By Glenn Miller
GOD’S WORD: “Instead, immense in mercy and with incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in the highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.” – Ephesians 2:2-4 (Peterson)
If you’re like most people, including the most faithful believer, you’ve probably once asked why God allows tragedy, disease, and difficulties to happen. I know I have. For some reason, and perhaps because we live in a world that tells us “we get what we pay for” and that by banking up good deeds and proper obedience to God, we feel that we should only be recipients of good things. This is such a common thought that many preachers preach this doctrine; that if something bad happens, it’s because God is punishing that person for something they did or did not do.
But in my opinion, being a Christian isn’t about how well we hold ourselves to the Law; for at one time all will fail, no matter how hard we try. If we could earn our way into only good things, then it would be about US instead of being about God’s grace and the blood of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross.
All Christians, no matter how they believe, subscribe to the notion of being dressed in God’s armor. The difference is that being dressed in this armor can be taken two ways.
For some, that armor means God’s protection; that nothing bad can penetrate to you. These who believe this way feel that because they wear God’s armor, that everything in life will be peachy-keen, as long as they are obedient to God’s will; something like that force field on Star Trek. The problem with this, in my opinion, is that when difficulties do come along, their faith is sometimes shattered or damaged, often wallowing in doubt and asking, “why me?”
On the other hand, there are those who believe that being clothed in God’s armor means that we are equipped to do battle against evil and sin; those enemy forces that seek to disrupt our joy and the peace we’ve found in making God sovereign in our lives. Alongside this belief, usually from an experiential view, is that evil doesn’t run away from us when it sees us dressed in this armor, it mounts an attack and says “Charge!!” It’s whole aim is to harm us, destroy us, and deceive us.
Satan, the devil, or whatever moniker you wish to use to describe that evil force in our world, does not solely reside in those areas where sin abounds, but more often frequents those places where goodness, peace, mercy, and love reside; places where God’s love is taking root and making a difference in people’s live. This evil does not focus on that which it has already distracted, but on the precious prize of the hearts of God’s beloved children.
Have you ever had difficulty making it to church; hearing the enemy’s sirens that your absence wouldn’t be noticed?
Have you ever found obstacles in your way when you are to serve our Lord?
Have you ever had difficulties in a relationship that was God-ordained?
These may all be products of the enemy seeking to distract us from that which is good. The enemy knows that if we can take our focus off of God and onto fear, doubt, frustration, and anxiety, then he’s diminished our reliance upon His Sovereignty in our lives. I know that I’ve had my days when the enemy has attacked me, and I’ve fallen to his arrows. I didn’t mean to do it, but I did.
Times when I let fear grip me instead of remembering that God has a plan for me and is always with me.
Times when I let comfort and convenience rule the day rather than the mission to which I was called to by God.
Times when I let anxiety overcome me as I focused on the future instead of subscribing to the truth that God has given me enough grace sufficient for today.
Yet what I’ve found at these times when I’m under the devil’s foothold, is the Truth. And that wonderful Truth is that the war has already been won; the battle has been over! Jesus fought the battle and won for us our freedom and redemption. And when I lay claim to that Truth, the enemy knows that he’s messing with the wrong dude! He knows that by our claiming God’s authority over our lives, we have access to His power and protection! Then the enemy begins to tremble in fear and runs away like a scolded hound dog!
Isn’t it time to let the Hound of Heaven take care of the hound of hell?