Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Bethany Bullet - September 4, 2012

One summer we found ourselves in Austria. We were in the middle of the Alps and a considerable distance from any modern city but within the excavation site of what was once a thriving castle community (still an active dig) had been turned into a hands-on museum.

 Obviously they’re not gonna go to war in this!

These aren’t the only young boys who couldn’t fight because the armor didn’t fit - you remember David don’t you? It was also a time when kings would go off to war. In this case King Saul and the Israelite’s stood on one side of the valley while the Philistines and Goliath on the other. 

Now David was a child and King Saul was a head taller than any other solider in his army. One wonders if Saul really thought that after the lad (David) was clad in his mail he could even travail the river bed let alone prevail against the giant.  To Saul’s credit, he obviously wanted the boy as well protected as possible.  Remember at this time Saul is dependent on David for his personal sanity (the little kid who plays music for the mad king) and now he is dependent on David for his kingdom’s security (the little boy who will fight in place of the cowardly king).

Had an Israelite solider stood opposite Goliath (arrayed in armor the Giant), perhaps still indignant, would have scoffed but in this case as David stood there in shepherd’s clothing having forsaken the armor of the king the Giant scolded the boy David.  “You’re not even playing the part of warrior; you come with neither the wear nor weapons of war. My name is Goliath of Gath, prepare to die.”  Or something like that the Giant said. 

Like David we too find ourselves on the battlefield and our armor is equally crucial. For our enemy is a giant too, a master at combat but let’s not, like the Israelites think he is greater than and our strength is no match.   David knew God would fight for him. That same God fights for us and in this last chapter of Ephesians invites us to put on His armor

God is omniscient, potent, and present. That is He knows all, can do anything, and is everywhere.  The devil is none of those things. 

God has set His SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to work through means.  Sometimes we forget what that actually means. What it means…God works through means can be understood through something like daily bread.  We thank God for daily bread.  How do we get it? Usually through money earned at our place of employment and the hard work of a farmer and rancher, a baker and butcher, as well as a trucker and grocer. Sometimes the kindness of a stranger but usually through these daily things God grants daily bread. Sure there are times He rained down bread from heaven or distributed it to thousands when there were just a few loafs. That is what we call a miracle.  God can work them and when He does, He is working outside of means and His SOP.

The Devil on the other hand is bound to the system. He can’t work dark miracles. He can’t enter the banquet hall speak a word of ingratitude and all of the sudden thousands are wrestling over one boy’s lunch. He is not a maker, rather he is a taker; and what he wants is to take us away from God and what he will use is anything that he can to get himself what he wants. He can’t create storms in the gulf, but he can use storms to create a gulf between us and God. Too often we build him up bigger than he is and yet ironically enough it causes us to think the visible stuff is the battle. 

The sizzle that has simmered in the marriage or bitterness that is brewing in the heart, we think they are the battle – but they are not!  We think the body that is breaking down or the debt that is building up is the conflict – but it’s not! We begin to believe that the exhaustion of the daily grind or the imposition of too much homework is the assault but it’s not!  Neither the cancer in our core nor the cancer in our culture is the devils real aim; those things might be the weapons of the war but not the purpose! 

The devil’s desire is our disobedience or our disbelief.  Whether such comes from our thoughts, words, or deeds is irrelevant to the enemy. 

To protect us the Lord seeks to dress us in the armor of God.  This armor is ONE SIZE FITS ALL. 

In reality it is not actually something we put on - but something we put ourselves in, the Word Christ, the House of the Lord, and the ministry of the Church. 

For while the enemy wants us to DOUBT God’s goodness or DISOBEY His utterance through the active of the Spirit, in the purity of Christ’s Word, and the ministry of the House of the Lord. We find ourselves being dressed in God’s armor that we may resist the enemy and stand firm.  

What does such a resistance look like? It looks like God’s people standing strong and trusting that in spite of everything the enemy throws at us, we will believe what God has promised. He loves us, He is for us, and He is with us - and we behave like His people, who love Him, are for Him and are with Him.
-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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