Saturday, June 17th, 2017
Self-Examination (Part 88)
Back: Cowardly Turns
O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great Name?
Joshua 7:8-9 (NKJV)
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Revelation 21:8 (NIV)
The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.
Proverbs 29:25 (NASB)
If the armor of God* is meant for war and it covers God's saints from head to toe,** then only one side is unprotected: it's the backside when we turn in retreat. Because cowardly turns are not His way. We're meant to stand tall with faith as our shield.
Easy for me to say when I'm unthreatened; when I'm not facing an angry lynch mob; when I'm not in the midst of brutal war; when I'm not tormented by mean captors; when I'm not risking my life day-by-day; when I'm not hungry, homeless or hunted.
Because in this 21st century, while many of us are comfy-cozy and pondering our next iPhone purchase, wondering what movie we'll watch tonight, thinking how we can improve our lifestyles, moaning about small inconveniences and criticizing people we don't like...
Fellow saints in awful circumstances are forced to face inconceivable threats. Yet they stand in unassailable faith: knowing Jesus suffered and weeps for them; knowing a heavenly home awaits them; knowing God Himself will avenge all wrongs.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Since most of you live in safe places, how can you walk out godly courage?
1) Remember your tormented brethren. Pray for them and help them as you can. Your awareness encourages them.
2) Make a practice of facing fear, even your secret internal fears. Because courage needs workouts to grow.
3) Refuse to settle down in comfort. Jesus didn't live a life of ease. You are called to be action heroes.
4) Media is a hot action field, and it's taken millions of captives through fantastic manipulation.
5) If God gave you talent to go there, don't turn your back from fear of failure... if your presence can save just one fan.
To Be Continued...
* The armor of God: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A10-18&version=NKJV
* Previous 7-part AMTC Devotion Series, The Armor of God: http://amtcdevotions.org/the-armor-of-god-dont-leave-home-without-it
** God says we must 'put on' His armor (by spoken words of faith through prayer), as part of our dressing routine. Just like wartime soldiers must put on their protective gear, we must put it on, too.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.