathley IV