Monday, September 6, 2021

The Body of Christ Today: Fighting a Delaying Action in Severe Testing

It feels like the battle of Hoth out here.  We as the body of Christ are fighting a delaying action against the enemy, who appear to be advancing on all fronts.  I feel the desperation. I sense the walls closing in.  The last year has burned like a cold fire in my heart. The battles have been many. The trials have been difficult. The refinery of the Lord burns brilliantly. That is as it should be. 

The last year has revealed to me who I truly am, and I do not like what I see. But what that means is, the Lord is removing the impurities, and turning me to pure gold. Is he doing the same for you?  If so, be pleased. 

The battle seems to have turned against us in the west.  Many of us believe it is only a matter of time until we are defeated. The enemy has the power of hell on it's side and hell's time is nearing, that time we all dread. 

But we continue fighting. We continue to fight our delaying action.  The world has fallen to the mass madness, for the most part, though there do remain pockets of resistance here and there.  The indoctrination to secular progressivism has been rather complete, but there are still some hold outs. The largest hold out region seems to be the United States, most of Europe has already fallen to the madness. But a heroic resistance still remains. 

Does it feel like the people around you are increasingly brainwashed by the media and the academic establishment? The world seems more and more radicalized and programmed by those who control the flow of information. That is the battle of our age. The battle for the mind's of humanity. Yet we keep fighting. We keep hoping. We keep sharing the truth. Will it be enough?

It would take a miracle, but we all hope for one as we gather around our campfires, wearied and jaded. But we haven't given up.  We're still hoping for a better future. We're still desperately holding up our torches into the fading light.

Yes, we've been through the wringer. We look back at past series of traumatic events; they make us wince. Wince because of the destruction and hopelessness around us, but double-wince because of our own sins and failures in the midst of critical moments in history. What a sad state we are in, yet what incredible hope remains in our infinite God. 

Has your love grown cold? You must not let it grow cold, somehow, someway. You must keep your lamps burning, like the five wise virgins, who stored up extra oil. Do not let your love grow cold, somehow, someway, in Christ, all things are possible. Don't give up.

These are the times that try men's souls.  So we must take refuge in the Lord.  The Lord is my strong tower. I will not be shaken. Though he wounds, he also binds (Job 5:18). 

It is never fun when the Lord rebukes us, and corrects us, but when we come out the other side, weeks, months later, we find ourselves stronger, spiritual muscles bulging.  That is our lot for our time on Earth, correction, growth, carrying of our crosses, and following Jesus. It is infinitely worth it. 

The love of God, and His presence in this room with me is worth it. To know the creator of the universe, and be reconciled to Him is everything. I don't have to run anymore. I don't have to scream anymore. I don't have to dump pills into my stomach hoping to wipe away the sorrow for a few hours. I don't have to throw myself into empty encounter after empty encounter desperately seeking pleasure. I don't have to walk out on highways wishing for death anymore. I've found life everlasting. 

And riding my bike, at midnight, in the darkness across the Shiawassee river, under the dark skies, I realized that though these times are so very dark, the truth is, these burdens are light and temporary.  Light and temporary. Light and temporary.

The man twisting in agony right now, his sins popping before his eyes, one by one, minute by awful minute, hour by unbearable hour, seeing the memories of every time he had a chance to receive Jesus as savior, and yet refused, before his eyes, in pain, skin burning, mouth dry as the desert, laughed at and mocked by demons surrounding him, his agony will never end, in a week, it will continue, a month, a year, a thousand years, a million years, it will never end. These present difficulties are nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed. And it's nothing compared to the hell that we've escaped, assuming we continue in our belief to the end (Matthew 24:13). 

Don't give up brothers and sisters. Hold fast to the Lord.  Seek His face on a daily basis. Follow Him. Do His will and not your own.  Share the gospel everywhere. Fight tooth and nail.  Yes, we are fighting a delaying action right now.  We're slowly retreating. We're like the rebels on Hoth, with the AT-ATs closing in, barely holding them off as the transports escape off the surface one by one into hyperspace.  We may be like Luke Skywalker on Cloud City, fighting a losing battle to Darth Vader, but after our great fall, comes a great rise.  We may now be fighting a retreating action, but in the future we may yet find ourselves gathering around Sullust for our counter-attack, our last great victory, before the calling away. 

Be zealous now, and live a lifestyle of repentance. Take an inventory of your ways. Live out your faith on a daily basis. For these are the last days friends. Imagine it brothers and sisters! Of all the people in history, we get to be the ones who live to see the last great harvest, and the calling away of the church. Who would've thought it would be us?

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you.[a] For look, darkness covers the earth, and total darkness the peoples; but the Lord will shine over you, and His glory will appear over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your radiance. 4 Raise your eyes and look around: they all gather and come to you; your sons will come from far away, and your daughters will be carried on the hip. 5 Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will tremble and rejoice,[b] because the riches of the sea will become yours and the wealth of the nations will come to you." -Isaiah 60:1-5 HCSB

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