Spiritual Rumination by Julia Phillips

Part 1 of 2

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

2 Thessalonians 2:8

 

There are times when I sit and just scratch my head, pondering if things in our world can get any more alien. We have experienced a historically spiritual transition right before our very eyes. 

It reminds me of the earthquake I danced with for over two minutes 10-15 years ago. A 7.9 or 8.3, depending on who you ask. Either way, she was a mover and a shaker. Look around. Every area of your life has been affected and changed somehow. As we said in economics in college, “The macro level appears to have swallowed up the micro — revealing an unrecognizable, curiously odiferous pile of substance.” But God has a plan and nothing can stop that plan.

When Jesus comes at the end of the age, He will come in great power and glory. But so many will not be watching nor awaiting His return. In fact, when He comes, His glory will be so brilliant that it will destroy the antichrist. That is why Paul told the Thessalonians, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

After time runs out for the antichrist to do his work on the earth, Jesus will come again. Paul declared that when Jesus returns, He would consume the evil one, the devil, with the Spirit of His mouth. 

That Greek word “consume” is “anairo,” which means to “kill, to murder, to slay, to slaughter, to do away with or to abolish.” The meaning is clear, Jesus is going to wipe him out permanently. How will He do this? The Word says He will consume him with the spirit of His mouth. “Spirit” translated comes from the Greek word “pneuma,” where we get the words “lungs, speech, a storm or windstorm of words.” This word “mouth” is from the Greek word, “stomos,” where we get the words “mouth and opening.” 

God created the earth and all that is upon it by speaking it into existence. Words speak life or death, my friend. It will only take one command when Jesus commands his destruction. Great power will be released on the day of the enemy’s demise. The word “destroy” is from the Greek word “katargeo.” Paul used this word twenty-five times in his writings. The word means “to bring to nothing, to reduce to waste, to render totally impotent, to abolish, or to put out of commission.” Satan’s time on earth shall be over. Before anyone realizes what is happening, God’s glory will fill the sky and the world’s systems will crumble in the blink of an eye.

But until that day we are to “occupy until He comes.” That, my friend, requires steadfastness, courage, and faith. And it requires expectant, faith-filled prayer. Most critically, with control over the words of your mouth. 

There are so many people walking around confused these days, disillusioned that President Trump was not re-elected, connfused because they felt so deeply it would happen. 

Here is the big issue, the elephant in the room. If you feel you are unable to hear God’s voice to obey it, then where do you go from here? You lean. Though you cannot see, though you cannot feel, you trust not in your own understanding but instead you acknowledge God in all your ways. And I mean all. One hundred percent of your ways. He promises to direct your paths. 

Herein lies the issue. The hidden stumbling-block. His answer may not be yours. His way may not be what looks so obvious to you. Still, you lean, you trust, you thank, you praise. He is not a man that He should lie. Trust in Him with all your heart. Pray! The Lord says He does not hear us better or faster if we are long-winded with lengthy prayers. Peter said three words, “Lord, save me,” and was immediately rescued from drowning according to Matthew 14:30-31. Daniel prayed and fasted for three weeks before receiving the revelation for which he prayed in Daniel 10:3-12. 

What is our part in these last days? I would not trade the experiences of this past decade or two for anything because of what I have learned about myself, others, human nature, and the true agape love of God and of the Father Himself. I ruminate back upon my extremely early, youthful days, being taught about Jesus in Sunday School in the Midwest where I was raised. The tiny wood chairs. Glue, construction paper, glitter, crayons, yarn, stories, songs, and mini-sermon handouts all filled my “tool chest” through which I literally and figuratively crafted, fashioned, and formed my “picture” of exactly who this Jesus was. I have no doubt every teacher and helper gave it their best shot. I must confess, however, that the chasm between who I believed Jesus was then verses now – 62 years later – grew huge, deep, and in many ways unrecognizable. It was no one’s fault. We are blessed and fortunate right now to live in this era which was ordained before the foundations of the earth. The era which will unveil, uncover, and manifest the true Jesus Christ, our Lord and King, to every man, woman, and child upon this earth. 

The Lord has provided us weeks of teaching regarding 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, for a reason. The Bible says in these last days says it won’t matter if a person understands every mystery and every prophecy, or can sing like an angel. It won’t matter if that person sells all they own and gives it to the poor — and everyone sees it happen. If they have faith to move mountains, it will mean nothing if they do not have love. Agape love. Love never fails. I believe the Lord is in the process of breaking dividing walls between denominations, cultures, ages, and socio-economic groups causing His Body to join in unity to love one another as they love their own selves. This is how the harvest will be reaped. This is how the sheep shall be separated from the goats, the wheat from the tares. By and through love. Love never fails. It cannot. God is love.

Love moves. Love does. Love acts. Love provides. Love surrounds. Love sacrifices. Love bears all, hopes all. Love refuses to give up. Two weeks ago, I had another surgical procedure on my back in Anchorage. Tears run down my face even now as I ruminate and give constant thanks to a few friends who checked up on me literally every couple of hours. One made chicken noodle soup. They had me checking in before I went to bed and when I awoke. I cannot tell you how much that meant to me. They expected nothing in return. That was God’s real, true, agape love. That is what people have called “God with skin.” I know it has changed my life forever. Whose life can you change? How can you usher some joy, love, and hope into these crazy times? I am confident the Lord will lead you.

Ruminate on it.