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Another week

This last week for Christians was an important and significant one. In the course of 7 days, we remembered The week of Passion which began on Palm Sunday and culminating on Resurrection Sunday.

As we have worshipped these last 2 Sundays, messages have been preached and songs sung about a Savior who gave His life so that we might live. Of course, we understand it was not so that we could live life as we wanted, but rather than when we die our eternal life would be with Him in His Heaven. This is an important and comforting truth for us as believers.

Now it has been another week. What did we do with it? What did we do with what we know about the Lord and apply it into our daily lives going forward? There is always a need for us as believers to be certain that we are focused on our Savior and Lord. If we have learned anything about life, it is that we are all easily distracted.

Last Sunday during the invitation, several made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. It was wonderful to encourage them in this new life in which they were entering. And to see the relief and the peace on their faces. Yet, there was Linda who came forward to talk to me. As she came, it was not a look of desperation but of searching for something. As she began to share, she quickly acknowledged she was a Christian and had accepted Christ earlier in her life. Then she said that there were times when she felt there was a battle going on and she wasn’t worthy. She was wondering and confused.

What was going on with Linda and for that matter with so many other believers? As I held her hand, the Lord led me to tell her that it was OK. Then I explained there is a spiritual battle going: on around us all. We are easily distracted and we have an adversary who the bible describes as a roaring lion and he is seeking whom he devour. If you read Scripture ,you will find some very interesting things that you need to know.

Ephesians 6:2 says as seen in the Amplified Bible-

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.

This is what we know from Scripture. There is a war going on all around us. This is not a physical war rather it is a spiritual war. The powers and forces are powerful and it's not a war we can or should attempt to fight. If we are in the fight, then we must be in the fight God's way and equipped by Him.

Therefore, we are to put on the whole armor of God. In this same chapter, Paul not only tells them about the war, as we just read, but that is also going on around them and us. He also provides the armor we are to wear in this battle every day.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed,

15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace.

16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

As I watch and observe what is going on in the world I, and possibly like you, am concerned. We have lived for so long in this country observing what is happening elsewhere but never really understanding or appreciating what we saw and heard. If you are like me, then you are very concerned about what is happening now and could happen in these United States.

Please don't stop now because you think this going to go political because it is not. It is going to stay spiritual. So if I put on the armor of God, and so do you believer, then we are first obedient to God and have access to what He offers. Yet, in that, there is an important element required after we get dressed in this armor.

In the 18th verse, Paul tells us to-

Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

There it is, Paul tells us through the leadership of the Holy Spirit we are to pray. Will it make everything better? Yes, sometimes. Will there be a cease-fire in the spiritual war? Yes, sometimes.

It was Paul as well who told the Christians in Rome. Again reading from the Amplified Bible-

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

I was asked to read the draft of a book a fellow pastor is writing. It is a privilege to get to read what God is leading him to write in the book. In it he chronicles a period in his life and ministry. He shares 5 things that happened over a period of several years. Each represents reasons to wonder why? Why did God let that happen? Why didn’t God do something? It would then seem obvious he might be bitter and wondering if God even cared. Yet as he presents each account, there is that constant trust in God and belief that God had it under control.

A few chapters later, he reveals that in each of those areas, the manner in which God intervened. How He met the need, healed the child, provided for everything necessary. Why? Because that is what God does. I have used this before and it is always true “God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.” We can thank Don Moen for the words to the song entitled “God will make a way”. What a blessing that God always does even though we might not see it.

Proverbs 3:5 reminds us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Just as the old hymn of the faith tells us “trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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