More on the Faith “under attack”
Devotional THought of the Day: 1 God, hear my cry, listen to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth I call to you with fainting heart. Lead me to the high rock that stands far out of my reach. 3 For you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. 4 Let me stay in your tent for ever, taking refuge in the shelter of your wings! 5 For you, God, accept my vows, you grant me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Let the king live on and on, let his years continue age after age. 7 May his throne be always in God’s presence, your faithful love and constancy watch over him. 8 Then I shall always sing to your name, day after day fulfilling my vows. Psalm 61:1-8 (NJB)
1. A mighty Fortress is our God a trusty Shield and Weapon;He helps us free from every need that hath us now o’ertaken.The old evil Foe now means deadly woe,deep guile and great might are his dread arms in fight. On Earth is not his equal.
2. With might of ours can naught be done soon were our loss effected; But for us fights the Valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is.Of Sabaoth Lord, and there’s none other God; He holds the field forever.
3. Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us.We tremble not, we fear no ill, They shall not overpower us.This world’s prince may still acowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, He’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him. (A Mighty Fortress is Our God: Martin Luther)
I wasn’t planning on writing about Spiritual Warfare again, about the church being under “attack” by society, until I looked at my devotional reading above this morning. Seems King David was no light weight when you consider the internal and external spiritual warfare he faced in life. THink of the time with Saul, where David’s music calmed his spirit. His sons who died, one because of David’s sin, one because of his own rebellion. The man was surrounded by enemies, yet so often, not did he just escape, but he triumphed.
Spiritual warfar is like learning the passive self defense styles like judo and akido. You want to ask the Master, “what do you mean I need to let him hit/kick/grab me before doing anything else?” “What do you mean that their attack is the beginning of their loss?” Except we take it one step further. A real victory for those who attack us, becomes something we rejoice in, in the same way we rejoice in our baseball team, (the World Champion Red Sox) getting the final out that leaves us victorious.
For their victory isn’t found in their triumping over us, but in Christ enveloping them in His love, in His crucifixion, and in the hope of the resurrection.
That is our goal something possible when we realize that if Christ is our Fortress, that if our trust is in Him, then they have to attack us on our ground. In the fortress where mercy prevails over unforgiveness, where righteousness triumphs over sin, where love overcomes all that is not loving. That when they come to fignt, condemn, mock us, that as we are confident in Christ’s presence, we can point to Him, not as judge, but as Deliverer.
It may be that we have to suffer some, in order to see this happen. It may be that our “rights” are taken away, it may be, as it is in many countries, that Christians will becoem martyrs, their lives given as a testimony to the love and mercy of Christ. It’s happened before, it is happening all around the world. Yet it is in those places, where the church/the faith is under true attack, that there are miracles of reconcilliation, or redemption, of repentance.
May we yearn for that, more than we yearn to prove ourselves, our culture, even our theology, “right”.
Lord have mercy, and help us look on our persecutors with mercy and love.
Posted on March 1, 2014, in Devotions, Theology in Practice and tagged A mighty Fortress is our God, Church under fire, Evangelism, jesus christ, King David, Martin Luther, martyrdom, mercy, oppression of sin, Resurrection, sin, Spiritual Warfare. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.