I came across a photo today as I was updating some of my social networking sites. It was of some Egyptians holding up a sign that read "You can burn our churches but you can't touch our faith". I guess some could even write, "You can take my life but you can't touch my faith". That's fairly challenging for us whose faith gets overwhelmed by financial and relationship problems. We need to get over it. We need to get over the inconveniences of our life in this world and understand the priority of the Kingdom to which we belong.
I am telling you today that every force that the enemy of your soul has available to him, he will use against you. He will use circumstances, emotions, sin to provoke doubt, fear and anxiety. He will use the culture of our society that he has manipulated for his own purposes and he will use every temptation that plays upon your old sin nature which is still trying to regain control over you. He hates you and wants to destroy you, because he hates God but can't even come close to touching him; except through you.
The great news is you don't even have to give him a second thought as long as you are centered on Jesus. Christians throughout the world are facing angry mobs, hateful governments, and life-ending situations. Seventy thousand are jailed in North Korea. Let me write out the zeros for you; 70,000. Only God knows how many are jailed in China. I wonder how many pastors were forced to watch theiir homes burn and their families beaten in India. But yet you face even greater danger because at least they can see the persecution they face; you can't.
The enemy is easy to deal with though.There is one thing that will always cause your persecutors to pause and will put the enemy of your soul to flight. David understood it because it is what he had learned to do since being a shepherd with his family's flock:
With praises from children
and from tiny infants,
you have built a fortress.
It makes your enemies silent,
and all who turn against you
are left speechless. (Psalm 8:2)
Worship is our greatest defense because it lifts our eyes from the illusions of our enemy and helps us focus on our reality. Don't think for a moment that the shadows we call life is our reality. Far from it. We belong to something far greater than any of this. A bullet to the head is not reality but something to provoke fear. The nails in the hands and the empty grave, the out pouring of God's Spirit and our oneness with Christ is our reality.
As we lift our hearts, minds, eyes, and voices to what is "above" we are reminded of who our Father is and what Jesus has done for us, and what we have become. As we lift up the name of Jesus the enemy of our soul is reminded as well. "You can burn our churches but you can't touch our faith". You can confuse my finances, manipulate my circumstances, provoke the world into hatred against me but you can't touch my faith. You can try to provoke my emotions, accuse me of past sins, have the world call me names but you can't touch my faith.
Praise will make your enemies silent today. Anyone who has turned against you will be left speechless in the face of your trust in Jesus. Your heart will be emboldened and your spirit lifedt as you wave the banner of Jesus' love for the world to see. Remember who our God is so you can be reminded of what you have become and where you belong.