Under Attack

Psalms 129:1
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,”

Difficultly is part of the journey for the people of God. Israel as a nation has been under constant scrutiny and attack since its inception and at the same it is true of the child of God. The moment you publicly proclaim the name of Jesus you will become the object of the world’s attack. Most of the positive things that are done in the name of Christ are overlooked, ignored or forgotten while anything and everything the church or the individual Christian does wrong is paraded as a proof that Christians are no different from the world.

After a recent attack at a gay night club by a person with radical Islamic roots the attention soon turned to the church as though this was somehow caused by the Bible’s position that homosexuality is a sin. Soon the news channels began to report on a church in California where the pastor declared that the victims of the attack deserved what happened because of their lifestyle. I was shocked not only to hear that a person would say such a foolish thing but that the media was able to ignore what was being said and done in thousands of churches across the nation and find one church that held this opinion and make it the news. What about the millions of Bible believing followers of Christ who gathered with their congregations to weep for the victims and pray for their families. What about those who made their way to Orlando to pass out food and water as a way to say they were sorry for the tragedy and to condemn the actions of a violent and godless man? The reality is the world has always opposed the followers of God and put them under scrutiny and attack. Jesus put it this way,

John 15:18-25 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”

As believers we should do all we can to change the world’s perspective of Christ and the church. When a person attacks Christianity they should have to second guess themselves because of your actions. They should find themselves making generalities about Christians while having to rethink those statements because of your life, love and faithfulness to the word of God. We cannot ever compromise the message of the cross but we should be willing to lay our lives down for others to hear it, see it and know it.

Jim

 

Ganged Up On 

Joshua 11:4-5
“So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.”

As Joshua and the armies of Israel began to have success in battle, it was not long before they are ganged up on. At least fifteen kingdoms, from throughout northern Canaan, joined forces to attack Israel. These combined forces, no doubt, greatly outnumber Israel; they are described as being like the sand on the sea shore in number (Joshua 11:4). Not only were Joshua’s forces outnumbered, but the Canaanites also had the advantage of knowing the terrain. All seemed hopeless for Israel, until they clung to the promises of God. As this chapter unfolds, we read of a series of decisive victories of the people of God.

Once we begin to make some headway in our relationship with the Lord, it is very common for us to experience a heightened level of spiritual warfare. As long as we are living relatively ineffective lives, we are not much of a target for the enemy. When we determine to live committed to Christ, and to impact others for the Kingdom, we often find, with that commitment, comes some warfare. Sometimes, this warfare can feel like we are being ganged up on. It may seem like we are being hit by wave after wave of attack. The kids get sick, the car breaks down, you get a nasty letter in the mail, and the AC goes out, all before breakfast. We can begin to wonder what is happening to us.

Joshua 11:6
“But the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel…’

In the midst of the attack and their confusion, they were met face to face with the promises of God. He promised to provide them with victory and deliverance from their trials. Whenever we are facing spiritual warfare, it is critical that we learn to cling to the promises of God. Paul declared the Word is like a spiritual sword designed to give victory in battle (Ephesians 6:17). If you are being ganged up on, grab hold of the Word and cling to it’s promises.

Pastor Jim