Waking each morning refreshed from a good nights sleep and feeling good in anticipation of our new day we hatch our plans with a great attitude and are happy, happy, happy, only to derail the whole process with a single thought or action. We’re capable, at any time, of assigning importance to whatever we want, whenever we want and I ultimately decided there had to be more to launching my day than whatever my “morning man brain” wished to make a priority. Our very nature is inclined to do this and those that do not believe in God will not get this next part and there is really no way to “write around it”. Men like me that are, by His grace and mercy, led to share the good news of the Gospel sometimes think we can “trick” a non-believer into reading further into our dialogue if we wait a bit before we spring the God part into our story.
That blueprint doesn’t give a “supreme being” a whole lot of credit in His “supreme beingness” nor is it very fair to a reader that simply doesn’t want to hear it. We’re capable of making decisions without the inconvenience of consulting God and believers as well as non-believers do it without blinking. Reliance on God is not an auto pilot thing. There is no cruise control and much like anything else in this world worth having, you must be vested. The most committed, avid follower of God stumbles, sometimes falling hard and sometimes repetitively. I have been attacked by some the most anxiety ridden hours of my life following some of the closest times I had with God.
I sometimes experience the enemy turning someone or something against me, out of the blue, following extremely satisfying prayer time, just like I’ve experienced an argument with my beloved wife, Laura, right after an awesome worship service. It happens. It’s Satan’s Quarterback sneak. Knock the man backwards when he least expects it and maybe his anger and natural man ways will tear him from allowing God to lead. If he gets worked up enough he might even forget His protector long enough to take him even further away. OK, I know. Here’s a another biblical character we don’t discuss much. Satan. Yes, I freely admit to believing in Satan as much as I believe in God. Let’s face it. If we didn’t have an enemy, we wouldn’t need a protector.
I read many of Left Behind and other popular Christian books about angels and demons and spiritual warfare. These were immensely popular in their day, but now are “left behind” by the Christian community that used to devour them. The written illustrations of Paul’s warnings “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” were vivid and entertaining. The books ran a limited course of popularity typical of most fiction.
Paul’s warnings are true because they are God’s protected words. I don’t buy all the descriptions in those fictional books, but I don’t dismiss them either, as I am not from the heavenly places. That does not mean they don’t exist. Once you are in God’s presence, you KNOW. You know in the sense that you didn’t just believe it because someone wrote it or said it or sold it to you. You KNOW it because the age old described struggles between good and evil become relevant. They make sense; they make sense because we are also given a spirit of discernment once we trust God and accept His total and complete authority over all. To be continued………