"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret." (Ephesians 5:11-12)
Today I made a massive change to this blog. In the reader list for today I saw an address that I didn't recognize. So I clicked on the link to see who it was.
You know how you're never supposed to click on any link you don't recognize? This particular one linked straight to a porn site. So, I quickly reported that and then unpublished all posts prior to 2013 so I can make sure no personal information is ending up in the wrong hands! Five years of blogging going into hiding for the time being.
I was upset and angry, but beyond that it really does make you think...how does one act as salt and light in a dark world (Matt. 5:13-16) when the world is SO VERY DARK?
Christ himself admitted that he was sending his disciples out "like sheep among wolves" (Matt. 10:16).
Peter tells us to "be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (I Peter 5:8)
And when I come face to face with the darkness of sin and the evil of this roaring lion, as I did today, I find myself wanting to hide. To hole up. To hold my children close and push the world away, and NEVER ENGAGE THE WORLD AGAIN!
So, what should we do? Hole up or head out? How can we be salt and light to a world that is so dirty? Hateful? Evil?
First, I think we need to know that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7).
Then we remember that "the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (I John 4:4).
We can go out with confidence that "the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet" (Romans 16:20).
And we never try to go out alone, in our own strength, in our own power or from our own ability. In order to live and serve in this dark world, we HAVE TO:
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:11-12)
And once we're securely tucked away inside the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace, and helmet of salvation, with the shield of faith in front of us and the Word of God in our hand, we PRAY "at all times in the Spirit...with all perseverance" (Ephesians 6:18).
We pray that God will give us wisdom. We pray that God will protect our children and that we will not foolishly put ourselves in a path of danger. We pray that God will give us a heart for the lost and show us how to balance our responsibilities to protect and defend our children with the command to go into all the world (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
Lord may we be "wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil" (Romans 16:19) and PLEASE "crush Satan under [our] feet" (Romans 16:20).