Events in the past several weeks have caused me to search my own heart and I have asked myself questions like: “How can we be like Christ to the world if we don’t stand together as the Body of Christ? Are we supposed to stand together or apart? Some of us don’t even act like we belong to the Body of Christ with the gossip and name calling that goes around. What am I supposed to learn from this Lord? ” I have heard many stories this week of spiritual crumbling. I am perplexed, confused and heartbroken. I have asked myself what I believe and why. I sense the brokenness that is happening all over our great nation. Sin is separating the Body of Christ. Sin keeps us from God.
So what is keeping us ( the world) from God? Things like abortion, homosexuality, addictions, perversions, anger, hatred, lust, adultery, lying, stealing, money, jealousy, killing and the list goes on and on and on. Go back to the Old Testament and start in Genesis and you will see it all there. Get a pencil and piece of paper and make a list of all the sins in Genesis. It is incredible to see it listed on paper. It’s all there. Now go back and see where sin wasn’t! Then look at how many pages you have turned when you see sin enter in. Shocking isn’t it? As soon as the serpent deceives Eve, and even before she took a bite-there was sin, looming, lurking and waiting like a thief in the night. Deceit at it’s finest.
1The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the Lord God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden’?”
2The woman answered the snake, “We’re allowed to eat the fruit from any tree in the garden 3except the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You must never eat it or touch it. If you do, you will die!’ ”
4“You certainly won’t die!” the serpent told the woman. 5“God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened. You’ll be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Can you imagine this moment in your mind’s eye? Eve being enticed by the slithery, slippery, lying snake who has an agenda. His agenda is to separate the people that God breathed his very breath into from their Creator. All Eve wants is something to eat. Along comes this idea from this seething serpent, seething because he can’t have his own way with God so he plays the dirty card that’s up his sleeve. Trickery, lying, deceit, pride and selfishness. He placed the first seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. Can you hear him now, with a sweet little, soothing voice…Just this once….come on Eve….you won’t be like God if you don’t eat it. So, go ahead and eat it, it won’t hurt you, why if you eat it, you’ll be just like God, knowing good and evil.
And BAM! She eats it and gives it to Adam and they both see good and evil and realize that they have been scammed. The biggest scam in all of creation. And that scam continues today in every way, shape, and form possible. Satan still uses people and I know he has used me from time to time and it is only when I began to study God’s Word that I saw and understood how real spiritual warfare is. It goes on all around us, whether we see it or not, it’s there. Satan is madder than hell and he wants to take over God’s people and he will go to any lengths and any cost to do just that. He is doing it right now.
He is using the oldest sins in the world to cause spiritual crumbling. He is using government, church policies, man’s rules, leaders, people, and even the oil that God himself placed inside the earth on the day of creation. He is tricking people into thinking that things are okay and “ I can get away with this just once, no one will know.” Oh yes, you will know, just like Adam and Eve did-your eyes WILL be opened and if you have a conscious you won’t be able to sleep at night knowing that what you did was against God. I wonder how many sleepless nights Adam and Eve had?
Have you ever agreed to do something and then while you were doing it you knew deep down in your gut that it was the wrong thing to do? That something just didn’t feel quite right about it? That it wasn’t wrong or illegal but that your spirit knew it was against God. I wonder if Eve felt like this when she picked up the fruit and took a bite? It’s almost like a door you didn’t know was there had been opened all of a sudden and you get this creepy feeling that you just let something in that you shouldn’t have. An uneasiness.
When I think about this uneasiness, I am reminded of Nehemiah. When he heard that his beloved city was in ruins he wept, and fasted and prayed for days. His heart was wrenched. My heart feels this way too. I feel like my beloved city is going to ruins. Crumbling. I’m not talking about a physical city, but a spiritual one. At times it feels like mine and other times it feels like the world. Where is our sense of purpose? Is it in man or God? I don’t know what to do with the feeling except pray and write. When I write, I also study and it helps me process what I am hearing and thinking. I go to the scriptures and read and study for myself.
What are they saying?
What is God telling me?
I often look to Nehemiah for advice. Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the city walls. Why? So his people would have a safe place to live. The walls were like the armor around the city. They protected what was inside. While in the rebuilding process Nehemiah gathered families together along each section to rebuild it. No one family was responsible for the entire wall, but they all did it together as a team. Nehemiah prayed for strength for his hands and in fact he didn’t do anything without praying first. Does this mean there was no opposition? Of course not! There’s always opposition! As long as we live on this earth it will always be here. But Nehemiah was determined that he wasn’t going to let the opposition get inside. What did he do?
Nehemiah positioned people by their families behind the wall where it was lowest and most exposed. The people were armed with swords, spears, and bows. 14I looked them over and proceeded to tell the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of our enemies. Remember how great and awe-inspiring the Lord is. Fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
15When our enemies heard that we knew about their plots and that God had prevented their plans from being successful, we all went back to the work on the wall. Each person performed his own job.16From that day on, half of my men worked on the wall, and the other half were wearing body armor and holding spears, shields, and bows. The leaders stood behind all the Judeans 17who were rebuilding the wall. The workers who were carrying loads did the work with one hand and held their weapons with the other, 18and each builder had his sword fastened to his side. The man who was supposed to sound the trumpet alarm was with me. 19I told the nobles, the leaders, and the rest of the people, “So much work has to be done in different places that we are widely separated from one another on the wall. 20When you hear the trumpet, assemble around me. Our God will fight for us!”
21So we continued to work. Half of us held spears from early dawn until the stars came out. 22At that time I told the people, “Every man and his servant should stay overnight in Jerusalem so that we can set a guard at night and work during the day.” 23My brothers, my servants, and the guards assigned to me never changed their clothes. Neither did I. We each kept our weapons at hand.
They each did their work where they were positioned, here and there along the wall. Some inside, some outside. They all had their armor on ( weapons in hand) and if there was trouble they were to gather around the leader when they heard the trumpet sound and fight together. They were heavily guarded and each one kept their weapon handy.
What is our weapon?
The word of God
10 Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can stand firm against the devil’s evil plans. 12 Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.
13 So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing.
14 So stand firm. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. 15Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. 16 Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all of the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s word.
18 At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of God’s people.
19 Pray also for me. Pray that when I open my mouth, the right words will be given to me. Then I can be bold as I tell the mystery of the good news. 20 Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord’s messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That’s what I should do.
There you see that our fight is against the things that we cannot see-against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world. But here we have this beautiful depiction of armor- a wall so to speak. We are to clothe ourselves with it like a beautiful robe made of the finest cloth and golden thread. We are to wear it properly and it will protect us-just like the wall protected the city of Jerusalem once it was rebuilt. It protected the people that were inside of it. Our armor protects what is inside of us-God. Without it we are doomed to crumbling.
Are we depending on GOD or ourselves? Are we putting on God’s armor or our own? Are we standing in Truth? Do we have godliness in our hearts and minds? Are our feet sharing the good news of the gospel with all that we meet? Is our shield of faith being held up or is it down by our side? Do we have salvation? Are we lashing out with cruel words and worldly judgment or are we standing firm on God’s Word to guide us? What does God’s word say? Do you even know? If you don’t, you need to get a bible and read it, study it, eat the words that are in the Good book. Get them deep down into your gut and digest the Truth. Some of them taste sweet, others may be sour, but always know that God’s Word is the Truth and God will never deceive you or trick you up. That is the work of the evil one. Just ask Eve.
Nehemiah was tested over and over and over again. He never faltered, he never failed and he never, ever came down from his post. Not even when the leaders of the nation sent for him. He knew, deep down inside his own gut, that it was a trick. It was a trick to get him to leave his post. But he didn’t do it. He stood firm. He wasn’t inside or outside the wall….he was on top of the wall! His perspective was over the entire project-not just part of it. God gave Nehemiah a vision and he knew that Nehemiah would see it through to the finish. Has God given you a vision for His people?
Be a Nehemiah and lock arms with all the people along the wall, not just those in or out, but with all the people of God. Let’s quit fussing and fighting and get on with the work of God. People are dying because they have no protection from the evil one. Our protector is Jesus the Christ and He is standing on the walls of heaven-overseeing the entire project-waiting to take a hold of your hand. Will you join him there?
I pray that you do.
( a note: this blogpost was inspired by a series of events in my life over the past several weeks. These events have caused me to go to the scriptures and seek out the Truth for myself. What I see in retrospect is that a lot of people are dying while we ( I) are fussing and fighting over this or that instead of getting out and telling people about Jesus Christ, myself included. God is calling me to be BOLD and to follow Him. It isn’t about me, it’s all about HIM. I have to get out of the way and let God do His work through me. If I don’t-I’ll never do it and if I do…well that’s all in God’s hands too.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.
That’s a promise.