This, from a once-in-awhile 2nd Cupper, troubled over the task before American Christians in 2021. These responses could easily be from an individual, a group, or a generation. For that reason, there are no identifying features. Shh-hh… We join the conversation in progress . . .
Well, of course there will. Of course you’ll be tested! Hell’s not going to let go of ANYTHING nor anyONE its’ stolen from you without a fight.
“See? SEE? All this turmoil and garbage going on in our nation and world right now? I can’t stand confrontation and bickering and—“
You didn’t let me finish. The Cross of your Savior, Jesus – y’know, Son of God, second Person of The Trinity – GUARANTEES that Hell can never win unless YOU let it.
“But–But the Devil doesn’t fight fair, you know? He cheats, lies, steals, destroys, and—“
Of course; that’s how you can identify his followers. If you can even stand it anymore, all you need to do is follow the news. Pay no attention to their labels, titles, propaganda, or anything else: just watch what they do, because they’re just like him. Satan’s vicious all the time, every time, because HE KNOWS HE’S THE ALL-TIME ULTIMATE LOSER – which means anybody foolish enough to do his dirty work will be, as well. It’s the old cornered-rat deal — and Satan’s the biggest rat of them all.
“Well, I just don’t like all the fighting . . .”
Better get used to it. Look at yourself as one of God’s MMA fighters—only you’re waging a way different war. YOU are a MSA specialist: MIXED (or MAXIMUM) SPIRITUAL ARTS warrior. And the arts you stay busy perfecting every day are praying, studying the Bible, witnessing to God’s grace in your life, honing your listening and counseling skills, and walking moment by moment in Holy Spirit awareness to situations and relationships around you God may at any time ask you to positively impact for Him.
No one understood the sheer magnitude of Christian men’s and women’s personal witnesses in their daily environments like Paul. Here’s the way it used to read . . .
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” [2 Corinthians 10, NKJV]
And since God gifted Gene Peterson to write The Message paraphrase so accurately, listen to how that same passage reads:
3-6 “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” [Same passage, italics mine, MSG]
“So-o-o, you’re saying whether I want it or not, they’re going to bring the fight to me? Every day? Like no breaks er nothin’?”
What gave you the idea Hell wasn’t doing that all along?
“Wuh–uh! That’s not—-“
Fair? What’s fair about being God’s chief archangel, right there next to The Creator, then igniting an armed insurrection using about 30% of Heaven’s created angels to try to take God The Father down, and out if possible?
“Okay, wait. You mean Satan is actually who Lucifer was? Name change? What?”
There’s no conclusive evidence either way, and the Genesis account says nothing. That is what seems to make the most sense, though . . .
“Satan” is not a name, it’s a description that means “adversary”. He still carries his original name. The Hebrew word śāṭān, meaning “accuser” or “adversary,” occurs several times throughout the Hebrew Bible and refers to enemies both human- and spirit-being alike. When referring to the celestial adversary, the word is typically accompanied by the definite article. He is ha-satan—the Accuser—and it is a job description rather than a proper name.
From this guy’s appearances in both Job and Zechariah, it seems that the job entails calling attention to the unworthiness of mankind–which we, of course, figured out long ago. The Accuser is essentially the prosecuting attorney of the divine court of God The Creator, and part of his job includes collecting evidence to prove his cases. A-and the Devil stays busy digging up all the dirt about all of us he can. Yeah–he gets a LOT of help from way too many humans who ought to know better and mind their own business.
” ‘Kay. Bo–ring. But I’m guessing anywhere around Heaven, it doesn’t mean much any more.”
In one sense, yes. Being the Universe’s Creator, how long do you suppose it took God to replace those spirit beings, along with disgraced Lucifer, if He felt they were needed? But in another sense, the name ‘Lucifer’ equals LOSER to anyone thinking he has any positive value at all.
Remember the movie, The War Room? To quote Miss Clara, “Devil, you just got yo’ butt KICKED! My God is FAITHFUL! My God is POWERFUL! And my God is IN CHARGE! You can’t FIRE ‘im, and He won’t EVER retire!”
“oooh, I remember that movie; I need to see it again. Hey, listen–I gotta be on the clock in 15. I know you’ve always got good, straight stuff to give kinda like, I dunno, a moral or something?”
Sure. Our local, national, and worldwide culture is dangerously close to the tipping point right now. You remember those Maximum Spiritual Arts Warriors I talked about earlier? There’s never been a time in Earth history when you’re more needed than now.
Way too much of the Church is a mile-wide and a couple of inches deep. Christians in name, they rush from one relationship to another, like 8th-grade girls picking each morning’s friends. It dizzies the soul and is an epic fail in expressing one’s true story and witness.
So here’s my suggestion. Stop practicing relational, spiritual misfeasance. Start touching peoples’ lives around you on a deeper level. Who of your younger friends can you take time to invest in paying forward the love, counsel, and Christ’s witness that’s been invested in you? And into whom of your older friends can you set aside time to pour into them your gratitude, love, and esteem so they can enjoy the fruit of their investment of love and counsel all across the years you’ve known one another?
Start there. I think you’ll find it’ll keep you busy and growing.
© D. Dean Boone, January 2021/no copyright infringement intentional