Dealing with Evil and Adversaries

Devotional Discussion thought of the Day:

12:2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:2 (TEV)

A man I know is considering ending his interaction on Facebook.  He’s a Christian musician of decades of ministering to people and even though a monk, interacts with people by writing and quoting the church fathers.  He crosses lines often in his ministry, working with protestants and orthodox as well as his only Catholic family. Many across many denominations see the unity that we share in Christ – even as we can have issues we don’t agree on.  Indeed, part of his concerts include bringing up all clergy and religious, to have the people there pray for them.

Two things bother him greatly, and I understand this as well.
1.  The way in which some do not just disagree – but treat those they disagree with rudely, and with great condescension

2.  The heated rhetoric that is evidenced – even among Christians, perhaps especially among Christians – as we enter the election season.

I understand them both, to be honest, there are days I understand  have thought of quitting FB and wish I could quit those areas of life where I encounter such.  Both sicken me.  My problem, I want to deal with the people that exhibit such attitudes as if they are not just sinners, but the sin itself. I want to strike back hard, especially in defense of those who can’t.  FIght fire with fire, confront hate with hate, and that to sickens me.   Or I want to run from the engagement – heck not just on Facebook, but in real life.  Sometimes I’ve heard the joke – being a pastor would be such an incredible job, if only there were no people!

For me, there is a price of seeing people grow in Christ, and that price is to grieve as I see the place from where we  have to grow.  The brokenness, the filth, the sin and hatred.  It’s disgraceful, its violent and vicious, and we all lose sight of God and return there occasionally, not to rescue others, but instead to dwell i our own muck. This isn’t good of course.  But how do we deal with it?

We endure it, even as Christ endured what it took to rescue us.  We keep focused on the joy that awaits us, as our enemies, and adversaries are turned by God, to His heart.  Endurance isn’t toleration, it is letting the Light do its work to overcome darkness, to realize that people will have to adjust to living in the light, and that we need to focus on reflecting Christ’s love, His mercy His compassion into that place, even identifying, in love, the places where God’s light needs to bring healing.

Tough stuff. Very tough, a form of sacrifice, a martyrdom to bear witness to the light.

One last thought on this:

6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

The demons we confront aren’t the people – they are in need of deliverance (just as much as we are).  So pray for them, love them, confront them in that love and mercy of Christ, and pray that we can remember the joy that will come, when our brothers (and us) are granted repentance.

“Lord have mercy” we cry, may we learn to reflect that same mercy… even if it costs us, even if we despise the cost and the grieving, for there is joy set before us!  AMEN.

 

 

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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