Reading the Signs of the Times

by | Oct 29, 2021 | Prophetic | 3 comments

When I was a young boy in grade school, our family drove to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland. We were traveling south on the old 101 freeway. As we approached LA, my father shared a news report he just heard of a first-time visitor from Europe to the United States. The visitor did not speak or read English very well. The man rented a car and proceeded to enter the 101 and saw a road sign that designated the freeway as US 101. The man misinterpreted the sign as a speed sign and promptly accelerated to over 100 m.p.h. The CHP eventually pulled him over. After the officer realized what was happening, a warning was issued, and the man was sent on his way.

The visitor from Europe reminds me of many of us within the Church. Not all our interpretive abilities are trustworthy. We need to be careful about reading signs, especially the signs telling us how the future will unfold.  We all interpret our spiritual reality through the lens of what we consider to be the absolutes of our insight. I can’t imagine John on the rocky isle of Patmos understanding all he was writing in the book of Revelation.  

I have come to a place in my walk of faith where I have very few absolutes. My absolutes are about Jesus Christ, his character, and His love for us. The rest of it is open for debate. We all love absolutes because living within the limited understanding of those assumed absolutes, we find a sense of security. That is the problem. Our security is only solid when it is placed in God alone, not our interpretation of what we consider to be reality or how the future will unfold.

Today, as we press the accelerator of our faith and enter a new and unfamiliar section of the road taking us into the future, we need to be careful how we read the signs. Any assumption or entrenched position we bring to the experience will cause us to misinterpret reality, especially when it comes to interpreting the signs of the times and where that interpretation will take us.

3 Comments

  1. Laura Welch

    So excellent! The older I get, the less absolutes I seem to have. Your words are very confirming. Amen.

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

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  2. Riekie Dalm

    Thank you. The portion re looking for a sense of security resonates with me. Thank you for reminding me our Only security is in Jesus Christ and He is the same yesterday today and forever. Trustworthy and faithful

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  3. John Anderson II

    When you adopt a model (paradigm, framework), you accept its assumptions about what information is relevant and what it means. From 500 BC to 1600 AD, astronomers mapped nightly observations of star positions into the geo-centric framework proposed initially by Aristotle and formalized by Ptolemy in about 150 AD. The motions of stars in the constellations were smooth and predictable, but planetary motion was chaotic relative to the constellations and to one another. In 1609, Johannes Kepler proposed a different helio-centric model. Simple principles and mathematics explained past motion, and accurately predicted the future position of stars and planets.

    This clearly demonstrates that people may have identical experiences and make identical observations, but reach vastly different interpretations and applications based on their perspective.

    In John 12, three groups of Jewish believers were present when Father opened the heavens and spoke “This is my beloved son, listen to him.” Some heard God’s voice. Others presumed that an Angel spoke, while another group thought it was thunder. One event, three perspectives.

    Today, three groups witnessing exorcism may praise God for the authority given to believers, cower in fear of the devil and beg God for protection, or accuse the deliverance minister of working false signs and wonders. One event, three perspectives.

    God trains prophets and apostles by first bringing them close to Him. “Hide in the cleft of the rock, and when I pass by I will reveal my name”(Moses). “Come up here, and I will show you….” (John). “We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Paul). “No one has descended except one who first ascended…. I tell you what I heard in the presence of my Father” (Jesus). From intimacy, He can reveal a matter and ask “Son of man, what do you see?” Establishing perspective must precede developing an interpretive framework.

    I respect and admire your perspective, Garris, with the person and nature of God being the anchor point in your interpretive framework. May we each also draw close to see and hear, and be able to interpret the signs of the times.

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