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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who is your enemy?

Most influencial Christians shy away from talking about Satan.  As a society we have been conditioned to believe that if you rant or talk too much about evil "satanic" powers - that you must be a lunatic.  We are praised for being "spiritual" but only if that word includes all kinds of religions.  We are respected for being a middle of the road Christian who accepts everyone and every action.  We are even liked when we participate in a conservative church, but never take our faith outside the building.

Like a powerful lion that has been reduced to pacing in a cage, we've allowed our enemy to strip us of our power and our mission. 

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) wrote... "For those who crucified the Christ - to do them justice - they did not do it because he was a bore.  Quite the contrary.  He was too dynamic to be safe.  It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atomosphere of tedium.  We have effectively pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him meek and mild and made him a housecat for pale curates and pious old ladies."

This is the greatest work of Satan.  If he can reduce the "trust" we have in the "Power" of our faith, he wins!  We become meek and mild.  We become sedated.  We lose our strength and with it our ability to fight for freedom and Godly principles.

If you want to be a powerful Christian who can make a difference in this world, you must know your enemy.  You must recognize when he is at work and when he isn't.  You must realize that once you confess your Christian resolve to the world - you will be tested.  You will be tried in ways that you don't understand.  You will be pushed to the wall and beaten with every tool devised to cause you to surrender your vision and your power. The wounds are not visible to the human eye and yet they are deeper than mere physical incisions.

The last year and especially the last three months have been that kind of testing for me.  I had a stirring spiritual experience and just moments after sharing it with friends the attacks began.  It was as if I had been taken to the very top of a great mountain - shown all that I could be and that God wanted for me and then pushed over the edge.  As I plummeted to the depths below I felt helpless, alone and without the smallest chance for survival. 

Yet....the great hand of God once again kept me safe.  I am a mass of fears huddled against the wall and wondering what's next.  Where do I go from here?  Is it possible to make sense of this?  Is it possible to rise to the top of that mountain again?

"Look!  Look there in the corner.  What's that?"  It can't be explained and yet it brings hope.  It can't be described and yet I feel courage.  It can't be held and yet every pore of my body experiences it's touch.  It has no form and yet it seems to lift this earthly carcass to an upright and proud position.  My ears record silence and yet I hear words and thoughts so encouraging that I feel my mind will burst with joy.  I smell the sweetness of new air - clean air - life giving air - and yet.....nothing has changed."

Ephesians 6:10-13

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Life today is complicated and hard, but the message is clear.  God is on the side of his children.  We have hope and we have strength.  No matter how your enemy is testing you today - remember that if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and if you are squarely centered in the middle of his hand - you can can Proudly Stand....You Can Stand!

God loves you,


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