There is no depth to the darkness, did you know that? The devil does not suddenly have an “end point” when it comes to the sickness and disease he desires to bring into the world, or the corruption he longs to place upon humanity, or the abuse, addiction, hurt and violence he aches to plague us with.
I have known this for some time, yet I am still shocked at just how deep into the depths of darkness the devil wants to take us.
Our world is under attack, there is no doubting that now. We are not only fighting an enemy from without, looking at places like North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and China and thinking about how bad it is over there, but rather, today, we are looking at our own society, our towns, communities, neighbors, offices and churches and realizing just how bad it has gotten here, in the land of the free and home of so many brave.
Recently, in my alone time with the Lord, I’ve been telling Him I am in need of prayer and encouragement. There have been several things on my heart I couldn’t quite talk about with other Christians, so these matters have been mulling around in my head and I found I could only put them into words while in the presence of God.
Have you ever been there? As if you have a whole list of prayer requests, yet you find yourself unable to bring them up with other believers?
Well, last Friday, the Lord took my list and went through them one by one, and all I had to do was sit on the couch and listen.
There is a children’s book called “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”. In it, it says, “if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk”. The story goes on and on with the mouse wanting more and more until finally he has taken over the entire house. My whole life my mom has compared that little mouse to the devil, and it wasn’t until recently that I fully see what she means.
If you give the devil an inch in your life, he’s going to ask for two. If you give him two, he’s going to come after four. If you give him four, he’s going to demand a foot. On and on he will go until the devil finally has what he wants; your entire life.
This does not only apply to our personal lives, but also to our families, communities, societies and countries. We, as a society, have given the mouse a cookie, a glass of milk, a blanket, a room, a floor and now he is coming after the entire house.
This morning, I read an incredible post by Mario Murillo about a BLM/Antifa protest in Portland where they began to burn a stack of bibles.
My bible is my life source. It is not just a book filled with random verses and passages, or a history lesson discussing where my heritage came from, or random stories discussing people I don’t know.
My bible is the guide to my eternal salvation, it is the doorway to me learning about peace, health, success, overcoming. It is Jesus’ voice here on earth, God’s testimony for my life, the Holy Spirit speaking to me through words written long ago yet still moving. It is joy in the midst of mourning, light when all I see is darkness, calm when I’m surrounded by chaos and peace in the middle of a battle. My bible is not just a book, my bible is my guide through life.
Because I work in the world of persecuted Christians, I witness bullying, ignorance, violence and hatred on a daily basis. I have always been thankful for my American heritage, having been raised by two red, white and blue patriots, but it wasn’t until the Lord took me into the world of persecution that I became extremely humbled by my American birthright.
I, we, can read the Word in public, can discuss Jesus at a restaurant, can sing praises to my God with the windows down in my car, can join with other believers on Sunday mornings to dive deeper into my relationship with the Lord. Once I began to see how rare these things are for millions of Christians around the world, I stopped taking it lightly. Our freedom to worship, to pray, to follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is a gift far too many of us take for granted.
We are not called to think like everyone else, act like everyone else, be like everyone else or do what everyone else does. We are called, created, to be individuals standing on one truth-the Word of God.
So, why are so many adopting a “group think” mentality and attempting to look like the masses in order to be accepted by the world?
The Word says we are, “not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world”. The very next thing Jesus says is, “therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).
The world hates light because light shines upon what the darkness wants to hide, yet it seems as if the church is doing everything it can to make the world love it by hiding its light and aligning itself with the ways of the world.
To preface this post, I would like to say that anyone who does not believe the Word is a living document and just as powerful today as it was when Jesus and the apostles walked the earth, will not agree, or understand, what I have to say.
Last week, while putting a mask on for the first time since the coronavirus fiasco began, I felt my stomach drop. To fly you now must wear a face covering, but that didn’t change my feelings of defeat when I positioned the mask over my mouth before boarding the plane.
When I placed the mask upon my face, I felt small, belittled, obedient to something other than my King.
God created me, us, to speak, to sing, to pray, so to mute and muddle that ability seems wrong, almost sinful.
I attempt to not become too political on my blog and try to stay focused on the spiritual rather than the physical, but since the two have clashed I have to write what is most on my heart.
My heart breaks as I listen to crowds of people around the world chanting “f*** the police” in the faces of black and white officers.
I’m confused as I see, “Black Lives Matter” trending and anyone who says, “All Lives Matter” is put in a box marked “racist”.
I am at a loss for words when I watch people destroying business and monuments, or a massive crowd bowing on the ground rebuking their “white privilege”, or hear a throng of people chanting obscenities outside of the White House and calling The President (who I have both worked for and met) racist.
As someone who works for an organization focused on helping persecuted Christians around the world, I feel I have a platform to stand upon when I say: the immediate response to violence is NEVER violence.
The George Floyd killing is unacceptable, intolerable, aggressive and offensive. I have no idea how an individual can act in such a way towards someone else. In the simplest term, it was demonic.
I am in full support of peaceful protests. It is our right, as Americans, to assemble and object the things we feel passionate about. What happened to George Floyd needs to be discussed and the perpetrators absolutely need to be held accountable and changes made.
That being said, the violent riotous reaction that has been brought into American cities is also unacceptable, intolerable, aggressive and offensive.
I am very particular of the people I listen to, the books I read and where I send my tithe. I believe this stems from growing up and being very involved in a church as a child, a church my parents (through discernment) fortunately made the decision to leave prior to learning the pastor was living a lie. This lie ultimately hurt thousands and caused many to turn from the Lord.
That experience as a young girl taught me to be very discerning when it comes to those who preach the gospel. The majority of pastors I listen to, or read books they author, have long since gone home to Heaven and I wouldn’t even need a full hand to count the number of today’s pastors I would say I “follow”.
Yesterday, my sister forwarded me an email from the church I have called home for over a decade. This church has pushed my faith deeper, has forced me into the Word to find answers and to rely on the Lord for everything. The Pastor’s wisdom and insight has, over the many years of listening to him, inspired me to know the Lord more intimately and to stand on the Word regardless of what I see or feel. Although I no longer live in the state where this church resides, I still tithe there and listen to the services as often as I can. Whenever I travel back to the state, I make sure to book a returning ticket late enough to assure my attendance on Sunday morning service.
So, when I opened my messages and saw the below email, to say I was shocked, disheartened, confused or troubled, would be an understatement…I was, and still am, totally and completely heartbroken.
I believe we are stepping into a new season with the Lord. Things we used to get away with will no longer be acceptable. Flippant words we speak without thinking will not be tolerated and saying you follow the Lord will no longer mean you actually know who He is and what He stands for.
I think we have been in a “safe zone” with God. By this I mean He tolerated so much simply because we, His children, didn’t know better. He tolerated our laziness, our unwillingness to submit to His authority. He tolerated our acceptance of “being a Christian” one day a week, of walking with Him a few hours a month and turning from Him far more than turning towards. He allowed us to make mistakes because we were in an innocent dwelling with Him, a place of learning and growing and finding Him in a world that has abandoned Him.
But, I no longer believe we are in the safe zone anymore. Like the Israelites at the outskirts of their land of milk and honey, we have approached new territory and now is the deciding moment where we either walk into the promised land or continue to wander.