Satan is busy yet God is still good! I’ve had an amazing week. I received a phone call that my daughter would be attending a school tailored to people that will help with her needs. I had a lot of encouraging conversations and I’ve been in a pretty good mood lately. Then came a run-in with a man I’ll call “Donald Downer.” He has a tendency to say negative things to me and will intentionally try to “throw shade” as the hip population says these days. Yesterday was no exception. Immediately after my great phone call with the school came my run in with Donald Downer. It is no wonder why Peter warns us to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) No, I am not calling Donald Downer the devil. I am saying that the devil will put people in your path and he will use people at times in an adverse way. (He has used me too).
I am so grateful God has blessed us with His Word to go when situations occur like this. I recognize Donald’s tactics and I know what to do. I said what I needed to say (peacefully) and walked away. There are times we aren’t always able to say things peacefully and God understands. Sometimes speaking the truth in love can bring conflict. Praying for what to say and how to say your words will support you when the time comes.
While Satan is busy God is good. Donald “tried” to steal my joy but he couldn’t. God has been too awesome and He’s done too much for me to let Donald’s comments take my eyes off God moving in my life. I’ve heard that the devil attacks God’s children. If he’s not attacking you and you claim to be in Christ maybe it’s time to re-evaluate if you truly are a Christ follower. Being a Christ follower isn’t about how much you give to the poor, attend church services, dress a certain way, or refusal to participate in “worldly” activities. Those things are great and certainly nothing to gloss over. But the Pharisees fasted and tithed and their hearts were far from Christ. Being a Christ follower is about accepting Him into your heart and professing that He is the Messiah. Christianity is all about what He has done. When someone sees a change in you and wants to know why you’re different it’s because of Christ – not ourselves. It’s because of His good work on the cross that we are here. This blog is to give glory to Christ, not me. If it can help bring someone to Christ then I’ve done what I sought to do.
We live in a dark world and it would be wise for us to take heed to Paul’s instructions to “put on the full armor of God…” in Ephesians 6:11. Satan is a created being who has limited power and a fate of fire. We don’t. As believers we serve a God who is always Good, who has all power and who has eternal life; the same eternal life He offers to us. What a wonderful God!
Amazing grace is a revered song among many regardless of faith, nationalities and ages. It is because there is no mention of a specific religion in the song so anyone can find comfort in the lyrics. The words in the song “ I once was lost but now I’m found” can apply to anyone who was lost, wandering in the world but later found and serving God. The writer of the song, John Newton a former slave trader knew all too well what being lost was about. Thankfully he denounced the profession and wrote the renowned song so that many also now sing what it is really like to be set free.
Jesus is the only one who can set us free. Jesus said in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus is the one I trust and if anyone desires to be set free they will be free. I am a living testimony. I have done almost everything you SHALL NOT do but Jesus set me free from it all. He has made everything that I used to desire that was wicked and made it undesirable. He can and will do the same for you. It was a very long process for me because I didn’t truly desire to be set free. There was a part of me that still enjoyed doing things I shouldn’t have done. But one day in December I went to the altar at church. I grew sick and tired of being sick and tired of repeating the same disobedient offenses to God. I was anointed with oil and walked back to my seat and a few days later I felt different. My eyes were opened to all the darkness and wickedness I enjoyed. I finally saw it for what it really was. It was all temporary and did nothing to satisfy me eternally. I finally realized that my life has a purpose: to be the light Christ called His followers to be. I also have a responsibility to tell others going down the same wayward path I was on that there is a way out: His name is Jesus.
I take 1 step forward and 3 steps back at times because I am a sinner that still messes up. I’ve come a long way but I also know I have a long way to go. (I’m not perfect which is why I serve the one who is). I am greatly appreciative of God’s patience, forgiveness, and mercy. It is because of these aspects that I could insert myself in the Amazing Grace song because I am also one who was lost but am now found.
Today’s world has changed from the way it once was. The moral viewpoints of many no longer exist and the righteous expectations of civil decency are no longer upheld. Sadly, a more modern form of Sodom and Gomorrah is coming to fruition. With many Christians looking the other way at wrong behavior and evangelical leaders siding with those who engage in debauchery, who would ever want to be a Christian?
As the world watched a large group of self proclaimed Catholic teenagers taunt a Native American man, one could only wonder what part of Christ was in their actions? Sadly, the adult chaperones in the group saw nothing wrong with their behavior which will in turn cause more poor conduct towards those that don’t look like them in the future. The Black Hebrew Israelites were wrong to spew hateful comments. I am not condoning their actions in anyway. The difference between the Black Hebrew Israelites and the CovCath crew is the Black Hebrew Israelites don’t have a Savior in Christ. Therefore there is no transformation expectation in their behaviors. One would expect them to behave exactly the way they behaved. I would not expect a practicing Christian to wear a “Make America GreatAgain” hat and get in the face of a Native American. America was stolen from the ancestors of the person the CovCath crew taunted and quite frankly the country was never that great to begin with. (Slavery, bigotry, inequalities in pay, unfair housing, and the list goes on and on).
Jesus was all too familiar with discrimination as the Pharisees and Saducees discriminated against Him because He didn’t “look” like what they thought a Messiah should look like. The “Make America Great Again” movement started after President Obama was elected because he too did not “look” like what some people felt an American President should look like. Discrimination is nothing new nor is those that do the discriminating. The Pharisees thought they were Christians because they tithed and fasted but their better than others mentality kept them from the Kingdom of God. It’s no wonder Gandhi said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Jesus is perfect, we will never be and no one is beyond reproach. I mess up and need forgiveness daily but the difference between a repentful heart and one that thinks they aren’t doing wrong is the one that thinks they don’t need forgiveness can never grow. I heard a speaker say at a luncheon once that “she was going through life as a student, not a professor.” A professor knows everything and doesn’t need forgiveness. The student knows we need forgiveness and can always be taught. Which one are you?