Have you ever felt you’ve walked into an ambush?
More lately than ever before, I’m finding that just when life gets calm, I quickly get ‘hit’ from multiple directions in aspects of life that mean the most to me. The ‘attack’ is in the area of my daughters, relationships, jobs, finances, work, family issues, and the list goes on. What is going on? Does it ever just stop? It seems relentless… and the more I pray, the stronger the attack! And if you’re one of the few who believes that life is going just great, I challenge you to watch or listen to some form of media and catch up on world events. I believe you’ll agree that we’re not in Kansas any longer! The world has changed, and for the most part, not for the better. But this isn’t new… it is exactly what the Apostle Paul spoke about in 2 Timothy 3. While Paul was in prison and contemplating his own death, he warns his protégé Timothy of difficult times to come. It is clear that Paul never loses his faith in God, but is deeply concerned about the trends of the world around him… expressing that hard times and stress are coming and warning that if a man was not prepared, that he would not survive the wrath he faced.
Even as early as the first verse (2 Timothy 3:1), Paul is emphatic that “…there will be terrible times in the last days.” As I continue this journey dedicated to doing life with Christ, I can’t help but wonder, are we currently in the “last days” Paul was speaking about? Does it sound like I’m being over dramatic? Even just the first 2 verses of the reading were filled with a sobering collection of corruptions that occur when we turn our back on God. The reading highlights the total rejection of God where people act in an unholy manner and become ungrateful, lovers of self and pleasures rather than lovers of God. This is followed by a total moral collapse where people increasingly follow idols rather than God. And finally, a total breakdown of society where people become treacherous, slanderous, abusive, without self-control, and children that are disobedient to parents… an ‘anything goes’ mindset. Where every person does whatever they desire (but beware the person who questions lifestyle choices!) Divorce is at epidemic levels and the redefinition of marriage as the Bible defines marriage appears to be going unnoticed all in the name of “free expression.” Paul speaks that in the end times, all of these attacks on Biblical principles will increase in intensity and frequency, until we experience what is describe in the Book of Revelation… the widespread deterioration of the social order as we rebel against God and destroy ourselves and the world in the process.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, my prayer is that we renew our commitment to make the Bible the foundation of our lives. This amazing Book will make us stronger and give us confidence when, not if, trouble comes. The good news is that God has provided us 2 advantages… He’s already told us what will happen and He’s told us what we’re to do with our time before Christ returns. So as I work to build my life on the foundation of God’s Word, I’ve been focusing on asking myself 3 questions…
- How am I actively building God’s Word into my life and the life of my family?
- Even though I may disagree or struggle with what God’s Word says, do I have the kind of faith to submit to God’s Word always as I’m called to do as a Christian?
- In everything I do, am I willing to pass all I encounter through the filter of Scripture and the Holy Spirit?
Living our lives according to the Bible is definitely not easy or popular… I’m find that out every day. I believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such, is worthy of being honored… completely! It is the foundation of everything I believe, and if the foundation is strong, I can build my house to withstand all of life’s storms while others around me are destroyed because they choose the easy way based on feelings, not Godly principles.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (Amen!)
Robert Frost (Excerpt from The Road Not Taken)
gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)