Monday, July 30, 2012
CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION HAPPEN IN BOOKS AND IN LIFE
Most writers agree that good fiction hinges on conflict and resolution. The main character faces a problem and he resolves it. Real life also finds all of us facing one or more problems. Sometimes we can resolve them, sometimes not. Sometimes they resolve themselves, sometimes the resolution is entirely different than we expected. All the same, we can count on our problems being resolved in the best way possible when we believe in God’s promises and follow His expert advice. Do you?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The Sword of the Spirit
Swords make us think of conflict and battle. Even little kids like to play war with their harmless, toy swords to see who will win the fight. In some countries swords are still used for battle. In most, however, advanced weapons have replaced the lowly sword. Today we usually see them on display, over a fireplace mantle, or in an antique store. Their value has changed from practical weapon to symbolic keepsake.
One sword, however—the Word of God—will neither go out of date nor be replaced with another weapon. As Christians we are to stand firm against evil by putting on God’s armor, including “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
A speaker at our church shared about his former life as a drug dealer and user, a thief and attempted murderer, and a Satanist. Abused and ridiculed as a child, he began to associate with older boys who were more accepting of him—although nefariously and illegally. He had been forced to attend a legalistic church when young and developed a hatred for anything “religious.” Satan ruled his life.
As a result, he ended up in jail and prison numerous times. His last time spelled hopelessness for him, except for one thing. By now desperate to be free from his meth addiction, he turned to a Christian ministry in prison. Against all he believed about Christianity, he reluctantly chose to read the Gideon Bible given to him. The words in that Bible pierced him as surely as if they were killing jabs from a sword.
God’s Word is that powerful. “The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
We cannot overemphasize the importance of using God’s Word as a sword against sin and evil. None of us are immune to the need to fight for righteousness. The Bible’s message is as relevant and powerful now as when written. It can change a fallen, hopeless man’s life 180 degrees. It can change the life of anyone who is desperate enough to hear it. No one is beyond hope of God’s forgiveness.
Lord, whether we’re hardened sinners such as the man who spoke at my church or good, upstanding church members, we need Your life-changing, life-giving Word. Help us use it not only for our own spiritual benefit but as a weapon against the sin and evil around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.