Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Big Picture ...whether we like it or not

Maybe you think "spiritual warfare" is some hoakie statement... created by a bunch of so-called Jesus-followers... to explain away the evils in the world. Who created those evils? Who allows those evils? What part do you and I play in those evils? Maybe you've entertained, or submitted to, the thought that a Creator God would be willing to create us only to allow our lives to be difficult merely for the sake of "difficulty". Maybe God became angry, had a fit, and just wanted you and I to feel the hurt He felt when His creation wouldn't do what He wanted it to. I could imagine "me" acting / re-acting in this way. Or you may take it to yet another extreme ...and conclude that it is all randomness.

I can only believe in 2 possibilities....

a. A complete and utter randomness created you and I ...with all our good and our bad. This requires more faith, admiteddly, than I can conjur.

b. Or, there is nothing at all random about our existence. Rather, you and I were intentionally created, by a Creator God, whom I won't even pretend to fully understand, but will also not be so arrogant to beleive that I am the only one to rationalize Him into some category that no one else has thought of. This God "loves". This God is "love" ...and despite what you may think about His supposed cruelty, He loved you and I enough to jump through a thousand hoops, to invent the wheel upon which you and I may be redeemed / purchased / paid for the cruelty "we" have done. Let's not excuse ourselves from the equation.

Either God is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. You're going to have to make that decision for yourself. Likewise, you will have to live with the results of that decision ..yourself. No one can do it, or live it, for you. And what wars for your attention is far more than a distraction or a derailment. "It" is intentional about drawing you as far away from the truth as you can possibly get that you can no longer "see" the truth.

You'll surrender way or the other. There is no middle ground. Someday, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord! And at the end of the day... I am no different than you in this journey, nor are you different than I. It doesn't take a lot of imagination for you to understand me when I say... I truly love you. I've been in darkness. I am no longer in the darkness. I do not want you to be in darkness ...because I love you. But far, far more than any ability I have to love you ...God loves you; enough to pawn off His Son for you. I can't do that. If I wanted to... I can't do that. My sacrifice, for you, would buy nothing. His sacrifice, for you, bought everything. This is the truth love.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus......

6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves and Masters

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. -Ephesians 6:1-20

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