Riots and unrest.
I think we can all agree these are tough times in America and around the world.
While the last thing I want to do is dwell on the negatives, I think it’s important for us to consider the actual threat, why it’s happening, and how we should respond.
- What Do You Do When Nothing Makes Sense?
- Quick & Easy Gift For Mom
- The Main Thing Every Human Heart Wants
- The Snowball Effect of Spiritual Compromise
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Tough Times – The Actual Threat
It’s easy in tough times to point a finger of blame at groups or individuals we believe are responsible.
This is true both in general and in our individual relationships.
And I get that it certainly feels like the problem is other people from time to time.
But when we look at what God’s Word says, we see a far different picture of the actual threat.
For 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.
In other words, our enemy is the same old enemy Adam and Eve faced in the garden. He and his minions continue to wage war for the souls of men.
Just so we fully recognize what we’re up against, here are a couple of other relevant verses.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
-1 Peter 5:8
The Actual Threat Re-cap
- Our struggle may seem to be against other people, but it’s not.
- Our true enemy is Satan and his minions.
- Satan is a thief whose chief mission is to kill, steal, and destroy.
- He’s like a roaring lion looking to devour as many as possible.
Please Also Keep This in Mind
My motive in writing this post isn’t to instill fear.
I realize that I’m “preaching to the choir,” so to speak. (But I also hope non-choir members read this post!)
Those of us who belong to the Lord are safe in Him. While that doesn’t mean that Satan’s schemes won’t affect us, it does mean that the enemy of our souls has no real power over us.
I’m praying folks reading this post realize this: On our own, and apart from God, humans are no match for Satan. But Satan is absolutely no match for our Almighty God!
That’s why it’s imperative that we stay close to the Lord and pay heed to His Word.
Tough Times – Why All This Is Happening
It may be somewhat subjective on my part, but one reason I believe all this is happening is because America as a whole has rejected the One-and-Only True and Living God.
No matter what the critics try to say, this country was founded on belief in God and His ways.
That’s why you can’t walk around historic monuments (especially in Washington D.C.) and not see scriptures and references to God.
That’s why His name is proclaimed on our money and in our pledge of allegiance.
Yet as a nation, we have relegated God to the fringes. With each passing day, it is more politically incorrect to even make mention of Him, unless His Holy Name is used as a thoughtless curse.
A nation who removes our good Creator and Father God from His rightful place creates a vacuum and invites evil to take His place.
“The propitious smile of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself hath ordained.”
-George Washington, 1st President of the United States
Enemy’s Time is Short
Picture for a moment a great battle between two powerful forces. One side realizes it’s impending doom and scrambles to turn the tide by making the best possible use of the time left.
That is an accurate picture of the spiritual battle going on all around us.
Satan knows his time is short.
“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
Recent Example From the News
The stimulus that got my brain spinning in this direction for a blog post was a Fox News interview between Chris Wallace and Oliver North about the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
The views expressed were both eye-opening and troublesome to me. Why? Because they totally ignored the obvious.
The shooter’s parents were understandably shocked, and their comment reflected that the horrific crime perpetrated was so totally unlike the young man they knew to be their son.
The shooter’s attorney stated that he’d met with the young man, and that he appeared to be very confused.
The news program pointed out that the teenager had even been an honor student and football player in his younger years.
So the question on all our minds becomes: What happened to this child that completely changed who he was? What could have prompted him to commit such a heinous act?
Look carefully at the following picture. I took a screen shot from the news program video of the young man’s Facebook profile photo (which has since been removed from Facebook). Do you see what I see???
In case you don’t recognize the symbol, it is satanic.
The news program was quick to point out that the shooter’s Facebook page contained a post of a recently-purchased black t-shirt with the words “Born to Kill” emblazoned across the front.
And while the show posed the right question of “What happened to this kid?”, not once did anyone mention the obvious elephant in the room.
If You Play With Fire…
When the Satanic statue came into play a few years ago, a member of the Satanic cult leadership said something along the lines of this: What we do isn’t real. It’s just something we do for fun.
Makes my heart thud in my chest just thinking about it.
These people have no clue who they’re messing with!!!
So what’s the solution?
Tougher gun control measures and repealing the 2nd Amendment isn’t the answer.
Neither is hardening our schools, though I’m all for protecting our kids as much as possible.
Tough Times – How We Should Respond
Our only hope is a national turning back to God. Only when we give God His rightful place in our individual lives, in society, and in our country will evil be defeated.
“If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
-2 Chronicles 7:14
If we truly desire healing for our country, this verse makes it clear that:
- It starts with God’s people. We’re the ones called by His Name.
- We must pray, not just seeking His hand, but His face.
- Repentance (turning back to God and away from wickedness) must take place.
A movement along these lines started in 2016 with Franklin Graham’s Decision America Tour. And I truly believe that the result of that prayer movement headed us in the right direction for the first time in many years.
BUT…we can’t let up for even a second. Remember who the enemy is, what he wants, and how he operates. His spoils of war are ruined lives, death, carnage, and the dead souls of men.
In fact, please join me in praying for the Decision America Tour California, which is going on at this time. See the video below. And we also need to pray for the Pacific Northwest Decision America Tour, which will take place in August.
Put On The Whole Armor of God
Prayer is just the beginning, and it’s listed as part of our armor and arsenal in Ephesians 6:10-18.
I could easily write a whole series of posts on the armor of God. It’s a fascinating study. But for the sake of time and space in this article, I’ll just list the bare minimum here. The other items we need to appropriate on a regular basis are:
- Loins girded with Truth
- The breastplate of righteousness
- Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
- The shield of faith
- The helmet of salvation
- The sword of the Spirit (God’s Word)
For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
-2 Corinthians 10:4
Tough Times Wrap-Up
I think the most appropriate way to wrap up this post is in a word of prayer.
How I pray that this prayer is just one of many millions lifted to heaven’s gates on behalf of our country.
Will you join me?
Heavenly Father, You are our good and holy Sovereign King, the Self-Existing One who created and designed us to know and reverence You as Lord. You love us, as proved by the sacrifice of Your Son on our behalf. Thank You!
Lord, we confess that we are all sinners deserving of death. It is only by Your mercy, grace, and divine forgiveness through the blood of Jesus that any of us can stand in Your Presence.
Thank You for Your promise that tells us that You are faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we agree with You about our sin and confess it to you.
Bring us back to You, and bring America back to You. Empower us through Your Spirit to turn away from our sin. Help us to realize the gravity of the situation and the scheming nature of the enemy. Thank You that He is no match for You!
Lord, we are grieved over the condition of our country and our world. You are our only hope, and so we present our requests to You that You might once more hold Your rightful place in our lives and in our country. Thank You that You are in no way diminished by the follies and foolishness of humanity. You alone are God!
Help us, Your people, to put on the full armor of God, so we can take our stand against the enemy and his schemes. May we prayerfully stand in the gap for America and the world. Thank You that Your perfect plans and purposes will prevail! You are completely victorious over the enemy!
We ask all this in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus and for Your Kingdom, Amen.
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.