Over the past few days I received a range of disturbing reports from various sources. Cumulatively they speak of doom and gloom. But I found myself rejecting that prognosis. So I’m blowing a trumpet for faith, confidence and eagerness to win battles.
I hope my optimism doesn’t put you off, but I fear that many Christians are buried in the barrage (there I go with alliteration again – sorry). There is no shortage of challenges – just a shortage of champions. So, rather than depress you with the enemy’s smoke screen, let’s remind ourselves of the Lord’s sovereignty in all situations.
Let’s survey the landscape for a moment.
There are evil people who wish to perpetrate evil. Surprised? It’s the way things have been for a long time.
There are religions, institutions, and cohorts in league together intent on pulling down godly morality, Christian faith and the fear of God. Surprised? I think you’ll find that this is how things have been for a very long time.
Evil people, probably motivated by evil spirits and working for the devil, are employing clever strategies which are, at least temporarily, undermining godliness and the fear of God. The Kingdom of God is under active attack right now! Surprised? I think you’ll find that it’s been like this before.
Some Christian strongholds have been overthrown and their position usurped by contrary values. Churches have closed, Judeo-Christian values have been overturned, evil people have ascended to positions of influence, evil systems have infiltrated and subverted things that were once examples of godly virtue. Surprised? It’s all been done before.
Did you ever notice that the seven churches which Jesus personally communicated with in the book of Revelation no longer exist? Not one of them has survived. So, is that the end of Christianity? No!
Have you noticed how church buildings have now become café’s and private homes? Is that the end of the church? No! Have you noticed that established denominations have gone stale with formality or come to hold values contrary to their founding fathers?
To cut to the chase, as it were, let me ask you a couple of questions. Who is in control of this world, God or evil people? I am convinced that God is in control. Who has the greatest power on this planet, evil people or those empowered by God? Clearly those of us who access God’s power are on the winning side. When things look bleak does that mean that God’s plans are being thwarted? The answer to this question has to be a resounding “No”. Christ’s crucifixion was an apparent moment of defeat, when in reality it was the pivotal point of all human history. It undergirds the greatest legacy of victory that has ever been imagined.
So, the Philistines are camped on the next hill and they have a loud-mouth champion who threatens to tear us to pieces. That’s pretty impressive and pretty intimidating to anyone who can only see with natural eyes. When your peers are panicking and everyone’s confidence has dissolved you can find yourself giving credence to the apparent circumstances.
But when you see things from God’s perspective, knowing that He is the ultimate champion over all evil and will stand by His servants who will step out in His name, you can have the boldness of David.
We are on the Winning Side! The battle is so one-sided in our favour that our enemies have no chance whatsoever. They may have an apparent upper hand and they may convince all onlookers that they have won the day, but God is Lord of all and His Kingdom will prevail.
Be encouraged. Stir up your faith to stand like a Daniel, David or Gideon, against odds that make your stand look ridiculous. And when you see the next terrifying report about how our adversaries are taking ground, commit yourself to prayer and acts of faith. This is not time to faint in light of the bad news, but it’s time to connect to the Real News – that God is in control and is waiting for a champion to take up the challenge of this generation and its evil spectres.
It just may be that God has placed you where you are, for just such a time as this.