Monday, March 11, 2013

Staring Into the Devil's Eyes

 A recent Swaziland Team Meeting has me reflecting and pondering the distance traveled in time and space, and the changes that have come in the course of twelve plus months.  For a few years now I have been increasingly challenged in both insight and compassion towards the plight of others.  Eyes have been slowly opened and blinders have been removed.  This is not a self aggrandizing statement as I still have a great deal to work on and many, many, many things to be taught and shown.  It is accurate, none-the-less to say a thresh-hold has been crossed and a new world has been revealed.  Wisdom has come that I never before considered and value has been placed upon that which never garnered my attention previously.   A paradigm shift has occurred that has completely devalued, in my thinking, what many are pouring out their entire lives for - the totality of their sum beings to obtain; the trinkets and fixtures of modern comforts, luxuries, habitations, conveniences, and experiences. 

Filling this vacuum is something I never expected;  the simple beauty of the broken.  The lowly, the one ground underfoot and damaged, the abused and the neglected.  These are the treasure of Heaven - the very "last" who "shall be first".  With these lie the very heart of the Father, for if not with them then He could not have compassion on any of us as we all fit the above description in one form or another.  And this realization is, for me, hidden treasure and God delights in revealing His treasures to those who are searching.

At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.
Luke 10:21  NLT

But....there's a catch.

One doesn't encounter treasure without encountering the dirt that it's buried in.
One doesn't recover it without getting that dirt on their hands.  There is no "sterile" recovery.  There is no well-wishing from afar - not if you want the full reward of the effort.  And this treasure for me required getting dirty.  It required (and still requires) the pain of cutting away my pride, my prejudices, and my desires for personal comfort as I endeavor to reach out to others, to put others above myself.  It was amplified as I rolled in the dirt of a mountainside in distant African lands playing with children.  It is still costing me effort as I still have not recovered all of myself from that journey.   And the richest of rewards very often bring one in direct contact with the enemy of the ages - face to face with the fury and demonic presence of Hell itself as Lucifer continues to wage a losing war upon the created in defeated wrath.   He will not surrender ground benevolently.  Only when forced by the Word and the Blood of the Lamb will he yield a claim staked. 

The evidence of his carnage is present throughout lives of people all around us.  It is present in the diseased and dying world around us.  When Jesus stated to his disciples that they would do greater works than him, it wasn't a "there-there, don't feel bad that I"m leaving" pat on the back.  It was a promise that the empowered believer would incapacitate the forces of demonic dominion throughout the earth.  The question is are we willing to engage?  We've been given the weaponry.  We're assured victory.  All that is lacking is will - God's directive will and our will to move forward.  Are we willing to meet the enemy as he assails our home, our neighbor, our co-workers?  Are we willing to move into our community and our government and look into his eyes as he assaults the vulnerable and steals, kills, and destroys.  Are some even willing to go into other nations and hold small and sickened bodies, comfort families, or speak hope into desperation to those simply needing the Father's love demonstrated to obliterate Hell's carnage in their hearts?

No follower of Christ was ever called to singularly rest and enjoy the spoils of this life while the world around them perishes.  We are each of us called, daily, to look into the enemy's eyes and take from him a little more of his dominion in our own lives and the lives of others through the Word and the Blood of the Lamb.  So don't be afraid to stare into the devil's eyes...

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4  ESV

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Josh. I think you are revealing some valuable, deep insights. Thanks for the encouragement as well. Very well timed...not surprising.