Tag Archives: Iraq

On the Border of Response

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The world is a tumultuous place. Wars are raging and beginning all over the place. Innocent people are being killed for any and every reason. Laws are being broken in every nation. Nations are rising up against nations. Governments are being overthrown. How are we to act?

In our nation alone there is controversy on every front. From the Hobby Lobby fight to the flood at the border, our nation is becoming increasingly divided. Everyone has opinions on the hot-button topics like gun control, common core, abortion, immigration reform, military action on foreign soil, etc.

How are we, Christians, to respond to a world as conflicted as the one in which we live?

The first place we should be is on our knees in prayer. If you believe that God is not distant and that He cares for us and the rest of His creation, then you need to be asking Him to intervene.

2 Chronicles 7:14
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

This is, I believe, our first response to a world as broken as ours. We need healing. We need forgiveness – not just as individuals but as a nation. We need repentance from all people including those (maybe especially those) in our governmental leadership.

The next thing we need to do is become aware. I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it doesn’t take a smart man to tell that the news sources from which we get most of our news are NOT unbiased. In fact, it is hard to find truly unbiased news from any source these days. If I tell you a bit of news then it is important to me because of my political or moral views on a particular issue. I am not unbiased. Therefore the news I share is not unbiased.

That being said we still need to know what is going on around us. These days we have the ability to read news information from a wide variety of sources. Our Twitter and Facebook feeds are inundated with the latest news from around the world. If we don’t know what is going on around us then how can we know how to engage the culture or influence change as needed? If we aren’t knowledgable then it is easy for us to be duped by the first wind of teaching to come by.

This includes your ability to know what your Father in Heaven has planned for you. The world is constantly trying to convince you of things that are contrary to the word of God. It is trying to teach you that these commands are barbaric and can’t have come from a god but from mere men. Search within the scriptures. Do not be ignorant of the world around you. You will find that those who love according to the Word of God have a life of fulfillment in this world and in the world to come.

Finally we are to be people of action. We need to be sharing the good news of grace and forgiveness through Jesus to all our friends and contacts. We need to be working daily to change the world by bringing one person at a time to Jesus. Don’t wait for the preacher. This is your calling. Matthew 28:18-20 is for you as well as me.

We also need to be people of action in how we influence our government. One of the greatest things about living in the USA is our ability to vote on almost everything. If you like what is going on then vote for more of the same. If you are disgruntled then vote to change things. You have been given a voice. As Christians this is a great opportunity for us to influence our nation. If we aren’t vocal with our votes then we are allowing the darkness to rule all around. Sometimes voting also happens with out participation or lack thereof. I’m not telling you which political way to vote, but you need to vote.

If this nation does decline – if the darkness grows and Christians are persecuted – then we still have hope in the fact that we are part of a bigger kingdom. The kingdom of God has no physical borders. It is not a matter of here or there but is within you. Live like kingdom citizens wherever you are no matter the outcome of your physical country.

So, change the world. And if it changes for the worse, then have hope in knowing that no one can ever take away your citizenship in the kingdom of God.

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Waging War with a Pocket Knife

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Imagine the scene with me if you will. You’re watching the news some evening when you see a report that there is intelligence that Iraq is planning to invade your country. Iraq apparently has specific targets that they want to hit and certain people they want to assassinate.

As the news report goes on they begin to give the list of people targeted, and your name is on the list. You’ve never been a threat to Iraq, but there it is – your name – in living color on the screen.

Immediately your phone begins to ring, and it is family members and friends calling concerned about your safety. Government officials call as well to offer their support, but one after another you turn their offers down. You tell them you believe it isn’t going to happen, so you don’t want to change your life based on an assumption that probably isn’t true.

Over the next week you go about your normal routine with work during the day and watching your favorite shows on the tube each evening. During your favorite show one evening the news cuts in with breaking information about the beginning of the invasion of Iraq into the country, and they’re starting in your state.

This raises concern, so you do the only logical thing you can think of. You have put this off for so long. Now it is down to the wire, so it is time to get ready. You want to be prepared for the battle, so you go to your room and open your closet. There, on the shelf, is your trusty pocketknife.

You take the pocketknife and head back to the couch – fully prepared for the invasion to come.

What’s about to happen? You’re about to get assassinated, that’s what. A country has declared war on you and you come to the gunfight with a pocketknife.

This scenario sounds totally ridiculous, but it happens to each one of us every day.

My friends, Satan has your name on his list of people to assassinate. He may not physically kill you, but he definitely wants to render you ineffective and useless. There is a war. You are in it. But you don’t even realize it.

In Ephesians, Paul speaks of the severity of this war that is raging all around us with the spiritual forces of evil. So many of us, however, bring our pocketknives to the battle.

What do I mean? Scriptures mention the Word of God as being a sword. But we’re not fashioning our lives according to the Bible. We are also called to pray, and yet we do that as an afterthought. We spend countless hours preparing plans for how we are going to live our lives. Then we stop and pray and ask God to bless our plans.

We are coming to the battle with weak weapons at best. No wonder so many of us are spiritually struggling. You’re a prisoner of war, and only desperately seeking the King will set you free. When you seek Him in this manner He will send His Spirit to free you from the bondage of sin and selfishness. He will free you to live a full life. It is a life of service, but this isn’t the empty unfulfilling kind of service. This is service that brings you joy and excitement in your life. It is service to the One who loves you and whom you love. That kind of service doesn’t feel anything like slavery…it feels like freedom.

Back to the weapons, however. When Satan was attacking Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus fought Satan off not with a sword but with the Sword of the Word of God. He quoted scripture to put Satan in His place. Do you know any scripture by heart? The more you know the scriptures in your heart (i.e. memorized) the easier it is to allow that scripture to help you have the best life possible. It truly helps to direct your paths to a place where there are no regrets.

The weapon of Prayer is offensive and defensive. Through prayer we have communication with our Commander in Chief – God Almighty. He is the source of all power, and if we try to fight this battle or make these plans without that power we will constantly fail.

So what do we do? We pray, but normally it is a prayer around the table to thank God for the food. Or maybe it’s a prayer before or after a meeting to ask God’s blessings on said meeting. When was the last time you really spent some time deeply praying to the Father about the things on your heart? When was the last time you emptied yourself to the Father who loves you and wants to refill you with all good things? When was the last time you prayed to God asking for His direction instead of telling Him your plans and asking Him to bless them?

We are called to wield powerful weapons. These weapons have healed the sick. These weapons have driven out demons. These weapons have raised the dead. And Jesus gave these same weapons to us.

It’s time to get engaged in the battle. If you haven’t been fighting, then you are already a prisoner of war. Satan has already rendered you useless. But God can reenlist you and wants to do so. If you’ve already made a commitment to Him at some time in your life, then He just looks to you to re-commit, to re-dedicate your life to him. Prayer is a good weapon to use to do that.

If you haven’t committed yourself to the battle in the first place, then there is no better day to start the fight than today. Before Jesus ascended to Heaven to prepare the victory celebration for you, he said that whoever believes in Him and is baptized would be set free from sin. But all those who don’t believe are prisoners still.

May you join the fight. May you bring more than a pocketknife. The devil is out to get you, and this battle is more real than what you can see. Let’s not waste another day; rather, let’s use the weapons given to us to proclaim victory in Jesus’ name!

If you’d like to talk more about this – especially about committing your life to Christ – then please feel free to contact me at 979-245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you, and keep fighting!


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