Difficult Times

4-MIN READ

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Ceiling, The Temptation and Expulsion
Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel, Ceiling, The Temptation and Expulsion

Dear Hate
I saw you on the news today
Like a shock that takes my breath away
You fall like rain
Cover us in drops of pain
And I'm afraid that we just might drown.

Dear Hate
Well you sure are colorblind
Your kiss is the cruelest kind
You could poison any mind
Just look at mine
Don't know how this world keeps spinning 'round and 'round.

John Tibbs, "Dear Hate"

Make no mistake, the Enemy is hard at work. He delights in driving wedges between God and people, and one of the most effective ways he does that is by instigating violence, chaos, mayhem and death. A particular favorite is the slaughter of the innocent. We saw it on 9/11 and we’re seeing a steady resurgence of it with each horrible news story after another.

He loves to tempt us into thinking that surely an all-powerful and loving God wouldn’t allow such terrible things to happen to innocent people -- He must be a pretty weak God. Certainly not one worthy of our full devotion and worship. Or perhaps he doesn't exist at all. It’s such a seductive line of reasoning. The allure is in its simplicity and it’s ability to use our own minds against ourselves. I know this one well. The events of 9/11 were rocket fuel in my own journey away from God. A journey that lasted over 15 years. I was the walking dead for many years.

Don't fall for it.

The Truth is that God isn’t powerless, distant or indifferent to the suffering of the innocent. The problem isn’t a God problem at all, it’s a human problem. People are broken. There are many people who reject God, who don’t know Him, who mock Him, who choose their own way over God’s way, who exercise their own free will without fear, who are or aspire to be their own gods, or who worship God’s creations instead of the Creator. People freely violate God's rules and sometimes the results are horrific or even deadly. Of course the Enemy loves it when God takes one on the chin because of disobedient and rebellious people, and he encourages this at every turn and exploits it to his full advantage.

Remember this: Satan is the Great Deceiver.

He’s a liar.

All he speaks are lies.

He's the father of lies.

He roams around like a roaring lion looking for souls to devour.

He comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

Know your enemy. Know his tactics. Recognize the lies he tells you. Don't be distracted by the red herrings he throws out as "reasons" for all the chaos that he's creating. He trafficks in discontent. He poisons minds. He's non-partisan. He tells everyone exactly what they want to hear in order to pit one against another in an endless dance of death and keep the focus on earthly things and each other and off of the real problem: our contempt of God.

We need God, and the Enemy knows that we are unbeatable when we are with God. Without God, we're easy prey. It’s the price you pay:

“For the wages of sin (i.e., missing the mark) is death (distance from God)”

Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We see how messed up the world is as we increasingly take God out of it. Look around. It’s amazing the world isn’t literally on fire every time we open up the door to go out in the morning. Some days, like yesterday, it sure feels close to that. As secularism and atheism rise, so does the chaos.

THE SOLUTION?

We need to give this country, and ourselves, back to God. We're under attack and we're losing. We need the power of the One who moves mountains when He speaks, who calms the raging seas, who called the dead to wake and rose Jesus from the grave. That's the kind of power that defeats the Enemy.

Don’t be tricked like I was in 2001. Now is not the time to turn away from God in anger or despair. It’s exactly times like this when we all need to lean in hard to God, get on board, and fight that His will be done here on earth above all else.

People and nations can ignore, deny, rebuke and rebel against God all they want, and they can laugh and sneer at His followers and call them names, but we know how this ends.

"For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

Only one name rebukes the Enemy and his minions:

"Therefore, God elevated him (Jesus) to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."

Philippians 2:9-10 NLT

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

Acts 4:12 NIV

Go ahead. Laugh if you want.

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