with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones."
I wavered before publishing today's post. I prayed. And prayed some more. For my purpose at "Fan into Flame" is to focus on the Lord and to reflect Him through the living waters of His Word.
My worldview is eternal: Bible-based, Jesus-focused, and Holy Spirit-driven. I believe that the common denominator behind all of our societal ills is a failure to live, work, serve, and govern for Him and through Him. (Reference Ephesians 6:7-8). "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD ..." (Psalm 33:12) and/but "... the nation or kingdom that will not serve (Him) will perish; it will be utterly ruined." (Isaiah 60:12).
Therefore, although I am aware of all (well, most!) of the issues with the potential to affect and effect our country and our world, I tend not to latch on to individual causes or trends. As I watch the unfolding of the ever-increasing evil in our world, however, I find myself increasingly alarmed at the true state of our nation. I discern our presidential administration to be dangerous, reckless, and, frankly, indifferent to (and ignorant of) the true long-term best interests of Americans.
While I am not an alarmist, I consider the currently proposed health care bill, for example, to be dangerous, in more ways than one, and I believe this address from former president Ronald Reagan, posted by the American Family Association (AFA), to be unfortunately prophetic.
On another level, I am watching the rapid weakening of Christ's Body, the Church. Dismay follows dismay as I witness individual Christians making seemingly benign but truly dangerous choices, such investing in the current secular book and movie sensation, Twilight. Some say it's "just" a love story ... except, of course, for the vampires. Others attempt to justify it by saying that it contains redeemable material and life lessons. Whatever.
I say it is evil and birthed by the father of lies (reference John 8:44), the same liar who craftily preyed upon Eve in the Garden of Eden--not blatantly denying the Lord's instructions to the first of His creation but subtly defying them. "Did God really say 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden.' ?" (reference Genesis 3:1; my highlighted emphasis) satan murmured, thereby omitting facts, creating doubt, and inciting rebellion against the Holy God and Creator.
"Did God really say (fill in the blank)?"
"Did He really?"
The enemy asks: "Did God really say ... that a government shouldn't decide what is best for the people?"
I respond: "God says, " 'I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you what is best for you, Who directs you in the way you should go.' " " (Isaiah 48:17; reference also Isaiah 58:11; Psalm 32:8).
The enemy asks: "Did God really say ... that you couldn't enjoy a little fictional love story?"
I respond: "God says, "... whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." " (Philippians 4:8).
There's not enough time and space here to refute all the lies the enemy plants. But, the ammunition is all contained in God's Word, the Holy Bible. When tempted by the enemy during His 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus' winning weapon was the Word of God (reference Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). Our must be the same.
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17). "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13).
God doesn't compromise His righteousness. God doesn't weaken His justice. God doesn't play favorites.
To truly honor, glorify, and please Him, we must choose to speak out and stand up. He demands that all things (and all people) devoted to destruction within His Body be identified and removed (reference, among others, Joshua 7:12-13; 1 Corinthians 5).
The enemy's plays may change, but his game remains the same: to undermine the one and only Most High God. Our individual, national, and international defense (and offense!) is also unchanging: to stand firm and straight upon the Word of the Lord.
"... Jesus said, 'If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.' " (John 8:31)
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One Who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7)
"For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. ..." (1 John 2:18-19)
"... the reality, however, is found in Christ." (Colossians 2:17)
He's the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth (reference John 1:17, 5:19, 14:6, 18:37; Ephesians 4:21; 1 Timothy 4:6; Titus 1:1; 1 John 5:6; 2 John 1:3). He's the real deal. Really.
Precious Father, You are holy, righteous, and blameless. Forgive us for failing to honor You in our every thought, word, and deed. Purify our hearts and our minds, O Lord, and align them with Yours. "Create in [us] a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within [us]." (Psalm 51:10). Let us meditate on Your Word as our unfailing plumbline and our unending delight (reference Psalm 119). Let us view one another in love, seeing all people as You created them to be, but never let us compromise Your standards in the process. I pray, Precious Father, in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, "the Author and Perfecter of our faith" (reference Hebrews 12:2). Amen.
speak it faithfully."