You Must Stand Firm
This shaken soul reels and shudders as The Empire State Building is lit up for all to see by an image of satan, reflected in the picture of the Hindu goddess - Kali. Satan now boasts 'I rule'. It is his most visible letter to western mankind (and the US in particular) explaining why evil now scours dangerous canyons across the globe, apparently without restraint.
1) The Eroded Pedestal of Love
Two other images are also burned upon my mind from the previous twelve months. One is horrid, the other is beautiful. Paradoxically, each carries an identical significance. To mix the metaphors, these are a loaded double-barrel shotgun pointed at Christians.
The first is a picture of nine year old Aussie boy, neither an infant nor yet a youth lofting a severed adult's head to shock the world. Proudly standing beside him was his supportive dad.
The second image is a delightfully colorful, divinely created promise - the rainbow (albeit edited by sinful man with an extra stripe). Arguably the rainbow flag arose from the San Francisco gay community in 1978 as a reusable symbol of hope to be flown high in the Gay Freedom Day Parade.
All three pictures can only drive me to my knees yet again, for with a satanic precision they express the promised increase of wickedness upon this earth (Matthew 24:12). The darkness of evil lengthens its shadow further over the blinded minds of mankind - Christians and pagans alike.
The days of the coasting Christian rapidly decline as many will depart the faith, and the love of most will grow cold. The unpalatable season of standing firm, staying strong and praying hard is upon each who would name Jesus as 'LORD'.
Righteousness is both God's plumb line for life (Isaiah 28:17) and His pedestal of love. Righteousness is the only correct support for love.
The call of righteousness is to love selflessly - not indulgently.
I have to be confronted with righteousness before I can understand the death of sin. When the promises of sin allures, only one choice is reasonable, as with young Joseph in Potiphar's household - flee. To flee sin is to not shrink.
2) A Plunging World
As you ponder these words the world plunges willingly, headlong towards sin and death (even Christians,) for there is no tugging upon God's measuring line of 'righteousness'. Those Christians who would support same-sex marriage have shrunk back and echo the wanton humanity of western mankind. They honor that which the Lord describes as abominable.
The call to love each other is captured by neither of the two images, one is brutal and the other deceitful. The call of righteousness is to love selflessly - not indulgently.
Tolerance is no more expressing righteousness than grace is permission to continue in sin.
The world's definitions of 'rights', 'tolerance' and 'love' are not written in heaven's dictionary.
For those who would stop in the secret place, remove the clamor of the world - God whispers truths and delights. He yells at no-one and stands on not one of His rights. Yet when God is unheard and His book continues unread (as if a divinely appointed home for dust) by the Christian and pagan alike, we can only end up in our conclusions, penned from our dark.
To understand the multiplying strength of evil across this globe is a catalyst to strengthen walls, dig fingernails into faith and gaze upon the Cross as our only stronghold and shield.
Countless brothers and sisters in ages past (and still this day) have walked the torturous path of world resisting, tide turning, Jesus honouring faith. They have well understood God's measure of righteousness.
It is in honoring the Lord that the voice for righteousness is lifted aloud, that God is glorified and the world hears. Surely this may bring loss to the speaker (remember they hated Jesus first), but to lose on earth is to win in heaven. It is the bold and the loud who speak up for Jesus and His righteousness, who know Jesus as their stronghold, the Holy Spirit as counsellor and are firmly decided to carry their cross unto death, for they are the living ones who do not shrink back.
Stare down the double barrels loaded and aimed at Christians these days. It is far easier for the Christian to find reason to withdraw than to stand strong, but these are the days to stand up and be counted, numbered for Him who still owns the earth and soon comes to reclaim it (and you) as His own.