Tag Archives: war

July 3 – It’s War!

Obadiah, Psalms 82-83

 

In these days of war, and terrorism, and hate, let me remind us that these things have been happening almost since time began. We read the Old Testament and hear God’s people pray for the deaths of their enemies. We see how God commanded His people to destroy men, women, and children, in an effort to purify the land. It’s horrible.

But Jesus’ presence on this earth turned a page. He made it plain that our enemy is no longer flesh and blood. It’s Satan. It’s sin. It’s spiritual. God is as passionate about purifying the land. But He loved the world, every nation and tongue, enough to send His Son to die so that whoever believes in Jesus will be saved. The land will be purified when people come to accept this Truth.

I don’t for a minute mean to say we should ignore the physical danger we are in because of ISIS, or Muslims, or the danger we have of losing our rights through political correctness and blatant immorality. There are people who simply hate Christians. They hated Jesus, too.

Yes we are at war. But I don’t believe hating people or wanting them dead is what God intends for His people. I’m all for defending ourselves with force and am thankful for and support our military. But we will win this spiritual war when hearts are changed and souls are saved through the precious blood of Jesus.

Are you battle-ready?

Jan 11 – Do You Feel Safe?

Job 29-31

As I read Job’s words this morning about how he wished he could go back to the old days when life was easier and he felt safer, I had to think about what life has been for me here in the USA these past six decades.

Life was simpler, of course, when I was a child. I was born a few years after WWII ended, and our country was still glowing in the victory. I was confident that my sisters and I had a roof over our heads and food to eat. (I wasn’t aware of the struggle our parents endured to make those things happen)

I felt safe, running from house to house in our neighborhood, playing outside from morning to night. I remember some hype about possible nuclear war, the Russians coming, and people building bomb shelters. Even then I didn’t feel unsafe.

Not even during the Viet Nam War did I worry about an enemy attack on our little town in Ohio. It was war on someone else’s turf; far, far away.

We were pretty comfortable for decades in our safe, secure homeland of America. But 911 changed that. And we live with the knowledge we are not impenetrable. Gang wars on our streets, domestic and foreign terrorism is a reality we live with every day.

But as I read Job it occurred to me that Job’s enemy – and ours- is Satan. We are in the middle of a spiritual war, played out in flesh and blood conflict. I’m afraid we’ve become so concerned about our Middle Eastern enemies we’ve neglected to recognize the real danger of the subtle erosion of our freedoms and spiritual Truth.

Friend, there is a war on your soul. I know many believe that if they ask Jesus into their hearts it’s enough, they are home free. They feel secure in their salvation, impenetrable. Can’t touch this, they say to Satan.

But I wonder. Let’s not feel so safe we ignore the subtle attacks Satan continues to throw our way; the acceptance of sin as normal, the watering down of the Gospel, tolerance, looking at God as our buddy and not as a Holy God who demands holiness of His children.

I want to be a good soldier in God’s army. I want to put on the armor of God, to study His Word to show myself as approved by God to do His bidding. I want to take my enemy seriously, his threats as personal.

If you read God’s Word you will be encouraged with the fact that He promises never to leave or forsake us who know Him. He promises to be our shield and protector, our light, our guide. If you read God’s Word you will never see God saying to sit back and enjoy the ride. This is war.

Do you feel safe in the middle of this spiritual battle? If you are an active member of God’s army  you can feel totally safe. I would suggest, however, if you are too comfortable, too complacent, satisfied to sit back and let others fight the war, beware. The wolf is at the door.

Dear God, I pray for Your army today. May we recognize our real enemy, and be ready to battle. May we not be guilty of feeling too comfortable. May we be in Your Word every day. May we spend time praying, searching, listening. May we be an army of faithful soldiers. Protect our souls from Satan’s attacks, and give us the strength and courage to defeat Satan in our homes, our places of work, our churches, and our world. For Jesus’ sake.

Battles and Victories and Battles

Adonijah didn’t get what he wanted. He did everything he could to be king after his father David but we know God and David had other plans. Solomon was to be king. But Adonijah couldn’t let it go.

With Solomon on the throne and their father dead, Adonijah goes to Solomon’s mom. (I Kings 2) You know the people wanted me to be king, he tells her. So do this one thing. Go to Solomon and ask him if I can marry Abishag.

Sounded harmless enough. But when Bathsheba asked her son he was mad. Adonijah’s request wasn’t as innocent as it sounded. Abishag had connections and Solomon said it would be like handing the kingdom over to Adonijah. Solomon not only refused the marriage, he ordered Adonijah’s execution.

Satan wants your soul. And just because you may have had a victory over sin yesterday, don’t think for a minute he’s given up. He’ll try another route, another temptation. He’ll even make it appear innocent, try and trick you into turning yourself over to him.

Ours is a daily battle, a moment by moment battle. Sometimes we will defeat the enemy in our lives. But the war continues. We who know Jesus as our Savior know that he has won the war for our souls, that heaven awaits those who have repented of sin and accepted his grace.

But we need to put on the whole armor of God and prepare for battle today, this afternoon, tomorrow, right now. Satan is just as determined as Adonijah to be king. Satan wants to be king of your life. Beware. Be ready. Victory can be yours.

Father, I thank you that Jesus defeated Satan when he died on the cross and was raised to life again. I know that one day this life on this earth will be over and I’ll be in your Presence forever. Oh glorious day! But until then, may I never turn my back on my enemy Satan. May I never fall for his clever tricks, his innocent sounding temptations to sin. As I put on your armor today I ask that you go with me into battle. Grant victory today in Jesus’ name.

 

December 29

Revelation 11-14

Reading the description of the dragon and the beast is frightening. Multiple heads and horns, a powerful tail, spewing water and eating babies. Feet like a bear and the mouth of a lion. And people bowing down to worship them. This is the stuff horror movies are made of.

I am reminded that Satan is serious about taking me to hell with him. He is not sitting around a campfire, pitchfork in hand, laughing it up with the demons. He is actively pursuing me. He and his legions are attacking me every day. Their weapons might include false teaching, what I watch on TV, disease, loss of job, envy, or any number of subtle and not so subtle tactics. But all are intended to shake my faith, to cause me to doubt, and to render me useless in sharing the gospel.

I’m not sure I’ve given Satan enough credit. He is a powerful enemy. That’s why Scripture tells us to guard our hearts, to put on the full armor of God. We are at war with a monster and I wonder how many of us give that a thought.

I want to be counted as one who is actively engaged in this war for my soul. I want to be one who will sing the new song, blameless because I’ve allowed Jesus’ blood to wash me. I want to stand with the saints before the throne of God because I have fought the good fight.

Satan should terrify us. The thought of him should drive us to our knees and cause us to run to the Savior for protection. Satan is serious about my soul. Am I?

Dear God, protect me. Help me to be aware of Satan’s attacks on my soul. And may he find me a formable opponent because I have put on your armor, I have guarded my heart and my mind, and I stand with you ready to fight. May I not underestimate his hatred for me. Defeat Satan in my life and in the lives of those reading this blog today. Keep us armed and ready to meet the enemy.

September 11

Psalms 118, 129, 148, 149, 150; Ezra 6:19-22; Zechariah 9:1-10

I was standing in front of my sixth grade class when our secretary came to the door and asked me to step into the hall. I knew something was wrong by the look on her face. As head of the AV department I knew how to operate the school’s classroom TV’s from our hub in the main office. She wanted to know how to turn on the office TV without turning on all the TV’s in the school. A plane had hit one of the Twin Towers and it was all over the news.

Do you remember where you were the moment you heard about the terrorist attack on our country? Thousands of people spent the last minutes of life in unspeakable panic while the rest of us watched helplessly.

I couldn’t help but think of that day when I read Psalm 118 this morning.

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever.”

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

“The Lord is with me, he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.”

I wish I could say that our country heard the wake-up call and turned back to God after that awful day. I wish Satan had been defeated. But I look around and see even more godlessness, more lies, more depravity than I saw before 9/11.

What’s wrong with us? How could we let those dear people die in vain?

Dear Christian, let’s continue to pray for our nation. We have seen what can happen when God removes his protection and I don’t want us to ever forget. Let’s pray for our President, for his relationship with the Savior, for wisdom, for honesty and truthfulness. Let’s pray for our Legislators. Pray that those who know God will stand for the truth of Scripture. Pray that the decisions they make won’t be based on a party policy, but on what God says. Pray for our military that God would strengthen those brave men and women who know him and are serving our country to protect our freedoms. Pray for their families whose sacrifice is equally as important. Pray that an outpouring of the Holy Spirit will change lives in government, in the military, in the media, in our towns, in our churches, and in our homes. Pray that Satan would be defeated in the hearts of Americans and, in turn, our great country. Pray that God will bless America with himself because he has found us faithful. 

And pray for the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost or whose bodies were broken on 9/11 and in the war in the Middle East since that day. May they allow God to be their comfort and strength and may each of them… each of us who call America our home… bow before our Holy God and realize our need of him. Only then can we truly be that nation under God.

I will give thanks to the Lord for he is good. He may have removed his protection that day but he did not remove his love. Men can do unspeakable crimes against each other as we saw on 9/11 but they can’t kill my soul or take away God’s grace from my life. And, although Satan may have won that particular battle through those terrorists, he cannot win the war he’s declared on our God.

It’s a spiritual war we are in, but it often shows itself in bombs and chemicals and crashing airplanes. America, let’s be counted as followers of the God of Creation. Let’s side with the victors, those who follow Christ. Then we can say with the Psalmist: 

The Lord is with me, he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.

 

June 14

I Kings 15:32-34, 15-24, 16:1-34, 22:41-46; 2 Chronicles16:1-14, 20:31-34, 17:1-18:1

Israel and Judah were at war. The very family God led out of captivity with one miracle after another, the people who were provided for so amazingly during their desert wandering, the ones through whom God revealed himself to the world couldn’t make it last. Jealousy and power and idol worship were signs that these people had abandoned the God who had brought them there.

There were those who tried to lead the people back to God. Asa and his son Jehoshaphat were kings of Judah who sought God. Jehoshaphat even sent a missionary team to the cities in Judah, teaching the Jewish people God’s law once again. The surrounding nations noticed the power of God in the lives of the people of Judah and that nation enjoyed a time of peace during Jehoshaphat’s reign.

How is your family doing? I hope you haven’t followed Israel’s example and allowed jealousy or power or idol worship to cause a war among you and your loved ones.

How is your church family doing? Is there harmony in the pews or is there a little war going on behind the scenes?

We can learn from this Scripture today that serving God, keeping his Word alive in our lives bring peace. If there is trouble, remember that trouble comes when our focus begins to turn to anything other that God Himself. In our families. And in our churches.

I pray for peace in your life today.