AND SO THE BATTLE BEGINS
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Why are we so amazed at the condition of our world? I know that there has been plenty of years that we just sat back and coasted while the world slowly began to fragment away from the foundational teachings of God. It is similar to the idea of the fable of how you can cook a frog without it knowing. If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out. Well duh, so would we. BUT, if you put a frog in a pot of warm water and continue to raise the temperature slowly, the frog would never know the difference and would remain in the pot and slowly cook to its death. Now, I know that may seem really weird to you today, but the reality is that we are in the pot and have been slowly cooking ourselves to death over the last 50 plus years. See it does not all happen at once because if it did then we would instantly realize what was going on, and like the frog, jump out of the situation. But for some time now, both our individual and religious freedoms have been melting away and we have been none the wiser to notice.
As we are in the midst of spiritual warfare, we must always be alert and pay attention to the environmental changes and challenges that may arise. Being apathetic to the cause and saying that someone else will fix it, really shows just how far out of control we really are in this world. We are setting new standards that continue to erode the foundational teachings of the Bible and the truths that the forefathers of this faith and our country stood on. I know you may disagree but I am telling you right now that the world is definitely more evil and corrupt than when I was a child. I know that I was not fully attune to the situations around me but I can honestly tell you that I knew right from wrong and our country was seen as one that stood for moral standards. I still believe that there are ways that we can still fight the good
fight. I believe that we have to honestly step back into the game and stop relying on someone else to tell us what is right and wrong. Both have actually skewed more towards the middle and it is almost as if there is no differentiation anymore. Everything is based on someone else's perspective and we have seen morals throughout the world completely go out the window. People are seen more as pawns than the beautiful creation of God. We have failed to pass on the teachings that the Church has ONE foundation that is found in Christ, and instead we are saying just believe and make up whatever you think you want to believe. You may say I'm crazy, but I am telling you now, there is a lot of heresy and lies that we will all have to answer for when Jesus returns to take us home.
As Peter is closing out his first letter to the churches facing persecution, he is warning them that you have to be certain of your environment. Lions do not sleep at night and they are able to stalk their prey in such a way that they will never know what it happening until it is over. This example that Peter uses, helps us to recognize the importance of standing firm on the WORD of GOD. We have to equip, teach, disciple, prepare, admonish, and hold people accountable in preparation for the day they will inevitably face trials of this kind. We will always be the CHURCH and be able to rely on the help and prayers of our brothers and sisters in the faith, but realize that we may also be walking alone in the darkness while carrying the LIGHT to those in need. Peter is reminding them all that these are not isolated incidents. All over the world, evil continues to find ways to beat down and destroy the people who carry the Gospel to the world. Evil still exists today because of the inability of the Church to present the real GOSPEL in its fullness to those who are lost and blind to the truth. We are watching as more and more churches are closing and people are relying more on wikipedia and google for their answers about life than stepping into the WORD and standing firm to the standards of being a Christian. The world's life is so much easier for us now and we want to be accepted for how we live in the world not how we LOVE through Christ. Sharing the Gospel is hard and difficult and may ultimately cost us everything that we have in this world, and we really don't want to suffer if we don't have to for now.
The TRUTH is real. We want to believe it, but we are terrified of sharing and expressing it to the world. We are. Let's just be real. When is the last time you honestly told someone that you were a Christ follower and you wanted to share with them the Gospel of Christ? One day... two days.... one week... one month.... one year... multiple years? See what I am saying. I know that I have heard people say, "We should preach the Gospel every day of our lives and if we have to use words." Simply that means that our lives should sufficiently show enough about our faith that there is no doubt that we are Christians, but if there is doubt, use the WORD of GOD to tell the story. The time is still not to late, but I will also say that the days are growing shorter and darker. We have to prepare ourselves now for the battle that is
coming. We have to be ready to speak truth and live it out in every aspect of our lives. We have to have a desire to want to grow closer to God and help bring others into a relationship with Him as well. I know that we cannot make the decision for them, but we can continue to offer evidence for them to ask questions and desire to want to know more. As Peter said, we have to resist the evils of this world and fight off the LION that is circling our churches ready to pounce and cause dissent and destruction. I know it seems as if I am on a rampage this morning, but the reality is I am just trying to help open all of our eyes to the importance of every day. I just hope and pray that we realize the short amount of time that we may have left is not wasted on waiting for someone else to do the work we have been called to follow. STAND FIRM, FIGHT and remember as always the BATTLE ALREADY BELONGS TO THE LORD!