When I was a kid I could get in to see a movie for .50 cents. I remember counting the pennies in my piggy bank to see when I had saved enough, and feeling accomplished when I dumped the bag onto the counter for the cashier to count. My dad was born in 1933. He would tell me stories of how he used to take .09 cents on occasional Saturdays and head down to the New Isis theater in Northside Fort Worth.
The New Isis Theater, Fort Worth, Texas. Originally built in 1914.
Paying .05 cents to get in and using the .04 cents for popcorn and a drink, my dad and his buddies would spend hours watching the big screen. I always thought that was cool, and could easily picture the westerns, the cartoons, and the shows he might have watched – including Captain Midnight and his famous decoder ring!
Captain Midnight, By eMoviePoster.com, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19509159
“That’s nifty, dad“, I would say. How cool it must have been to have inside knowledge and be able to decode mysteries.
With all the change happening in the world today at such a rapid pace, wouldn’t it be especially nice to have the ability to discern the times? Imagine if we did, we could face the future with boldness and confidence rather than fear, division, and intimidation. Knowing the plan, strategy, and those involved, we could effectively team up and partner with the good guys in order to overcome the flood of evil covering the nations today. If only…
But wait… we DO have a mystery decoder! You may have already guessed where I’m heading with this… Our Mystery Decoder is God Himself, Maker of heaven and earth (Acts 17:24), who holds the times and future in His hands (Psalms 31:15), who has mapped the heavens and stars (Isaiah 40:26), who ordains the days of man (Psalms 139:16), sets the boundaries of nations (Acts 17:26), gives them to whomever He pleases (Jeremiah 27:5), and has plans for us individually (Jeremiah 29:11) – and buried within His written word are the headlines we should be saturating ourselves within on a daily basis in order to be fully prepared for the day that lies ahead. WORD before WORLD as I’ve heard it put so well.
“Oh but I’m no theologian”, you might be thinking, “I’m not a prophet, I can’t discern the headlines the way they can”. But do you believe the scripture when it tells us that through the Spirit we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)? God may not play favorites, but He does have intimates – those He shares His revelation secrets with!
There’s a private place reserved for the devoted lovers of Yahweh, where they sit near him and receive the revelation–secrets of his promises.Psalms 25:14, TPT
‘Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. ‘Daniel 2:20-22, NASB
We serve a God who speaks continuously! I believe the heavens are literally pregnant with the word of God, just waiting for us to pray those words down in partnership with Him (Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven – Matthew 6:10). You see, you don’t have to be a prophet or theologian; you just have to be a lover.
So what exactly am I saying, that God will share with us times and dates of future global events? Well there are those who would certainly like to prophet (AHEM, ahem… I mean PROFIT) off of the willing ignorance of those who prefer to have their ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3), but that is not what I’m saying, no. Ministry that flows from intimacy born of love means that we are wise and discerning, always aligning what we hear with the written word that we know God will never contradict.
Speaking of those who would rather have their ears tickled, when a group of Pharisees walked up to Jesus and asked Him for a sign, He actually mocked them for knowing how to discern the weather but not the word (Matthew 16:3). People who look for signs to be given them in place of diligently searching out scripture are lazy. Jesus refused to comply with the Pharisees, and to this day those without Him are left groping in the dark, blown about by every wind of doctrine (which we are instructed not to be, see Ephesians 4:14).
It’s way more than just trying to figure out times and dates, its about learning to shepherd those people who are groping in the dark for meaning and guidance. We often leave this to pastors but the truth is its incumbent upon every Christian to discern the biblical world view and principles that talk about today’s present darkness and how to war against it within our own spheres of influence.
Although it is up to God to direct our path as we make plans for it (Proverbs 16:9), and we know He is able to do things far above what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), not all of us will likely receive the grandiose prophecies that impact global headlines. But what we can expect is to have a profound impact on our family and loved ones, along with the lives of those we come into contact with. We can have confidence and boldness in where God is moving, what God is saying, and what God is doing (Hebrews 4:16) and act in obedience according to it, for He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Best decoder ring EVER!