Wouldn’t it be great if we could just click on God’s social media feed and ask for advice? Would it be different than the advice the prophets were giving thousands of years ago? Here are five things that might make the 2022 list!
Make sure you know who the enemy is!
Scriptures tell us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” (1 John 2:15)1NIV New International Version Translations. The “world” is the value-system which dominates society contrary to the ways (Truth) of God. It is too easy to just blame the term “Satan” or “Evil” for everything that goes wrong in our world. Because of our free will, humanity is forever inclined to sin. Unfortunately, to find our enemies, the first place to look might be inward. Even the best intentions of good people can be tainted by selfishness and pride. Our enemies are those who seek worldly powers over humanity. They worship themselves (their abilities, strengths, wealth, cleverness, ideas, and/or good looks). Enemies come in many flavors, liberals, conservatives, Marxists, Democrats, Republicans, and lately, Communists. It is our responsibility to tell the differences between them! And for sure don’t forget, our friends may come in many flavors too! Our job is not to just disagree or hate those with differing opinions but to understand and know God’s Truth!
Evil, Satan, is hard to spot. He is not a bright red monster with horns that carries a pitchfork. More often, evil comes as an angel of light, using subtle and crafty ways. Satan uses the allurements of the world and the appeal of the flesh to try and get us to do what God forbids. Today, we are bearing witness to one of Satan’s best techniques, discord, and discouragement. Discouraged people lose confidence, become depressed. Crime, drugs, human trafficking are just glimpses of what a society can become under Satan’s influence. The best test we can give to any action is to see if a behavior is honoring the fundamental Truth as defined by God. Satan breaks down the sacredness of marriage, the sanctity of human life, and the absoluteness of moral standards. Worse yet, he seeks to instill complacency in our world. Enemies love it when godly people are quiet, fearful and do nothing!
(Ecclesiastes 3:7) – “a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,”
Do not compromise God’s Truth!
To know God’s Truth will take effort. You should believe only God and the Holy Spirit on what it True. That means it takes research and practice, it takes time to identify what is True in the eyes of God. Our world is filled with a thousand reasons to keep you from concentrating on prayer. Our government, the media (both social and entertainment), life’s challenges like COVID, all work to distract us from the careful study of God’s Word. Add to that the deceit in our world’s governments and educational systems, and finding the truth is an arduous journey, not a simple Internet Search. It is an easy thing to become confused, and uncertain. A favorite tactic is the use of the “unstated premise,” you are told you are wrong, and they are right, but there is no logical reason is ever given. Reject their premise! And here is a tip on where to start:
(John 14:6) – “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ‘”
You will never find God’s Truth until you find God’s Son! In the life and death of Jesus, we see a living example of God’s Truth. Compare all you read, all you see, all you hear to Jesus, how He lived and how He died.
There is one critical point to add here that we often take for granted. In the United States, we are free to pursue our search for God’s Truth! This is not true for the entire world. Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights has been carefully crafted by our forefathers so that all who wish to worship our Creator, can do so freely. This right is worth defending at all costs. Without it, the pathway to salvation is obscured.
You have the power – Use it!
In our New Testament Gospels, there are four different Greek words are used to represent the English word “power.” The most used of those words is “dunamis.” Used 117 times, dunamis represents the kind of power that is an inherent force. It flows from a person to give them the ability to do things beyond their natural abilities. In Mark, chapter 5, the Bible gives us several examples of dunamis working through Jesus. First, we see Jesus rid a demon-possessed man of his burden (Mark 5:6-8), and then Jesus raises a dead child to life (Mark 5:40-42). Dunamis is REAL power!
Sandwiched between those two miracles is another story of a woman touching Jesus. A woman had dealt with a debilitating illness for 12 years. The woman bled constantly and spent her life savings trying to find a cure. Nothing had helped. Her condition worsened day by day. Through the crowd, the woman managed to touch Jesus’ tunic and she was healed.
The power, dunamis, that Jesus demonstrated has been at work throughout history. Whether miracle cures, bravery shown beyond human bounds, or the forgiveness of even the most egregious sins, God’s Truth is the power to truly set us free. Dunamis is the power that allows each of us to share our testimony with others even when we are afraid. Dunamis comes from the power of FAITH!
(John 8:31-32) – “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
Leave the fear at home!
(Hebrews 2:14-15) – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
The best reason for having no fear is that Jesus has freed us from the power of death. Satan’s world has no lasting power over you. Jesus earned your redemption on His Cross. That should be the most confidence building thought anyone can ever have. It is, therefore, OK to fight the corruption in our world because the world has no power over your eternal future. We are called to push back against the world’s deceptions. The fear of dying controls the lives of unbelievers and enslaves them to actions that feed their desire to escape death. Through Christ, you will live forever!
Because Jesus took on every temptation we might ever endure, without giving in. By the way, He understands temptations better than anyone. Because Jesus endured the Cross for our sins, He understands God’s wrath and death better than anyone. When life gets too hard, when pain is too much, when we are too impatient to wait, it is not the time to quit. It is time to place your faith and trust in Jesus who can remove fear forever.
The best defense is a Godly offense
(Ephesians 6:10-18) – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Whether you have enlisted or have been drafted, you are a soldier in a world at war. Not only are there physical conflicts but Satan is doing a great job organizing the spiritual conflicts too. God has made a simple request, “It is time for action!” Today, you are fighting for your convictions, your culture, your children, and even your freedom to worship. You are fighting for your families and your future. The Apostle Paul defines both defensive and offensive weapons. He wants you to protect your faith and family first and foremost. But don’t miss the one offensive weapon, the Sword of the Spirit. The Truth of God reminds us that we are not alone in this battle. His Word, God’s Truth has the dunamis, the power. The Holy Spirit is alive and well and on our side. It is time as a nation that we claim it!
Being stuck on defense leads to faithful people being silenced by the “woke” culture that is running unchecked in our world today. God is not asking you to fight back with quick quips/replies in the heat of the moment. Instead, God is asking you to use reason, logic, and question what you are hearing in your world. Then compare to God’s Truth what you are being asked to tolerate. Be prepared to defend God. Apologetics is your playbook for going on the offense.
- What do you fear most about fighting back at the ungodly culture in our world?
- Ideas to Explore: Don’t believe it is really that bad yet? Your position requires neutrality. Do you get both sides of an issue?
- Have you given up?
- Ideas to Explore: Overwhelmed by the world and nothing ever changes. What can you really do to change the world? You are going to heaven so who cares about the rest of the people? Is God really calling you to step up and fight for Him?
- When you hear disturbing news, do you carefully use common sense, logic and research to form an opinion?
- Ideas to Explore: If you were to be graded on your opinions, what grade would you give yourself? Why? What grade would God give you?
- What would be your offense?
- Ideas to Explore: Youth focus, church, bible study, reading, prayer, etc.
- 1NIV New International Version Translations