I’ve been reading through Acts in the Amplified Bible lately, along with an updated copy of Dr.Hugh Ross’s “The Creator and the Cosmos“. It was interesting, as I’m going through both Acts and Ross’s book I was struck with the confusion and opposition that the early Church encountered and had to deal with. In like manner, with Ross’s book, regardless of what particular issue you look at, there are always counter spins to consider. I use the word “spins” because no matter what particular viewpoint you consider, there are always alternatives put forward that present opposition or downright denial.
The long and the short of it, is that we live in a confusing and complex world. And to make things even more interesting, there seems to be an abundance of hostile interaction between members of the Body of Christ, the Church, as of late. We have Biblical teachers accusing others of false teachings, etc, and professing Christians saying things that I never thought I would hear. Please don’t get me wrong, there are false teachers, there are wolves in the flock and not everyone confronts with distain or misinformation. And yes, there is a requirement to confront.
The vast majority of us weren’t called to be Apostles, or even a Church Pastor. We’re just the “common” folk, that are trying to understand and adhere to what Jesus would have us do. And, of course, if we’re endeavouring to do what Jesus would have us do, then it would follow that we are endeavouring to do what our Heavenly Father would have us do.
Whenever I read the Scriptures, I try to put myself into the environment that they lived in, I try to pick up on the day to day things that they would encounter and have to deal with. In spite of all our scientific, educational and technical advances, human nature, per sec, hasn’t changed all that much over the years. We’re still all just human and subject to common feelings of fear, needing assurance and uncertainty. But for those of us who believe in Jesus, to those of us who have opened the doors of our life to Him, we’re not left there, standing alone in the breeze, without guidance. We do have an advantage over the multitudes of humanity, we have the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, living within us.
See John 14 NIV
But there’s more!
Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
- The belt of truth – Jesus is our truth.
- The breastplate of righteousness – Jesus is our righteousness.
- The gospel of peace – Jesus is the gospel of peace and our peace.
- The shield of faith – our faith is in Jesus, not ourselves.
- The helmet of salvation – Jesus is our redeemer, our salvation.
- The Word of God – Everything within God’s Word points to Jesus.
- Pray in the Spirit – our constantly available communion with God.
This is what God gave to the Apostles and gives to the Pastors and to the common folk. I don’t care if it sounds simplistic, it is reality. There is a struggle going on and it’s not going to go away, at least not while we are here in these earthly bodies. And this struggle is bigger than you and I, so we do need to be focused, we do need to be alert, but not on the confusion, not on the complexity but on Jesus. There’s nothing wrong in sorting out confusion, there’s nothing wrong in trying to understand complexity, but that is not where our mainstream of communion is maintained. Our mainstream of communion is maintained by our thoughts and prayers that are focused on our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Always has been, always will be.
These “truths”, this roadmap, is our path, our strength and our peace.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!