Can you recall a time when you faced an intense situation and you held your breath bracing for impact? Like seconds before a car accident, for example? In the heat of the moment, adrenaline kicks in and instinctively, everything in you intensifies.
Held hostage by the stresses of 2020 for WAY TOO LONG, exasperated by an angry and polarized country, it’s as if we’ve all been holding our breath and yes… bracing for impact.
Today FINALLY after a bitter and contentious election, we can EXHALE. Praise God, the votes have been cast and it’s out of our hands. I wonder though, if by the time you read this, we’ll know the outcome? I certainly hope so. But I can’t know so.
What I do know…
Since I have no idea how it will play out, I’ve decided to focus on what I do know. I do know that regardless of where things stand, the stress has done damage and we desperately need to heal. We need to heal as a nation, a city, a neighborhood, a family and as a person.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
According to scripture, step 1 is to get humble. When everything around me screams us vs. them, the LAST thing I want to do is get humble. No way, I shout! I want to get loud and state my case. But humility is essential to realize my place and purpose in His Kingdom. Humility doesn’t require being right and doesn’t depend on a specific president. Instead humility trusts the Lord’s ways and yields to His assignment as difficult and confusing as it can sometimes be.
Perhaps you are confused today. The result is not what you thought an All-Powerful Lord would have willed. And yet… for reasons beyond our understanding the outcome falls beneath His complete control. Most assuredly, the Lord still sits on His Sovereign throne.
The Battle Lines are clear
As I write, even though I have no earthly idea who will be our president next year, I am certain of this. While the war still wages, the Lord has made the battle lines crystal clear. The fight isn’t blue states vs. red states, liberal vs. conservative, republican vs. democrat, Biden vs. Trump. The battle is much bigger and more eternally significant than that.
Identify the enemy
Who is our REAL enemy? God implores us to identify who we are fighting against.
My daughter Becca, loves the Hunger Games trilogy. Fitting, especially because of its strong female heroine. In the series, the ‘games’ are played in a hi-tech arena, where crafty gamemakers invent creatively cruel life-threatening conditions, forcing players to kill or be killed.
In the second book, the main character Katniss is about to enter the arena for the fight of her life. Just before her challenge, she receives some valuable advice. Her mentor cautions… “ just remember who the enemy is.”
As Christ followers it’s important that we too, remember who our enemy is!
He steals, kills and destroys
Satan is intelligent, a powerful being who fans the flames of pride, selfishness, greed, self righteousness, hate, division and on and on and on. He’s the ultimate gamemaker. He manipulates those situations and provokes people to hurt, offend, maim, and yes, kill one another. He’s happy when he convinces Person A to injure Person B, and even happier when Person B retaliates.
We hurt each other for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s accidental. Sometimes not. Regardless, behind all the reasons is one crafty, deadly enemy. JUST ONE. Not a movement, an organization, a campaign or an ideology. He lurks in all those places, but can only be effective when he invades and persuades the heart of a person. He is the prince of darkness.
We cannot allow the evil one, satan, to deceive us into thinking our enemy is flesh and blood and simply supported the candidate we didn’t.
Ephesians 6:12 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.
In the end, Katniss wins because she plays by different rules. She recognizes her real adversary wasn’t her self-interested opponents, rather her ultimate challenge was the evil perpetuated by the game maker.
The Fight of our Life
That’s our ultimate challenge too. The way I see it, we have to do exactly opposite of what satan wants. Humility is the starting place. Kindness still counts. Love heals the deepest wounds. Forgiveness breathes life. Reconciliation is still possible. And Jesus is the source of all of it.
When we choose to see each other not as enemies but as fellow warriors in the war against evil, we’re guaranteed victory. Even though Satan is losing, he throws dirt in our eyes to tempt us to fight one another.
Going into Battle
Ephesians 6:13 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.
Wearing the armor of God, we’re equipped to oppose the most powerful evil game maker. Still, we never fight alone. We have an ally far more powerful than that savvy satan. Even though God temporarily gives the enemy some leeway to do his thing, the Lord remains in complete control.
The more we trust Him and draw on His power, the more obvious the real adversary becomes. Let’s band together as God’s army and fight the real enemy, aiming to win eternal freedom.
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” Ancient Proverb
For His Glory, Debbie Hucke