Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the LORD scoffs at them (Psalm 2:1-4).
God is still on the throne.
God is not pacing in the throne room wondering what to do next. He is sovereign over all things. God raises up and puts down leaders. His ways are high above our ways and everything God allows moves history along to its prophesied end. He wants us to put our trust solely in Him rather than our comfort and security. He is enough. Actually, God is more than enough.
Whatever we might face in the coming years, God is allowing it. Perhaps we’ll face strong persecution. Perhaps the world will get worse, and that will be an opportunity for our light to shine brighter. Eventually the Lord will come to take his bride home, and we’ll be raptured out of this corrupt world with its impending globalism, lawlessness, upside-down thinking, and strong delusion. Regardless of what lies ahead, we must trust in Christ alone like never before. He is our only real security—and he is all we need.
In Exodus 17, as Joshua led the people of Israel to fight the Amalekites, the Israelites were winning as long as Moses held up his staff. The battle went on for a long time, and as Moses’s arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur provided a stone for Moses to sit on as they held up his weary arms. When studying this passage, I’ve always focused on the help from Aaron and Hur as they held up Moses’ arms. But recently I noticed the other key detail—Moses sat on a rock. This may seem inconsequential, but I don’t believe it is. Every detail in Scripture is there for a purpose.
Earlier in the same chapter of Exodus, we have the account of Moses striking the rock and water gushing out of it so that the people could satisfy their thirst. Later, in Numbers 20, when Moses struck another rock twice for water to pour out, God chastised Moses because he was only supposed to speak to the rock. For this reason, Moses could not enter the Promised Land. God’s punishment seems harsh until we realize that God was using the rock as a prophetic foreshadow of the Messiah. We read this in 1 Corinthians 10:4: “They drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” Jesus was only struck once. He died once for all (Romans 6:10). Psalm 118:22 tells us, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
So, in Exodus 17, Moses sat on the rock. His foundation was Christ. Jesus picks up on this theme in his parable of the wise builder in Matthew 7. You’ll recall that the foolish builder constructed his house on sand while the wise builder assembled his on the rock. The wise builder made sure his foundation was anchored to bedrock. Both builders had the same construction materials. Both builders faced the same storm. The only difference was the wise builder had his foundation anchored to the Rock. Jesus is our firm foundation. He is unshakable.
Here’s the practical application: What are we anchored to? Are we anchored to Jesus, the unshakable one? Or, have we placed our trust in the unstable and temporary things of the world (people, politics, candidates, money, comfort, our country, etc.)? Will we face even tougher times? We might, but if we are anchored to the Rock, we will not be shaken. If Jesus is not shaken, neither should we be. What if the worst happens? What if (insert your worst-case scenario here) actually comes to pass in our lifetime—or even in the next year? Will it occur apart from God allowing it to? No. Will we still be able to live out our calling in this generation? Yes.
In times like these, we need to make sure we truly believe verses like Romans 8:28 or Psalm 139:16. As we head into the unknown (to us), let’s take stock in what really matters and evaluate what we are really trusting in. Regardless of what lies in our immediate future, we can’t lose sight of God’s sovereignty and his appointed times.
We should not be surprised that the world is headed full speed in the direction of last-days developments. Perhaps we’re closer to the rapture than most people realize. Perhaps there is yet more time and we’ll have to face tougher circumstances. In either scenario (rapture or growing persecution and lawlessness), God is in control. In either case, God will guide us. In either case, we are destined for this moment. In either case, we must anchor deeply into bedrock. In either case, we must share the fantastic news of the cross with a lost world while we still can.
As believers, we must not live like practical atheists. If we say we believe God is on the throne, if we say that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords, if we say we trust God with our lives and the future, if we say that we believe God is ultimately in control of all things, if we say we believe what the Bible says about where all of this is headed, then we can live with joy, hope, courage, faith, and perseverance even now. We must not let the deteriorating world conditions get us down. Fear and faith cannot occupy the same space. Trust and anxiety are polar opposites. My first pastor used to say, “Worry is a Christian sin.” When we worry, we are not trusting God (see Matthew 6:25-34 and Proverbs 3:5-6).
Let’s rise up to be the church that God intended for us to be at this moment in history. Though our numbers are shrinking in the West, we (along with believers everywhere) are still the salt and light of the world. We still have the guidance and enabling power of the Holy Spirit. We are still called to such a time as this. Don’t give up now. Seize this moment with our promised future in mind. You’ll be glad you did.
The darker the night, the brighter the light. As our spiritual eyes adjust to the darkness, let’s shift our gaze from the shiny things of the world to the leading light of Christ, who provides just enough illumination for us to take the next step of faith. Believer, it is time for your Christian faith to be more real, more raw, more grounded, and more authentic than it has ever been. Let’s rise to the occasion and sprint to the finish line together. Perhaps the rapture is soon—but if not, we must be tethered to the unshakable Rock of Christ and stand firm in these truly unprecedented times.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).