Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 10/27/09
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
1 John 2:16-17
Come what may, come what must, come the whole world and all of its sin and corruption bearing down against the child of God, still the victory does not belong to the forces of wickedness or the lusts of this age. The triumph… the inevitable triumph of the spirit and the soul, the victory of the heart and the mind, it shall, forever and always, belong to the Lord God Almighty, the Heavenly Father who reigns for above and who cares for and protects His children amidst all the challenges of this generation and this temporal existence. It is the promise of the Lord, and the glory of His Word as His truth encompasses our lives.
It’s hard. We look around the world and all that we see is pain and suffering, sorrow and agony, anguish and hurt. We hear the cries of the captives and the prisoners, the slaves and the hostages, we feel the torment they endure, we see their faces, and we watch as all that they know and all that they care about is ripped from them as peace seems so elusive and suffering seems so quick to come. We want to do so much. It’s hard for us to abide in this world because we want to do so much and yet what is their left for us to do when wicked men of brutal iniquity take men and women, tearing apart their lives and crushing their spirits and breaking their hearts. We want to do so much as the news reaches us and we feel the darkness of this world all around us.
Yet, as hard as it may be for us we soon come to realize that there isn’t a whole lot that we can do. We can raise the hostages and the captives in our prayers, we can give our support to the organizations that contend with their cause, we can donate money or time to groups that defend them. But, in the end, we have to come to realize that it’s not in our hands, it’s not in our control. As much as we may want it to be we don’t have the authority or the power to end all of the slavery and the persecution, the human trafficking and the captivity, the oppression and the hostage taking in the world. If we did after all, there would none of this for any to contend with, for any to battle against and we would abide in the blessings of peace all around us as the wickedness of this brutal iniquity faded from this earth.
There is one though, and He has the power and the authority to put a flight to all of these challenges and all of this iniquity. Where we are weak, He is strong, and His grace is sufficient for us through all of the struggles and the adversity in this world, through all the ages. (2 Corinthians 10:7-12) It is here that we see the promises of the Lord, our God and we know that through it all He is the one with the strength as He shows the intensity of His love for His children throughout the world. It is there that we know that “The world passeth away, and the lusts thereof…” but the will of the Lord and those who do it, those who live in it, allowing their lives to be guided by it, they “abideth forever” through the glory of the Lord.
So much so does God push back against the forces of evil and wickedness, darkness and sorrow in this world that He gave His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, as a sin offering that all might be reconciled unto Him. Even as we were lost to the captivity of this world, held in bondage to the power of iniquity, to the grim hold of Sin, Death and the Devil, this long awaited Messiah, the King of kings, and the Suffering Servant, put it all to flight as he ransomed us from it in the power of God’s love and encompassing mercy. In that one life, all life would be freed from this world and the corruption and the iniquity of it as we were all set to liberty by the cause of our loving Heavenly Father.
Here we know, as the hymnist did, “Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us. We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us. This world's prince may still scowl fierce as he will, he can harm us none, he's judged; the deed is done; one little word can fell him.” We have the might and the authority of the Lord, our God on our side, we have the love and the compassion of His Son Christ Jesus with us, through all of the trials of this world, we have the strength and the force of the Holy Spirit and there is nothing in this world, nothing of this world that can stand against it, come what may, come what must, come trials and tribulation. For the Lord, in His divine grace, shall put to flight to all of it as the wickedness of this world fades and the chaos it brings is finally and forever put to an end.
Show not pride in your life. Rather humble yourself before the Lord your God and know that He is at work in this world, letting His will and His ways be known. We may not see it at the time, nor may we always understand it, but He is always there and He is contending with the cause of His people regardless of the challenges that they face, regardless of the struggles that they know. He is there and He is at work, putting an end to the lusts and the powers of this world as they afflict the souls of the innocent and make weak the spirits of the strong. He shall never let captivity be the end of one persons story. Rather, in glory, He shall uplift them, He shall raise them above and show them mercy and kindness in their lives even as they feel their comfort and their peace fleeting.
Pray to the Lord, raising your voice for this cause and this calling in the love that you have for your fellow man, knowing that the Lord, He hears our prayers and He answers them according to the encompassing and the transcending love and compassion that He has for His people in their lives. Forever at work in this world, forever a guiding and an encompassing presence He moves in the most significant of ways in our lives, through our lives shining His truth and His mercy in all things, through all things according to His promises and His blessed assurances.
Even as it seems like evil is on the rise and the power of this world cannot be overcome, place your faith and trust on those Words of the Lord that tell you that these things too shall pass, that they are fleeting and they shall soon fade away as He lets himself be known by His grace and His mercy throughout this world, putting to flight all of the challenges and the adversity, putting an end to all of the torture and the torment as He proves that wickedness and iniquity, hatred and loathing shall have no dominion over His people. What a glorious and wondrous knowledge that truly is as we seek out His will and His ways in our lives and we raise up the cause of all of those held in such bitter estates by the forces of wickedness in this world.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.