Our reading today comes from Matthew, chapter 10
It would be very easy to read this passage and determine that it was written for the 1st century church; that it doesn’t apply to us. It talks of persecution, denial, and rejection of the church by the world at large. Those things happened a long time ago. We are not sheep being stalked by wolves today. Or are we?
I have prayed about all sorts of issues going on around me: marriages falling apart, children in trouble, government agencies targeting specific groups of people for excess scrutiny. And those are the big things. What about the hidden threats to our everyday lives? Financial pressures, overbooked schedules, the encroachment of worldly values that seek to undermine our families – just as insidious but harder to detect.
Is this just the status quo, or have we been numbed by the work of the enemy in our midst for so long that we do not even recognize him anymore? I do believe that many of our troubles are self-inflicted and created by our own poor decisions. However, I also firmly believe that the enemy works 24/7 to defeat the people of God. And if we give him an opening, he will take it.
Let us not forget that enemy we speak of is not the one portrayed in the media. We are not looking for some demonic looking little creature holding a pitchfork. God’s Word tells us that he is an angel of light, beautiful, winsome, and extremely cunning. That makes him so very dangerous brothers and sisters, because he works for our destruction using our own weaknesses against us. He puts seemingly good things, good choices, and appealing alternatives in front of us, all the while leading us down a path to despair.
Is your family suffering? Are you struggling to get through each day? What about the church? We are being attacked on all sides and from within on a daily basis.
What can we do? Let us be wise. Let us look with discerning eyes at our current state of affairs and lift them up to God. Let us pray for the protection of our Savior over our families, our churches, and communities. And let us seek to follow the path He has for us, instead of the one the world would lay down in front of us. And let us trust in an Almighty God that loves us deeply, and will enter the fight on our behalf if we allow Him. So let us pray my friends. Let us pray hard and fervently. Let us pray passionately and without ceasing. Let us pray for the power of God to be unleashed into our current situations. Let us pray for His sovereignty to reign in our lives. Let us pray for Him to lead us to the protection that can be found underneath His wings.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, who heals all our diseases and protects us from the evil one. My Lord, my God I see the suffering around me. Families, individuals, churches and communities are all dealing with attacks on every level. Are we our own undoing my King? Or are we being targeted by the one who seeks our destruction? Please protect us Father, from attacks of this enemy. Stand in front of us. Be our shield. And teach us to effectively use the sword of Your word. Teach us to discern his works and to resist his temptations, regardless of their beauty. Make us wise, and strengthen our families through the indwelling of Your Holy Spirit.
In the name of the Redeemer I pray,
The opinions expressed here are my own and do not reflect those of the Liberty Crossings UMC staff or leadership.