Get Your House in Order

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Shared Thoughts
Tags: , , , , , ,

The following is a repost from http://www.watchmanscry.com. Brother Nathan Neal wrote this back in 09/27/09 and just reposted it with the following intro – 

Dearest Brethren,

As many of you know we are facing some great challenges in the coming future. The economy is teetering on the edge of a cliff. The drums of war are sounding. Fukushima Reactor 4 is being held together by the mercy of God. The threats of upheaval are pronounced and they are many. With all of these issues facing us, one can become overwhelmed with despair. But despair can only thrive in our hearts and minds if we overlook God. Beyond all of the fog of events, we must not forget that God is still on His throne. He is watching us. He also has His Mercy and Grace freely available to any of us that seek it. So in light of the present time, I felt led to share with you a very special sermon that the Holy Spirit gave me to preach several years ago. This message is applicable now more than ever. I pray that it will be a blessing to you all and also, please share it with others.

In Christ,

Nathan Leal
Watchman’s Cry

Get Your House in Order

Today’s message is about a Biblical character that is found in the Old Testament. This person worked for God and one day something happened to him!

……Something unexpected!

On this day, he had a visitation. God said something. It was a message.

Most likely, the day of this message began like any other day; He woke up in the morning.  He said, “Hello” to his family. He ate his breakfast. He got dressed and he went to work.

As he walked by his neighbors, he probably said, “Hello and good morning,” to them.

But this day was not a typical day because on this day he received a message that would change everything for him.

Who was this person? His name was Aaron. He was the brother of Moses and he was also the High Priest of Israel.

As the High Priest, his duty was to minister to God on behalf of the children of Israel who were dwelling in the wilderness.

This Biblical account is found in Numbers, chapter 20.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.”                                                          Numbers 20:23 – 24

The water of Meribah; this was the place where the children of Israel were in need of water. They complained to Moses that they had no water and as usual, they blamed him for it.

Moses took the matter to God. God instructed Moses to speak to a large rock at Meribah and water would then flow out of it.

Unfortunately, Moses was angry at the people for complaining and in his anger, he failed to speak to the rock. Instead, he struck it! And worse, he struck it twice!

Because of this disobedience, God became angry with Moses. (The reason for God’s anger is an entire other sermon, but in summary, the rock represented Our Savior Jesus and His death on the cross. It was not to be struck twice.)

This brings us to where we are in this account.

As we just read, God delivered a message to Moses;

“…Aaron shall be gathered unto his people…”

As Moses received this message, can you picture Aaron’s reaction? Aaron may have been standing next to Moses or nearby, when he got the news of his life.

I can imagine his thoughts after he heard those words, Uh… gathered? What does that mean?”

God explained more…

In verse 25, it reads –

“Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto Mount Hor: and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and”

…here it is, folks…

“Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.”

Imagine that, brethren! Aaron stood there and he heard the news.

As he heard this message did he say. “Strip me of my priestly garment? What?  And walk up the mountain and … uh…die there? ……Uh …Hold on God!  What are you talking about?  I’m not ready, …and… I’ll have to decline!”

Or did he say; “God, no! My plans are unfinished!”

Brethren, think about this.

Did Aaron say in his heart, “Uh, Oh!… If I’m about to die, …I need to run back to my tent and get rid of some stuff that I have hidden under it!”

“I have some things that I don’t want them to find …”

Did he say or think any of those things, folks?

As he heard this news, were there many things on his mind or …was there only one thing on his mind?  One thing!

The one thing that you hope you can say when your turn comes which is, “Okay God, I’m ready! Thy will be done!”

Verse 27 – “And Moses did as the Lord commanded: and they went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.”

A very sad and somber scene; three people walked up the mountain on that day…but only two people came down.

Aaron willingly walked up that mountain.

And with every step that he took, was he silent or did he talk to Moses?  What did he say to his son?

Did Moses try to comfort him and say, “Hey, Aaron, remember when…?” 

Did they reminisce? …Were they quiet?

Were there tears?

Did they weep as they walked?………..…. Well…wouldn’t you?

The Mountain

My friends, if the Lord tarries, someday we will be required to walk up our own personal mountain!

When we get there, we are going to take our last breath and then… we’ll be gathered with our people. We’ll be gathered with our fathers.

We will be gathered with the cloud of witnesses that have gone on before us.

We will come to the end of our path and we will no longer be pilgrims that are just passing through this life. For our lives will have come to their end.

It will then be our turn.

It will be our time!

For those of us with the knowledge that it’s about to happen, we may ask our Heavenly Father, “Will it hurt?” 

For others among us, it may happen too fast to wonder about.

Some of us may have time for tears and time to say our goodbyes.

And others among us may be taken too quickly to say anything!

Folks, every one of us is on a path, on a journey. When we are born, our path begins and eventually, at some point for all of us, unless the Lord tarries, our path will end.

In Ecclesiastes 3:2 it says; “There is a time to be born and there is a time to die.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we are all living our lives on a timeline. Our birth was the beginning of our timeline and in our deaths; we will reach the end of our timeline.

If you can picture a line going across a sheet of paper – the left side would be your birth and the right side of the line, at the very end of the page, would be when we come to the mountain; our mountain, our end!

Somewhere in the middle is where we are right now. I guess the middle of the page could even say,“You are here!”

So everything to the left of the “You are here!” would be our past.

Everything on the right-side of the “You are here!” would be our future.

This illustration represents our path to God: Our path to Eternity.

Another way to illustrate this would be if we were driving a car down a two-lane, deserted, old country road where there are no other cars traveling.

As you travel forward, everything in front of you would be your future and everything in the rear-view mirror behind you would be your past.

And whether we picture our lives as a timeline or a road, when we arrive at our end, we will be at our mountain. For us, time will be over!

It will be over! Our time will have come!

And folks get this, when we get to the end of our path, it will be too late to build. It will be too late to plant a garden. And it will be too late to clean up any mess that we have made.

Why?  …Because we will have arrived at the end. Our end, my friend!

I know that these are sober thoughts but brethren, this is reality. We are all on a path. And every one of our paths is leading somewhere.

Every one of our paths tells a story.  And, get this folks; every one of our paths is being recorded.

The Path

Are all of the paths good?  Indeed, no! No they are not.

In fact, Isaiah 59 talks about those that are full of inequity and away from God and in verse 8, it says –“They have made crooked paths.”  

Jesus also said something similar.  He said that the way, or the path, to destruction is broad and it is wide and many individuals are on that path.

Why am I bringing this up?  Why did God want me to talk about this?  Here’s why brethren; because many Christians who are out there are not thinking about their path.

Many believers are not taking inventory of their path. But is it important to inventory our path?  Indeed it is!

Unfortunately, so many people are dismissive of their own path and the way that they are traveling.

Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 10:23, “… that the way of man is not in himself.” In other words, man does not have a clue about the proper way to go, or the proper “method” to conduct themselves.

It doesn’t connect or register with man what type of path he should be seeking. The verse goes on –“It is not in man that walks to direct his own steps.”

This means that left to himself, man does not care. Man has no concern over his own path. But God does care. And He wants you to think about it. If you have not cared about this in the past, you need to start caring!

When Aaron was told that he was going to die, he was also instructed to do something else. He was instructed to stand there while Moses stripped him of his priestly garment.

His garment was then to be given to his son.

When he heard this, did Aaron ask God for a few more months or a few more years to train his son to be a priest?  No. Aaron had already accomplished this.

What does this tell us?  It tells us that Aaron did his job to train up his son.

Proverbs 22:6 says – “Train up a child in the way he should go.” 

We all know the verse, we have all heard it.  This verse is not just a suggestion.

After Aaron died, his son took over the priesthood. His son was able to do this because he had already been trained by his father.

So, after his death, what did Aaron leave behind? He left fruit in his son. He left behind good teaching in his son. He left behind good works in his son. And by doing these things, he left behind a spiritual legacy.

Folks, on your path, you are creating a legacy right now!

Whether you know it or not, the example that you are living in front of your children is going to live on after you are gone.

So, he are some questions:

  • Are you teaching your children well, or are you putting it off because you think you have plenty of time to do it later?  
  • “Have you embarrassed yourself in front of your children?
  • “Have you totally blown it with them and you know you need to come clean? 
  • “Are you putting this off because you believe that you still have plenty of time?”

If you answered, “yes” to some of the questions, here is an even bigger question to those of you that are procrastinating with their time: “How do you know how much time you really have?”

 … “And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and Aaron died there.”

When Aaron woke up that day, did he assume he had more time? I’m sure he did. It is in our human nature to assume that it is not going to happen to me.

It’s in human nature to assume, “I’m just going to have fun today.  I’m going to eat, drink, and be merry.  It’s all going to be great.  I’m going to plan for this; I’m going to plan for that.”

It’s in human nature to do these things. But, brethren, we never know how much time we really have.

The Legacy

In spite of any denial, here’s the truth of the matter; our meter is always running and the Heavenly Secretary is ALWAYS recording our legacy. Our legacy, folks!

The legacy contains the record of things that we did or did not do.

The legacy remembers the things that we should have done… but did not!

When Aaron heard the report that his demise had arrived, could he have said, “God, I have to get back to you on that on because, you see, God, I have things that I’ve been putting off and…”  No, he did not!

Think about this, my friends.

If you were to hear that tomorrow was going to be your turn to go up to the mountain, would any excuses matter?

Again folks, all of our paths will have an end.

When you come to your appointed time, all that you have to take with you are you and your report.

…Your report, my friends!
…Your record…Your legacy!

And in that legacy will be the fruit of willing deeds that you accomplished for God.

The legacy will include the harvest of your fruit, whether it be good …or whether it be bitter!

The fruit reveals the truth. The fruit does not lie!

Here on Earth, part of the legacy that we will leave will stay behind us as memories in the hearts and minds of our friends and loved ones.

Some other hard questions:

  • What will those memories contain?
  • Are you going to leave memories that will bring a joyful tear into the eyes of loved ones because, to them, you were a loving servant of God?
  • Will they remember you as a disciple of Christ that changed other people’s lives?
  • Will they remember you as a precious patriarch or a matriarch?  As someone they could count on for encouragement and for wisdom?
  • Or will they say, “Good riddance!”
  • Will they say, “You know, it’s sad that he or she died but, let’s be honest, that person was a jerk!”  Would they say that, folks?
  • Will they say, “He was mean to me.”
  • Will they say, “That person hurt me.”
  • What will your children say about you?  What about your family, your friends?
  • Will they say, “He never said he was sorry.”
  • And God forbid, brethren …God forbid, my friends… Folks, God forbid, because of your very lacking legacy and path to God, will they say, “I hope he made it?”

Brethren, these are very, very serious questions that I’m asking you, but they need to be addressed because this thing is real.  And your path has an expiration date and only God knows when it is.

“And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and Aaron died there.”

Was Aaron confident as he walked up the mountain that day? Was he secure, knowing that his service for God would follow him?

Was he confident because he knew that he had been obedient in his walk?

What about you, brethren?

  • Do you think about your legacy, your fruit tree?
  • Are you trying to bear fruit?
  • Do you treat others with the fruit of the Spirit?
  • Are you loving and patient with them?
  • Do you attempt to have self-control?

It’s all in our legacy, my friends. The legacy is the painting. …Our life is the canvas.

These are things to definitely pray about and seek God about; because, even though we are all facing doom and hard times now, will these things matter in Heaven? …..And the brush is our willing heart that is submitted to God.

Yes, it is true that some of you may have your car repoed – that is bad. It truly is!

Many of us will have trials and affliction. But who will have faith and trust God through their ordeal?

Will the record show that you wept before God and you asked for His help, or will it show that you were just full of anger and you complained.

And, by the way – side note – if this is happening to you, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love you, my friend. There will be bumps along our path. There will be valleys. At times it does get dark!

Yes, these things can be scary, but perhaps God is allowing them to set you free.

The Future Journey

Brethren, all of us have a past. In front of us is the future.

And here is the good news: if you have not done well up to this point, starting right now you can start doing well.  God wants to meet you on your path and walk beside you for the rest of your journey.

If you are abiding in Him, you will be in God’s will.  And when your path includes the will of God, do you know where you’ll end up, my friends?  You will end up in your destiny!

Your destiny!!

In Ephesians 1:11 it says, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being pre-destined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” 

Brethren, God desires that your face will be set like flint, looking forward and relying on Him.

Psalms 17:5 says – “Uphold my steps in Your path that my footsteps may not slip.”

So, moving forward to your destiny is the will of God.  And in these words that I’m sharing, God desires that you will be quickened to aim forward.

Moving forward takes discipline!

Moving forwards takes your willingness and it takes your desire.

But here is a caveat, if your feet are shackled to this world – if the stuff and the pleasures of earth are too important to your heart – my friend, I say this with regret, you will not be living a productive legacy and you will not be moving into your destiny for the things of God.

Folks, the real Gospel of Jesus is not for cowards.

It’s not for the double-minded and it’s not for the indecisive.

You’re either headed for Hell or you are headed for Heaven!

Multitudes, multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision. My friend, the Valley of Decision is here and it’s now.  So, which multitude are you going to be in?

We’re beyond spoon-feeding. When I say “we,” I mean this world, this nation, and the other nations.  The judgment of God is bull-dozing over the land right now, brethren. And we’re only getting started with what’s coming.

Some may ask, “Well, what’s coming, Nathan?”

The answer: Sorrow, grief, tears, heartache, and maybe even a body count. This world is going to be shaken and, when it does, which path will you be on?

– “And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and Aaron died there.”

–  “There’s a time to be born and a time to die.” 

A time to die, brethren. The Bible doesn’t pretend.

The Bible instructs us to prepare for that eventuality. Many preachers will concentrate on right now –Your best life now – but people stuck on the “now” will not be ready for “then”.

Apostle Paul said, “I press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” 

For those of you that realize that this topic is important, let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about how to be on the right path. How do we stay on the path?

Well, let me say this – first and foremost, brethren, being on the right path can only be accomplished by knowing and fellowshipping with Jesus. Period!

Knowing Jesus requires that we are Born Again! Jesus said in John 3:3, “…that unless a man be born again, he cannot SEE the Kingdom of God.”

Seeing it is required folks! If a person cannot see it, then he will not want it!

In the Book of Luke there’s a story about two of Jesus’ disciples, two of His followers, who were on a road, who were on a path, and they were walking on their way to the town of Emmaus.  How many of you have heard the story?  At this point in time, Jesus had already died and risen again. The tomb was empty.

So these two were walking and discussing these things. They were talking about the crucifixion, the death, and the missing body of Jesus. As they walked on the Emmaus road, they noticed someone else was walking beside them, it was Jesus walking next to them but they didn’t know it was Him.

Jesus began to speak, the first thing He said to them was, “What are you talking about and why are you so sad?”

They were sad, folks. They weren’t perfect. They didn’t understand the whole matter. They wanted to.  So Jesus walked with them and He explained the prophecies about Messiah to them, but still they did not recognize Him.

Finally when they arrived at their town, they invited Jesus to have dinner with them. So Jesus went. They sat down and were about to eat, The Bible tells us that Jesus blessed the bread and He broke it, and it was then that their eyes were open. They realized it was Him.

They knew that He was Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Their eyes were opened and He disappeared.  And for them, they met Jesus on their road.

And as they were talking about Him, what did they say after He departed, folks?

In Luke 24:32 – I love this line, brethren – when they were talking about their conversation with Jesus, they said, “Didn’t His Words burn on our hearts when He spoke?” 

Wow!

My friend, before you meet Jesus on your path, you have to want it. You have to desire it.

Yes, the disciples were sad. Yes, Jesus told them they were slow to believe, but that was still good because all it takes is a little bit of faith to get Jesus’ attention,

– “Didn’t His words burn in our hearts.”

When you meet Jesus on your path, if you are hungry enough, His words will also burn on your heart.

His words – they’re sharp enough to melt you to your knees. And His convicting words are potent enough to melt a hardened heart like wax.

His words are like hot coals that will purge the darkness from the deepest recesses of a sin sick soul.

His words can heal and they need to be our want.

Being on the right path takes a desire to be His disciple. When you have the desire, you will learn to hear His voice. You will desire to obey His voice. You will desire to trust Him and His voice.

Proverbs 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not into thine own understanding.  In all they ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.”

So, brethren, this is the meat of the matter right here. We have a path in front of us.

If we want to endure our path with strength and with peace, we need to have Jesus walking beside us. Because when you are walking on the path and Jesus is walking beside you, it will not matter what’s in front of you, because Jesus is going to be there.

 – “And Moses did as the Lord commanded and they went up to the mountain, and Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and Aaron died there on top of the mountain.”

Our Tomorrow

My friends, I have a question for you. If tomorrow when you woke up, God said the words,

“It’s your turn to go up to that mountain. You’re out of time. It’s time to go up there and be gathered with your people,”

…would any excuse matter at that point?

I’m talking about excuses that some people use to justify their tolerance for a lukewarm Christian lifestyle:

  • It’s too hard to stop sinning.
  • I’m weak. 
  • My friends mock my Christianity. 
  • I know I don’t try, but, it’s too hard anyway.
  • It’s embarrassing. 
  • No fair, etc, etc. 

Brethren, when you come to the end of your path, all you have to take with you are you and your legacy, your record.

That’s it!

And then you’ll leave behind some memories with the people that knew you. After you are gone, what will they say about you?

Will your loved ones or your friends be forced to hide your mess out of embarrassment? Will they be forced to burn your computer, your book collection, your DVDs, your souvenirs, your emails?

These are hard questions, but they need to be asked. Are you treasuring artifacts that would shock your loved ones and bring tears to those that care about you?

My friends, it is time to clean house now. Do not wait.

The Bible says, “Therefore, come out from among them and be ye separate and touch not the unclean thing, and then I will receive you and I will be your Father, your God, and you shall be my people.” 

Some of you need to cancel that secret subscription. If you have one, you know in your heart that it’s a burden to you.  This is not the legacy that you want to leave with your loved ones.

Perhaps some of you are thinking, “I have plenty of time.”  Maybe you do.

But then again…maybe you don’t!!

In our remaining time, why not work on the fruit that will last?  The works of the flesh will rot and stink up the legacy, folks.

And someday…

…some day the Books will be opened. The Bible tells us so.

Nevertheless, the angels with the writer’s inkhorn are God’s secretaries and they’re recording our deeds. Some of you worry about Big Brother and cameras at the intersections. But folks, that’s nothing compared to the Chronicles of God.

So will His books make mention that your record is true?

God’s secretaries are all around us. They do follow and observe us. And they are also taking notes.

So, I have this question: when they’re following you, when they’re walking next to you, or when they go with you in your car, do you go to places where they have to wait outside because they’re too embarrassed to go inside with you?

Do they, folks?

Brethren, it’s time to wipe the record clean. Today is the day to clean up our acts. There is no more time to delay. Today is the day of repentance.

The Valley of Decision is getting full. It’s time to look to God.

Jesus said, “Repent and do the first works” or else He will “come unto you quickly.  He that has an ear, let him hear”.

My friends, doing business with God does not happen by thinking about it. It happens on our knees, on our face, before Him.

It happens by shutting the door to the things of the past. And it happens by going to our own chamber, perhaps our bedroom and doing business with God.

It happens by repentance and confessing our sins to Him with a contrite heart and receiving His forgiveness made possible through His shed blood.

It happens by realizing that we are all undone and in need of His mercy!

It happens by being restored.

“…He leads me beside the still water, He restores my soul…” Psalms 23:2,3

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, You see every person listening right now. You see their hearts. You see where they are and God, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would touch them and convict them and motivate them, to seek You.

Lord, let them seek You like they’ve never sought You before.

Father God, let Your presence be there where they are, in Jesus’ name.

Let them be able to break through the heavens of brass. Break through any crust that may be on their lives. Those that have fallow soil in their hearts, break up that soil and break up that ground so that they can have new life in You. Restore their souls God.

And I thank you for this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

I pray that it will be a blessing to you all and also, please share it with others.

In Christ,

Nathan Leal
Watchman’s Cry

I trust this blessed you as much as it did me,

William Males

Live for the King!

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