A time of testing
April 8, 2020
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Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. (Judges 3:1-4)
This has been the situation of Christians from the time of the apostles till today. We are living in enemy territory, there is spiritual warfare being waged against us every day.
Yet we are comfortable here, we see no danger. The LORD wants to teach us war; is it too late for us to learn? Do we know who our enemies are? Perhaps we are too much aware of those who are corrupt, dishonest, immoral, teachers of deception. Taking all such people out of the way would not solve the ills of this world. They are tools of the enemy and he would find others to do his bidding.
Is it possible that we can live moral and upright lives, praise God with our lips and at the same time the desires of our heart and the thoughts of our mind can be patterned after the world?
Here are a few things the Bible speaks of that may indicate whether we have identified the real enemy. Do we:
- Suppose that gain is godliness?
- Respect the rich and despise the poor?
- Feel discontent with what we have?
- Speak evil of others?
- Find it difficult to speak of our relationship with the Saviour?
- Have compassion for those who are weak in the faith?
- Speak disrespectfully of people in authority?
- Look down on people of different language, culture or skin colour?
- Attribute our salvation to the faith of our parents?
- Judge a person’s faith by his lifestyle?
Our enemy has no problem with people who are Bible-reading, church-going Christians, as long as they don’t get enthused about it. We can know and live by to all the principles and guidelines of the Christian faith, as long as we are comfortable being passive Christians. As soon as we become active he becomes alarmed and tries to sidetrack us or discourage us.