Margaret, I read your comments in regard to Julie Cosgrove’s “Destitute Prayers” blog entry. I hear the anger and bitterness in your heart. Your voice is one among thousands if not millions in this world who are screaming, “Why?” Why do women get raped? Why does violence go unchecked? Why is cancer claiming so many lives?
Carrie’s response to your comments was correct: we live in a fallen world. When God first introduced Adam and Eve to His brand new world, He gave them the choice to believe Him and His truth, obey and subsequently continue to live in a perfect world, or to disbelieve Him and disobey, and therefore invite sin and degeneration into His perfect world. We know the ending to that story.
However, we have been given a risen Christ. We are fallen, but He is risen. He has triumphed over sin and evil. What this means for us is that we can still choose to believe what He says in His word, obey and triumph with Him. One of the things that He has told us is that, as believers in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we can lay claim to His power. In essence, He’s given us a mighty weapon against evil, and we can either choose to use it or not. But it’s all about choices. Do we believe that He has risen and has triumphed? As believers in Christ, do we believe that we can wield that weapon?
In the Bible, the word of God is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:7). That’s because it’s powerful, more powerful than anything else on earth. But like any sword, it can do nothing if it is not taken into your hands and used against the enemy. If the enemy comes against you and you simply look at that sword sitting on the table, it will do nothing. How then, do you use the word of God like you would a sword? You must read it, and know it and its truth. Like a centurion who chooses his weapon well, and practices using it before going into battle, you must know your weapon well, practice with it and absolutely believe in its power. The centurion believes in the power of his sword; so must you.
I recently heard a story about a woman who was accosted by a robber while she was changing clothes at a business. The man had a knife to her throat, and told her to remove her clothes. She commanded that he release her in the name of Jesus. The man staggered back and then fled. He was caught, went to trial and eventually to prison. In prison, he came to know Christ. Eventually, he told the story about the time he put the knife to the woman’s throat. Yet when she commanded him to release her in the name of Jesus, he confessed that his entire body went slack and he had no energy whatsoever. It was all he could do at that moment to flee.
There are many stories like this–stories where people have taken up their swords and been victorious against the enemy. And trust me–the enemy knows all too well the power of God’s word, and the only way he can be victorious is to keep you from using it.
While I don’t have all the answers to all the pain and tragedy in this world, this much I know–that all too often, the sword of the Spirit is left on the table and never taken up into someone’s hands.
So when we are looking up at God and screaming, “Why?”, He is looking down at us and asking, “Why? Why, when I’ve equipped you to come against the enemy and be victorious, do you face him empty-handed?”
Margaret, I hope this helps. And I hope you get that sword off the table, and stand up and fight.