March 28, 2023
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING:
“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.” (Ephesians 6.12)
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God. In so doing you will be able to stand your ground when the day of evil comes. After you have done everything you are able to in that day, you will be able to stand [before the throne of God with humble confidence.]” (Ephesians 6.13)
TODAY’S REFLECTION ON GOD’S WORD:
From the Christian perspective we are able to provide illustration of who we are not intended to fight against: The King of kings and Lord of lords, Son of the Father Almighty, RULER of Heaven and earth; the Anointed and Word-walking teachers and modellers of the Faith whose Hope is that Love will abound in its triumph over evil by the AUTHORITY of the Holy Spirit; and those in whom the light of life as the salt of the earth reflect the glory of God which comes “down from Heaven” and is not made of this WORLD. I had to pause and reread that last phrase which was given to me because I had to ask “why” say it in that way. There is a specific distinction we must make for ourselves that will separate us from ultimate destruction by focusing on ultimate sanctification. Sanctification means, in simple terms, “being made holy, acceptable and good (as those who obey in word and deed- the Word of God.) If we will allow ourselves to know “the Word of God,” we will be able to confirm two entities which “came down from Heaven.” One is a reflection of himself and his understanding of the “kingdom of God.” The Other is Himself a reflection of the “kingdom of God” and the author of glorious revelation. The first is, of course, Lucifer (whom many call Satan or ‘the Devil’ in terms of his fallen nature.) Remove the glitz and glamou r which he adorns himself with in self-satisfaction being fully disatisfied with the glory from which he was first made by God and you will find utter darkness. His desire is to make of this world a habitation that is without authentic glory. We might understand it better in terms of “gold” and “fool’s gold.” What is that saying “All that glitters is not gold.” A nugget of Fool’s Gold in the hand has little more value than a grain of sand to which it might be reduced over time. Lucifer, in the glory which God bestowed upon him, was the leader of worship and praise of the One True God. How he got crosswise with himself and God is a heaven-borne mystery. What we know from God’s Word is that he did. He became consumed with himself, dissatisfied with God in His Heaven and desired to become “god in his heaven.” There can be only One God and One Heaven. The darkness of his heart built a stone-cold wall against the love of God. He refused it and abused it. In the POWER that had been given to him, he turned 1/3 of heaven against God. In the insurrection, he was defeated and cast out of Heaven to dwell in “the world.” The world is all that is not “heaven.” Would that we could simply isolate his reign of terror to earth! But, for the time being (and it is a limited time, to be sure) his reign is focused on the earth. His reign is selfish, egomanical, destructive, criminal, lustful, deceitful and negatively powerful in its result. For a time, his reality may seem like a “Midas touch” but gold, after all, is just a mineral and has no life in it. Neither does the kingdom of the “cast out” Lucifer whom the world calls Satan or the Devil.
But, there is the Other who has come down from Heaven. He voluntarily accepted the call to leave the bounty of Heaven and come to dwell on earth among the people of God. He came in glory to reflect upon the glory from its true and authentic source: God the Father of Heaven and Earth. Some might say He came to lead the rebellion against Lucifer and take back what rightfully belongs to God. Some hoped He would come to lead a rebellion against the rulers, authorities and powers of a world darkened by sin and the ruthlessness of those aligned with the “true enemy.” In Him is the light of Life from which all that is made was made. In Him, the light represents the true righteousness of God presented to humanity so they may see “the way, the truth and the life” which honors God and builds up one another in the full measure of their created intent. What is that full measure? The model is Jesus who is the Christ. He is fully God and fully human. He is the servant of God and friend of humanity. In Him there is no deceit, no vile intent and no irreverance of self-service. His power comes from God and reflects fully the true desire of God’s heart. Nothing is hidden for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
It is sufficient enough, I believe, to leave this reflection on God’s Word as it is. We are called to fight against (rebuke the Devil and he will flee) the dark “power” of this world. How we see the global deception played out in manifesting the power of the “dark side, dark lord, dark arts, etc.” as if they are fictional or child’s play. They are real and dangerous and stand counter to any hope for a glorious future and eternal peace. We are called to not fight against the power of “light and life,” i.e. the glory of God. That illumination comes from within as is manifested in the works of good without regard to reward. It rises up out of a changed mind, a renewed heart and a life committed to the goodness of God for which there is no substitute. Its “end” is eternal and abundant life free from the terrors of darkness which plague and destroy the culture and climate of humanity which God declared “good and very good.” I say, leave this reflection as it is because there is only “light” and “dark” power and in the end only “light” as that which is of the Father shall prevail. The darkness will not overcome it nor consume it nor cause it to dissipate into nothingness. Those who choose to dwell in it and abide by the power of it, on the other hand, will be overcome with grief that cannot be assuaged and consumed by lusts that cannot be satisfied and will dwell as dust without any hope of becoming more than that for all eternity. That is a power, mighty ones of God, I can do without. How about you?
A PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father of light and hope and truth and love, we praise You and thank You for giving us the opportunity to escape the terrible fate of the dark world in which no light will exist. It is by Jesus the Christ, the true light and life of the world that we shall seek You and find You and be found by You so that we might dwell together forever. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. AMEN.