December 20, 2021
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9)
Years ago, I went on many mission trips with a former fighter pilot who was a Viet Nam veteran. He told me many stories, most of them true! But one of the things I will never forget is his description of the environments in which they worked in Viet Nam.
The most debilitating thing was that you never knew who was an enemy or friend, Don said. The man beside you could be one who was thrilled you were there or a sworn enemy who would knife you in the back if you turned. You had to always be on the alert.
This became evident to me one night in Chile. We were rooming together when an earthquake hit our hotel. He was out the door in two seconds because he had learned to sleep lightly and always put his shoes and all essentials right beside his bed. He was sober and alert.
A HOSTILE WORLD
This world is not a friendly environment to the believer. The devil and his demons are prowling unceasingly. There is no timeclock our enemy. He never decides to give us a little break. Just the opposite. Like a lion with a wounded prey, our weakest moments are our most vulnerable. He is not interested in teasing you but devouring you. And the pages of history are filled with his victims.
Overcoming Satan is not the problem for he has already been defeated by our Elder Brother. In fact, Christ assures us that we can overcome him. If we resist him, he must flee. We have all we need for victory at our disposal through the blood of Christ. But we must know the enemy is there or we won’t stand in spiritual warfare.
Spiritual awareness will lead us to unceasing prayer.
"The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." (1 Peter 4:7)
These two are related. If we are not sober minded, understanding the seriousness of each moment, we won't pray. And, if we do not pray, we will be an easy prey for the enemy.
Be sober. Be alert. Be praying. Be resisting. And “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
July 02, 2022
July 01, 2022
In each generation there are wicked rulers leading nations to do wicked things, oppressing those around them with senseless violence and evil. Hitler had his day and Stalin, and now Putin as he ravages Ukraine.
Where is God in all of this? The small, one-chapter book of Obadiah gives us the answer: God will always, ultimately judge wicked men nations. Justice wins the day. Notice God’s word through Obadiah to the wicked nation of Edom. No nation that ignores God will escape His judgment.
June 29, 2022