The Real Battle
Two weeks ago, I attended a couple of my friends’ church. Their church hosts a monthly youth night on the last Friday of the month called, “Freedom Friday.” This night’s theme was “War Room”, based on War Room the movie. It was amazing as usual, but this Friday in particular, was slightly different from the others because it seemed like God was eager to share many things with us individually and collectively.
In the wee hours of the morning, nearing the end of the program, Minister Ose Burnett was the last scheduled minister. One thing I know about Minister Ose, is that she is definitely a spokeswoman for the Lord; you can literally feel the presence of the Lord on her life. She is known for being frank and doesn't care to expose the lies and plots of the enemy. That night, Minister Ose shared that America will feel the wrath of God soon; that God was fed up with the lawlessness in this country. That definitely woke up every sleeping ear in the room. She shared that persecution will soon come for Christians. She was right.
A week later, on October 1st, 2015, after hearing those sobering words, news came that there was yet again another mass shooting; this time at a community college in Oregon. Like all mass shootings, the details were puzzling with multiples stories surfacing. It took awhile for the public to be informed of the gruesome details, but honestly, there was not enough time to prepare us for the truth.
The Oregon shooter lined his victims up, and one by one asked for their religion. If they answered ‘Christian’, they were shot in the head. However, if they answered any other religion, they were shot elsewhere, mainly in the leg. It’s safe to say, the shooter was targeting Christians.
I couldn’t help but to read in between the lines of this story. While the nation was quick to write this off as another mass shooting, I could only see this as an attack on the body of Christ.
The day before I attended Freedom Friday, a friend of mine recommended I listen to a teaching by Apologist Ravi Zacharias, titled, “What Happens After God’s Funeral.” Zacharias stated that if God was dead, that this world has now become Heaven. When he said this, he wasn’t saying that the world we live in is beautiful, with rainbow and butterflies, instead, he was proclaiming, that if in fact God is dead, then there is no life after this; this is the end of the road for us. I understood his logic, but I didn’t understand it fully until after the shooting.
Before shooting his victims, the Oregon shooter supposedly told the victims who identified as Christians, “Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.” Was the Oregon shooter indirectly telling the victims that he acknowledges that God is actually real and that in fact there is life after leaving Earth? Yes, I believe he was. The shooter may have had a hatred for Christians and had no fear of God, but he did acknowledge that God is real and there is a life after death for Christians. The fact that he didn’t tell the others, who identified with other religions, that they too will see their god, showed that life on Earth is it for them—there isn’t anything after this: no life nor life more abundantly.
Later that day, I asked the Holy Spirit for a scripture to read: I received Jeremiah 45.
The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the instruction of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the Lord has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”’
Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the Lord. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”
Jeremiah 45:5 NKJV
I can’t really talk about others, but I sure can talk about myself. This was a wake up call for me. The verse Jeremiah 45:5 spoke to my spirit. I take the verse as a promise that the Lord is sparing me from what is to come in the future. But I realized for the last few months, I’ve been sleeping. I’ve really been stagnant with seeking the Lord’s face. From the killing of black men, to the Supreme Court ruling gay marriages legal in all states, to the mass shooting of civilians, to abortion laws defending the mother; overall, I have been oblivious to the the cries of God’s people—as if they don’t affect me. It shouldn’t have to be that way, and it never should. God saved me, not to just save me, but for me to save His people.
But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Luke 12:48 NKJV
The devil has plans to help advance his three agendas: to steal, kill and destroy [John 10:10]. The last thing the body should be doing is helping him, by not being alert. I don't know what the future entails, but I do know that: THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO GET COMFORTABLE.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.
It’s time to sober up because this isn't the end of persecution. The fight isn’t really out there in the world. The real battle is during our prayer time and devotion time.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints