For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. -Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – 6:12 – Holy Bible – NKJV I am not a minister or preacher. I am just a flawed Christian who firmly believes in the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. I also believe that Paul’s message rings true today. The above Scripture, and part of this column, comes from the August 29th daily reading of Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling. Today, Sarah reminds me that I must strive to put my trust in God; even though I fail to do so on many occasions. While some of our world and country borders on “gray areas”, there is clearly good and evil that forms the basis of our experience here. For example, we can see the overwhelming good in the birth of a child, the beauty of nature, and in witnessing people “do the right thing.” We also see the depths of darkness that lurks in the hearts of evil men. Resisting and fighting evil is difficult for us to do. However, drawing closer to God in our personal lives is the most effective way to be guided in this complex and broken world. Adversity is one of the great tests of faith and trust in God. People battle health problems, business owners fail, addicts and alcoholics relapse, lawyers lose cases, and for many of us, including me, the belief that our country is heading down a wrong and dangerous path can be depressing. In one way or another, all of us have personal battles through life. The man who tells you otherwise is less than honest.
Each of us faces a choice when adversity strikes. We can either give up or stand up. Standing up is expressed by putting our trust in God.
Sadly, I have witnessed men and women who have chosen to give up. It is the most heart breaking thing you will ever see. To look into a man’s eyes who has chosen to lose all faith in God is like looking into a black hole. It is the clearest demonstration of the power of evil.
However, the power of evil does not rise to the level of the power of good. Another way to overcome evil is remembering there is hope. As a Christian, I look to God for perseverance when faced with obstacles in life. Am I perfect in this approach? No. Humans are not made to be perfect. But, each of us possesses the ability to get tough when the tough gets going.
Also, knowing that God is in charge brings a sense of peace and communion with our Maker. This is a simple idea. Yet, when faced with challenges, I oftentimes want to “drive the bus.” This human instinct is at odds with what God wants from us. The correct, yet difficult approach, is to get out of the way of God’s plan for us and adjust our actions to become in line with His will for us. With these ideas in mind, we can look for God’s guidance in our lives.
We can overcome the fear of taking risks and make life improving changes. We can speak out when our political leaders will not. We can resist evil when dark powers tempt us to “do the wrong thing.”
Trusting in God allows us to strive to be the best in our careers and service to the community. This includes service to our families.
God allows us to pursue our dreams that are part of His exciting plan. Whether this is involves business goals, running for public office, furthering your education, being a better father, starting a new business, or tackling those personal character defects that have held us back for so many years. We can do it today by demonstrating our trust in God.