Sunday, February 1, 2009

Random thoughts on a Sunday morning

Scripture passage: 2 Peter 1:19 - So we have the word of prophecy confirmed: to which you do well to pay attention - as to a lamp shining in a dark place - until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (Weymouth)

Having stood perimeter watch in South Vietnam, during the hours of darkness, I am well aware of keeping watch in the dark. Darkness so deep you could not see your hand in front of your face.

At times, I could turn and look back toward the compound, and see a light shining somewhere, and remember that I was not totally alone.

With the morning star understood as the sun, it was always great to have the sun come up, and chase away the darkness.

But Scripture calls us to recognize the darkness that has enveloped our hearts and minds and to look to the Scriptures as a lamp shining in a dark place. We are admonished to hold fast to this lamp, to the word of God; until the Morning Star arises in our hearts.

Without Jesus Christ in our heart and life, we are engulfed in a bleak darkness that saps our strength, and leaves us fearful. But the Son waits for us to allow Him to rise in our heart, and bring us the peace we need, and seek.

E. Stanley Jones, in this morning's devotional reading has this to say:
"Psychologist Erich Fromm expresses {insecurity} in these words: 'The individual is now threatened by powerful supra personal forces, capital and the market.

"'His relation with his fellow men, with everyone a potential competitor, has become hostile and estranged; he is free-that is, alone, isolated, threatened from all sides.'

"We have built, 'Thou shalt love thyself,' a pagan attitude, into our culture as its working principle, instead of 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' a Christian attitude.

"Hence we are uneasy, feeling we have missed the Way. We have said: 'Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost' only to find the devil is not only taking the hindmost; he is taking us all-taking us all with fear" {Growing Spiritually, Abingdon Books, Nashville, TN, 1953, pg 32}.

The story of Ernie Pyle in WWII exists of how he chose to eliminate a squad of enemy soldiers one at a time by picking off the last one in the line first; and working his way up.

When the person in front of us falls, we are immediately on guard, and ready to return fire, however, when the person behind us falls, we are unsure of where the attack is coming from, and fear has the ability to take control.

Additionally, if the person behind you falls, you may not even be aware, because you are looking ahead and to the side for danger.

When we allow the enemy to have the hindmost, it may not be long before we, as an individual, are the hindmost.

Scripture advises us to put on the full armor of God: armor that effectively protects us from attack in the front and from the sides, however, it leaves our backside unprotected.

That is why we are admonished to stand our ground! To turn and run, would expose your back.

Scripture also informs us that God watches our back, and protects us from attack.

So, to be safe, and secure, means trusting and believing in God through Jesus Christ, to bring us through the battle. May the Morning Star arise in your heart today, and bring you out of any and all darkness.

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