“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”
By G.P. Avants
The reality is the world is becoming a wild and dangerous place. The truth is it started when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and that blood red stain just spread from there. The Bible, which it truly the entire of human history, told us it would all get far worse before it got better.
This is the ninth post in the Overcome Series. The challenge as a believer living in a rapidly changing world is to not throw away their faith, but to rather make that tiny seed grow in adversity. Those who keep the faith wil be called overcomers, while those who walk away will be overcome by the lies of the world. Which are you?
If your read the post Backwurld, (Post 2) you know that our world is becoming hard, mistrusting, bitter, hateful, and ready to fight at the drop of a hat. I don’t know if entropy, the wearing down of all things, is a result of the fall of man, but it’s a reality we live with. Even good things in this world will eventually age, decay and rot away. In many ways sin is like a cancer that gets into every facet of mankind, even the highest best intentioned parts of our person and ideals will die from it’s existence.
How will nice people survive such perlious times? In a savage dog-eat-everything world how do people keep their faith, morals, and character? Now, I am guilty of being the kind-hearted man and I swear the scammers can see me coming a mile away. Now I want to help the person with the sign or the person at the gas pump who excuses themselves with a disclaimer about not wanting to ask for money but…they have to in the case How do aways kow who to help truly needy people and when to know a real sob story or not. When you say no there’s still that feeling of being insensitive or hard-hearted.
We have to toughen up. That is the reality of things. I of course do not mean we get mean and nasty while telling people God loves them. Not do we find ways to become foul mouthed, angry, loud, or confrontational to get our point across. (Opps, did I do a bait and switch with the title of this post?) I hope you didn’t get the idea what we fight tool and nail to get people into the kingdom of Heaven. Because godly people have other tools to use to reach the lost and not the rusty ones the world has used since the Garden of Eden.
If Christians, real believers in Christ, do not adapt to the climate around us we will wither under fire, crackle under pressure, and break down when the world around us need to stil be the lights in the darkness, the salt in a tasteless world and the backbone when other’s courage fails. So, is your faith in Christ worth fighting for? Is it worth loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength?
Teeth have many uses. Our words can appear to bite with loving correction or generally smile so our Jesus shines through (even though a COVID-like mask). Some say that reading God’s word one should eat often, chew slowly, and digest thoroughly. That is the same with tasting the goodness from his the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Real food for real life makes us whole from the inside out.
Nails and Hands are a wonderful pair. There are times we need to embrace others in love and other times to grab hold of them before they careen into circumstances that might burn them alive. When we live out or faith we are the hands and feet of God in the world. As we have discussed before that faith without action is just empty words. However, faith in action is the Gospel alive in every single aspect of the human experience on Earth. Yes, there will be time to ball up those hands into fists. Am I condoning any sort of violence that can only be solved by a good ole fist fight? I am not a fighter myself, but I know that standing in the gap for the lost and broken might make even the most gentle of us stand our ground.
The person who shares the Gospel wherever they go is said to have beautiful feet. I have been reading some awesome stories of martyrs in other nations. They walk hours with loads of Bibles or other materials to reach strangers or even potential enemies for the Gospel. I would say those actions of faith turn those blistered, dry and calloused feet into opportunities to see Jesus in the streets. Anytime we can leave our comfort and security in the Lord’s hands and risk it for others, I would say that’s a beauty beyond compare.
Does that make a little more sense?
Let me leave you with this. Joni our cat went to get her rabies shot yesterday. When we got her she was a wild cat who came into our home and slowly got domesticated. All Joni knew was the world within our home for the first year of her life. What she did see of the world outside was through large windows. When she was ready, Joni took that step outside the doggy door. There was a wild, winged, flower-scented, dusty, dirty and delicious open space set before her. With that exposure to the larger possibly dangerous world, she needed protection. Joni got her rabies shots and the nurse commented that she had such thick skin. I asked why was that. Well, Joni was so good during her shot, didn’t cry at all, because she had thick skin. Why was that? She was exposed to the outside. They nurse commented that adaptation helps animals get just enough thick skin to handle the elements of the great outdoors.
Could it be that God through these days is giving his children a softer heart within for the things of God, but a thicker skin to weather the elements that they might face next?