About a fortnight ago, I came across a program on the radio when tuned in to the British Broadcasting Corporation. The subject that caught my ears was all about fear. The following salient points captured my attention: fear was a potent manipulative tool for control by tyrannical despots and, on the other hand, ignorance cements the power fear has over a person’s life.
There is without any question that there is an escalation of evil as we approach the final hour. Sadly speaking, a lot of believers forget who is really in control; terrified and petrified by what hits their senses – they inadvertently sink into hopelessness coupled with a constant state of panic. Some would whimper to Our Saviour, half believing as the frown on their faces persists. If they only knew that their Redeemer was the same – yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Did they not know that the Restrainer of evil is still keeping wickedness at bay with the same power as in the days of our Church father’s? The enemy’s meanest con job is to make everyone think that he has got it all; he is upping the ante because he knows that shortness of the time available as mentioned in Rev 12.
Tragically, a great number of believers fall into this ruse. They fail to comprehend the greatness of God’s infinite power which is a total opposite of the adversaries’ limited strength. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” That is Matthew 10:28, and this verse truly reminds me that there is only One we all must fear.
Another verse that is very easy to understand and digest is 1 Samuel 2:9. Here is a simplified point-form paraphrase of the above verse that will be helpful in easing many unfounded fears.
- HE guards the feet of his saints. (We believers are all his saints, and no one is left out in His protective shield.)
- The wicked will be silent in darkness. (Simply said, those wanting to harm us will be silenced by His Hand. Furthermore, they will be groping in the dark, thereby being incapable of causing any harm.)
- By strength alone, no one will prevail. (Cuts both ways; the adversaries’ power will be curtailed when we believe in His infinite power and, on the other hand, reliance on our own abilities will not enable us to overcome our adversary.)
Which brings another thing to mind; low Scriptural literacy only makes believers susceptible to relentless bouts of scaremongering. This only serves to get them worked up easily when there is perceived fear, sometimes out of worthless stuff. If only believers could devote more time to solid spiritual food from websites like Rapture Ready and Understanding the Times instead of the bulk of their available spare time on frivolities like Game of Thrones, then they will not be in danger of falling away. A little but crucial bit of the Truth can have a greater calming effect than tranquillizers!
Of very late, a lot of churches have aggravated the situation by not placing emphasis on things that matter for the times. Placing excessive weight on things of lesser importance, plus clinging vehemently to manmade traditions, does very little to equip believers to face the challenges of the day, turning them into beating the retreat and not emerging as victors for Christ.
Reminds me of a portion of history about the place I come from. Back during the Second World War, the British surrendered the then island fortress of Singapore after a brief but one-sided aerial battle with the Imperial Japanese Army. All because they relied on second-rate Brewster Buffalo monoplanes as frontline fighters that were cut down by sleeker Japanese Zekes. Worst of all, they were unable to shoot down a Betty bomber if not a Kate torpedo plane. Absent were Curtiss P40s or Supermarine Spitfires that could have significantly made a difference. No wonder someone wrote a book about the above debacle entitled Bloody Shambles.
I reckon that definition is true of many of the mainstream churches today; they have the physical numbers, but what about the spiritual state of the congregation? Are their lives a testament of victory over the enemy through the blood of Christ? Look at the apostasy and even drop-out numbers!
I chanced recently to listen to somewhat shocking revelations from Jan Markell and Carl Teichrib – they were on a fact-finder that took them to a pagan conference. I learnt that there were former Evangelicals and even a former Christian youth leader that have drifted into such a parlous. They simply stopped believing in the power in the Resurrection. Never thought I would live to witness such a sad state amongst the salt of the earth.
It can be totally demoralizing to picture the Son of Perdition laugh his way to the bank as the casualties seemingly mount – followers of Christ dropping out and turning to other faiths while those that hang on have the fire they once had from the Lord extinguished. Small wonder why these become unfruitful with drunkenness, lewd language and sexual immorality appearing to be the norm. Once the decay sets in, then jealousy, bitterness, envy and unloving apathy revolve around those in this freefalling mode. When evil has a grip on a person, anything unspeakable is possible – be it slander, suicide, and even murder!
To throw in the towel and assume all is but lost amounts to the certain alteration of one’s eternal destiny on doom’s path.
It is simply succumbing to a blatant lie when a believer is inclined towards defeatism – as good as a simple trap gets. Yet this weapon of the enemy is not impotent but, on the contrary, possesses a devastating sting straight from the pit of hell!
We are not helpless against this sting if we would only fear none whatsoever of the creation except the Creator. Jesus told his disciples in Luke 10:19, “Behold, you have been given the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
It is easy to understand, but how many people take it to heart that this is still possible in current-day contexts? I reckon not a large number, though I pray that there could be more. What is said two thousand years ago is still valid, regardless of the opposition’s tenacity. Except that many disbelieve if not half believe; so much for a paucity of faith.
All that is due to our fallen nature; that is why Jesus had to become human like us and then die for our wrongs. By His stripes we are healed, but lots who do not believe are still very sick.
So, the only way for all of us to be well and good is not to put our hope in our limited fragilities but in infinite power of Christ. For that to happen, we must make Him center stage in our lives – connecting with Him closely in our walk of faith. This is no stop-start affair but ongoing by the seconds, minutes and hours!
Will He tell us that He is busy and would only get back to us later? Absolutely not! Once you surrender everything to Jesus, you become his saint and are precious in his sight. When the wicked one taunts you, he is powerless to drag you down once Christ in dwells in you.
“Fear not; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt 10:31).
We therefore have to live by the Living Word if this great lie plus other deceptions are to be successfully overcome. Not half-truths that stem from mindless gossip, but simply abiding by the Word of Truth will enable us to circumnavigate this fallen world with all its snares.
Brothers and sisters in the Lord, banish all that defeatist murmur that comes from nothing but a lie meant to frighten all of you. But put on Jesus and cling on to the inerrant Word; on that note, you will have spiritual empowerment that will translate into victorious lives. Wouldn’t it be great to be in such a state when the Trumpet sounds!
All for His Kingdom & Glory