Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the prowling lion versus the Lion of Judah

I never quite know how to react when people say that Satan is preventing them from doing something.

This Sunday, there was an excellent sermon about not incurring debt.  Without the video, sound, power point, etc., we would still have a sermon based on the Word of God and pointing people to Jesus and not to materials.  Souls would be enlightened, and church would happen.

But life happens.  The power point presentation would not load up.  The video would only play the sound and not the picture.  The mics would give feedback, which never happens.  My husband Tim, who works with all that was like, it was like a gremlin got into the system.  The pastor said, it was like Satan didn't want me to preach this sermon but God overcame it.

It was a good conclusion but one I still ponder.  We know that since Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, Satan has no control over us.  He is defeated and cannot hurt his church.  God's grace comes through and his Holy Spirit works miracles in the otherwise dead congregation who can do nothing apart from God's grace.

But then, evil still happens and will happen until the Lord comes back.  1 Peter 5:8 gives a sober reminder that our enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion waiting for someone to devour.

But the more dominant Lion of Judah is the one in control.  The little lion does nothing unless the big Lion allows it.

So the glitches happened in the technology in the service because God is still in control.  Why would he let this happen?  Maybe it underlines the fact that this was an important sermon.  Debt accrues because people think things and prestige will make them happy and save them from low-quality lives.  But this doesn't happen because they spend money on useless things and have nothing with which to feed their kids.

It is really important that we place our value on Jesus and follow his direction for our lives and not go out and buy the next iPhone.  It's not wrong to have an iPhone, but it is wrong when it becomes more important that Jesus and the people that he loves.  It becomes wrong when you can't feed yourself and have to get welfare, but you still were able to afford an iPhone.  I could see Satan wanting to stop this sermon from happening because he wants to distract us all from the true riches of Christ and his life that never fades or grows old, and he wants to get us trapped by having to pay for the newest technology that will already be obsolete next year.  Then we have a pile of debt and cannot go on missions or get our kids to college because we spent all our money on the next temporary fad.

Tim brought up something that had happened at Big Picture Con the week before.  He had a film in the short film festival that didn't win but still did really good in the voting poll by the audience.  The film that did win the voting poll but not the contest was a film called Checkmate, except Checkmate was in German and I can't pronounce that at the moment.

This film was the first to be shown, but when it started getting into the story, it stopped playing and would not continue.  We had to wait until the end of the festival to watch the whole thing after they found another file on the internet.

When I first saw the first half of Checkmate, I thought it was another lame video about a young kid or a woman groaning about life and its ennui.  When I saw the whole thing, I thought it was the best video and had a wonderful message.

This young boy is trying to ask this girl out who already dates the popular guy.  This boy is a quiet boy who plays the Chess that you find on Star Trek.  Life is like Chess.  You have to make hard decisions.  They may be good or bad, and you still may lose, but you have to keep playing.

In the long run, we see a hilarious exchange where he tries to woo the girl but to no avail.  This time around, he lost the game.  But you keep playing.

Satan doesn't want messages like that to circulate.  Even if the other team scores once, he wants us to stop the game completely and give up.

I cannot get over the fact that this young woman named Brittany, who is my age and newly wed, wants to go ahead and end her life with the help of a physician on November 1 because she got diagnosed with terminal cancer.  No consideration for her husband or her joyous bridesmaids in her wedding picture.  She says it would be more dignified to take her own life than to go through the long painful process of chemo.

She's wrong.  Every day is worth living.  Even the days ruined by a weakened chemo body are worth living.  God wants Brittany to live and continue playing until he decides to take her life as he only has the right to do so as he gave it to her.  Satan wants her to just throw in the towel and abandon her new husband and her loved ones because of her vanity.  This is not dignity.  This is mutiny.

Yes, the devil prowls about like a lion, but the verse before says to cast your cares on Christ, the dominant Lion, because he cares for you.  I suppose he still lets Satan prowl to call our attention to these things.  And if this is the case, please Lord, do not let Brittany and her doctors follow through with their anti-life plan.

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