That was fun. We'll have to do that again soon.
Anyway, back to the show...
All this talk about Jesus is making me hungry! What am I hungry for you ask? I am hungry for freedom. I want to be free and I want you to be free. Free from what? (Man, you all are sure asking a lot of questions today!) I want us to be free from that smooth criminal...that sneaky enemy hiding and waiting to pounce on us. Any decent (irony alert) bad guy out there operates under the number one rule of bad guy-ness....super sneakiness. And for the criminal-type bad guys and girls out there...it is essential to their bad guy-ness that they be sneaky. Think God Father, think American Gangster, think Scarface, think Casino, think Good Fellas, think Care Bear Adventures in Wonderland (what!? there was a bad guy in it.) These bad guys and gals (Sharon Stone...hello!) don't walk around wearing t-shirts that say, "Please stay back 30 feet. I'm, like, super duper bad news." or "You feelin' luck punk? Well, you shouldn't, cause I'm about to jump you." I think you all get where I'm going here.
Our enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy us. That is intense and scary stuff right there. I'm about to go from funny to serious in .0006 seconds. Please....fasten your serious safety belts.
I'm sorry to have to talk about this stuff. I don't want to. I would much rather make you laugh. I love laughing. Laughing is my favorite (along with whispering). But I have to tell you this stuff even if it makes me sound like a crazy person. Truth be told, I am kinda crazy. I am crazy about people. I l.o.v.e. people. And because I love people, I can't sit back and say nothing as the enemy tries to ruin life after life....including mine. It would be selfish of me to be too afraid to tell you the truth just because you might think I'm nuts for believing in the devil. The enemy doesn't like to be pointed out and caught in the cross-hairs of discovery and truth. I know what some of you might be thinking: only ignorant, uneducated people believe in some evil dude that tries to destroy you; he is a fictitious character made up to scare little kids into doing their chores, and he wears red, has horns, a long tail, and carries a pitch fork. He loves that a lot of people think this way. It makes things way easier for him. If you don't know he's there....then you won't try and stop him. Do you know what the devil wants more than anything? He wants to destroy the people of God. Saying he hates us is the understatement of the century. He is totally satisfied with the fact that there are issues in the churches of the world today and that no one wants to talk about it. He wants there to be denominational divisions and disagreements over Bible verses. He wants us to focus on our differences so that we destroy ourselves and he doesn't have to lift a finger. He wants us to be fearful and legalistic. He wants us to live in guilt, comparing ourselves to other people and then giving up because we never measure up. He wants us to distance ourselves from the "other" people of the world. He wants us to push people away that are different. He doesn't want Christianity to attract people. He wants people as far as away as possible from Jesus and the freedom that He brings.
I'm not talking about this in order to fill everyone with fear. Love beats out fear every single time. Fear is the enemy's favorite tool. Fear, guilt, shame, hate, anger, lust, disrespect, depression, anxiety....these are a few of his favorite things. Don't be scared, just be aware. Like I said in my previous blog post....information helps us build a strong foundation. We wouldn't need to build strong foundations if there wasn't an enemy that was going to try and destroy it. We need to equip ourselves with the truth. We need to aware that we are being hunted, so that we aren't taken off guard when we find ourselves under fire. We need to be informed of our enemy's attack plan. How do you defend yourself if you don't know you're under attack? Boxers train in order to prepare for a match. Armies train in order to prepare for battle. Business executives strategize in order to prepare for a meeting. We need to arm ourselves with information and faith in God. Here is what this little book called The Bible says about it:
"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
AMEN!"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...." Ephesians 6:10-18
#1 on the list from Katie's Friendship Manifesto ( revised 2010 addition) = Fight on the winning team.
As always, please share your thoughts and opinions. I love hearing from you all..