I did the usual scan of news on www.cnn.com this morning. If you’ve been following the news yourself, you, too, must feel horrified at recent events:
- The continuing massacre of innocent people and children in Syria
- The body parts of a person who were mailed to Canada’s Liberal Party and the Conservatives; the suspect is a creepy porn star
- A separate incident in Maryland where a man cut up his roommate and said he ate his heart and brain
- The man who was found eating another man’s face in Miami and who growled at police who tried to come near
Sorry to be graphic, but it’s reality. And I’m amazed that I can say that…that it really is happening. It’s almost as though hell has opened up its doors, and we are seeing it reenacted before our eyes. This is a world that needs Jesus in the most desperate way.
Crime is everywhere. Just this morning, I got up to find an email from one of my daughter’s softball coaches. It was part of a group email to the parents and players on her select softball team, and it went something like this:
I am on a short vacation in Spain with my family and I’m sad to say we were robbed this morning in the park near our hotel. We are going to fly out in a few hours but the hotel won’t let us leave without paying our bill. We need about (EURO) 2600.
And then it was signed…
That was the creepy part. How would a spammer know that’s how she signs her emails to the team? My daughter got up, checked her email, and came down to talk to me about it. She said she’d just talked to her two days ago, and she was sure she wasn’t in Spain because she’d just been diagnosed with mono. But the fact that these spammers and criminals can get in your stuff and try to make it look that authentic is frightening.
We must be on our guard at all times. But more than anything, we must put on the full armor of God daily. That is the only thing that will keep us safe against the evil that is proliferating on this planet:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
As our world becomes more and more depraved–and it will–know that you have what it takes to stand and not be pushed over or around by the devil. Note that Paul says to “stand firm” twice in these verses. He does not say to advance and he certainly doesn’t say to go backward. Don’t run toward the evil, and don’t back away from it. But if it comes at you, if it meets you face to face, stand your ground. If you are clothed with the full armor of God, the devil will be thwarted.
Pray continually for wisdom. There are scams everywhere. Ask God to guide you in all your ways. And pray for Christians everywhere, for protection, guidance, and Holy Spirit power. Consult God at every turn. He will take you by the hand and lead you through.
And praise our wonderful God for who He is. After reading the news this morning, I sat in my chair and stared out the window, shell-shocked. And then the first thought in my mind and on my lips was, “Thank you God. I am so glad that I am yours and You are mine. With you, I am safe.” There is no treasure on earth that is in any way comparable to what we have in Christ Jesus and His Father, our Lord God Almighty.