Monday, January 15, 2018

The Problem

I remember watching the Little Rascals as a child.  While these short shows would not be politically correct these days, they had their moments.  In one episode Buckwheat was sitting on the front steps of a haunted house.  He was supposed to whistle to signal the other kids if he saw or heard something scary.  As the other kids bravely explored the old house, Buckwheat was eating saltine crackers while wind was blowing through the trees.  You might be getting the picture now.  There are movements and sounds that are very scary and Buckwheat is, with a very dry mouth, trying to whistle.  The saltine crumbs are blowing out of his mouth, but no whistling sound happens.  It was hilarious!  Buckwheat was hearing sounds and there were movements but he couldn't really see the scary things that he imagined.

Our problem is, we aren't very tuned in to the things that should scare us.  The Bible, in Ephesians 6:12 reminds us ... "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."  Our battle is spiritual but we fail to even perceive the evil that blows in the winds of this world.

Paul goes on to remind us that sometimes we must "stand our ground" and use the protections and weapons God provides.  We, too often, fight our spiritual battles with tools that are nothing to our enemy.  We use our strength, our cliches, our "pop" theology, our "gods," our feelings (and we say they are the leading of God) and our wits to fight and we wonder why the enemy seems so persistent and strong?  Maybe we forget that these powers are truly dark and powerful and they will not leave us alone when we underestimate them.  Last weekend we saw a team (the Jacksonville Jaguars) win against what most believed to be a superior team, partially because the Pittsburgh Steelers were looking past them to the next game.  They, and we, underestimate the ability, the guile, the tenacity and the strength of our enemy.  In Natalie Grant's song, "Your Great Name" she reminds us that our enemy is repelled when we hand the battle and our enemies over to a God that is strong in the spiritual realm.  Maybe our battles are lost because we forget God's plan and God's strength is all we really have to fight against the unseen spiritual powers that are more real than the things we think we see.  Randy

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