As a follower of my Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, I’m appalled at the degradation of our society. Lawlessness, unrighteousness, cruelty, incivility, untruthfulness, hatefulness, and ungodliness are the order of today for people on this planet, regardless of how we personally feel about such things. When you live in a pool of ungodliness it is most difficult not to have such things not impact you. Even the very rich and powerful cannot go unblemished because we all live on this one planet. If it doesn’t impact you physically, emotionally, or financially, it will get to you in ways that are not as apparent. That’s the power evil has upon the carnal world.
The Bible tells us about this in the book of Ephesians 6: 12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual hosts of the wickedness in the heavenly places.” Your carnal arms are too short to box against such forces. Therefore we are to put on the full armor of God to protect our souls from such spiritual dark powers. We are instead to rely upon the power that was given to us for our protection. Without what God has provided we are vulnerable to such forces. They can destroy our physical bodies, but if you are in Christ, which is the body of God, your soul is covered. This is God’s promise to us. So, what does that say to us as mortal beings going through this carnal world of woe? Truth be told, we must place our reliance upon God.
I often ask myself, why do we seem to focus more on the negative things that impact us rather than the positive ones? The answer is quite obvious. While we are in these carnal bodies we are away from our true home and subject to what is here. No matter how godly or spiritual we might be we must deal with the laws of the world we are in. When it rains it does so on the unjust and the just. When the forces of nature shower down on us we cannot avoid her wrath. Even if you live in an ivory tower, Mother Nature can reach you there as well. Therefore, our only hope is in a power that is greater than the dark powers of this world. This answers the question of what and why things are as they are, but it gives us no solution to enduring the situation. Truth be told… if you don’t know God there is no protection for anything.
Our Lord tells us in Proverbs 3: 5-6 to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” It’s good to know about such things but how do we put it into practice that we can rely upon? This is where faith and trust in the Lord come into play. How deep and wide is your faith? I can’t imagine standing in a lion’s den seeing the fangs of ferocious lions and yet having the ability to stand there in hopes that you are covered. Would my faith and trust in God spare me from what a ferocious lion could do to me? Probably not! I use this very graphic example but use the power of a powerful hurricane or tornado as the threat instead. Would your faith and trust in God spare you from any of Mother Nature’s very powerful disasters? Probably not!
Truth be told, our bodies aren’t protected from the wiles of this world but those who are in the body of God have their eternal souls fully covered. Every man, woman, or child on earth is subject to the dark forces of the earth but those in the body of God are eternally covered once their soul is returned to the heavenly realm from which we all came.
Though I know this to be true, how am I to process the truth I know? Christ goes on to tell us, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Even knowing all the scriptures in the Holy Bible does not give us comfort while we are in the middle of the storms that we face in this life. If you are hearing this message that means that you are still here regardless of the reasons why. We also know that one day we will no longer be here on the earth which is a truth that is unavoidable. Between those two realities… what is it that holds us together? For me, it is what God promised to His faithful. King David said it this way:
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Essentially when you don’t have options you are reduced to how to deal with what comes. Christ knew that He was to die here on the earth in a very horrific manner. He pleaded with the Father if there was any way that cup could be taken from Him and still said: “Nevertheless, Thy will be done.” Again, where there is no way, Christ gave us His way. No one wants to suffer but since it’s inevitable that death will come to us all, would you rather be in Christ, or not? Those are the only two options. Does knowing about this make us feel any better? Though it gives me a particular assurance, I must leave it with the Lord knowing I have no other option. The only decision is to trust in the Lord by faith or to die without faith in the Lord. Death is certain to all at the appointed time and place.
I have many great friends and relatives who have gone home to be with the Lord. Some, I assume, may not have been saved but that is not something controlled by us. God gives grace and mercy to whom God decides to give it. Is that something that we earn? No, it is something that God gives freely, but it does come according to His divine will and the promises He makes to His faithful. There is no magic potion. There is no silver bullet. There is only the power of God or the wiles of the devil. When you are reduced to two options at least you know where you stand firm. In Ephesians 6: 14-20, Paul tells us how that is to be done. Though it might not give everyone aid and comfort alike, it’s what God offers to His children. So what should our posture be? Truth be told, if the Lord is for us, it matters not who is against us.
This very morning as I was inspired to write this piece, I was in prayer with the Lord seeking His guidance on a number of things. I did not know how to proceed forward so asked that He guide my steps. I knew I had reached a point where things were apparently out of my control so it was either wait on God or continue to frustrate myself by worrying about things that I could not control. The Teacher will show up when the pupil is ready to learn. The opposite of that is quite true as well. Until you are ready, willing, and able to follow God in His way, you do not get the full impact of what He offers. My lack of patience was pushing me further away from my desires to the point where I could not find my way back without trusting in the Lord. Does this mean that the Lord is cruel or that He loves us that much more? He always watches over us guiding us from behind the curtains while covering us at the same time so we can do the missions He has assigned to us by ways of spiritual empowerment and intuition.
As it turned out I went about my business doing the things that surfaced in my face such as cleaning, taking out the trash, and doing things that I see needed to be done that I had put aside until something finally inspired me to do what always needed to be done. Through my willingness and my humbleness to wait on God, He stepped in and showed me things that I did not know. It was because I humbled myself first and then placed my complete trust in the decision He would make on my behalf. This is how God works in and through us. Though it is difficult, it is how we are to practice faith and trust in God. We tend to think that we should be the ones in ultimate control over things. That goes contrary to the proverbs about leaning not upon our understanding of things rather than trusting God with all our hearts, soul, and mind, and with all our might.
Later on, in the same morning, the Lord had one of my friends call me to discuss the very same questions that I had prayed to Him about just moments earlier. I know that wasn’t a mere coincidence. I was rewarded in seeing the Lord work so precisely when I was ready to allow Him to do it His way. Why, O Lord do I have to learn the same lesson repeatedly? To almighty God be the glory… Selah!