Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can You See Me Now?

Bob Decker has a photography blog called “Modern Zen Photos”. His most recent post was about some recent butterfly photography he did.  The link on Google+ described the post as “How moving just a few inches can change a shot completely.”  In the post, he compares the results of taking the pictures from different angles.  He adds, “It just goes to show that looking at things from a different angle can lead to some very different results.”.  It struck me how true that is of our spiritual life, too.

I recently had a request to do a study here on the whole armor of God.  Which turned out to also be a key sermon in our Missions Director's study on spiritual warfare.  Several lunch devotionals brought out some things that made me think that an introduction of sorts might be in order before we jump into the armor.  Literally and figuratively.

When Psalm 119:11 tells us, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.", it's both an example of what Bob Decker was talking about and how important the Word is as protection in spiritual warfare.  I don't know about anyone else, but my thoughts about warfare tend toward those old newsreels of past wars.  Ships' cannons booming, bombers dropping huge payloads, large groups of men charging each other as bullets fly overhead.  The things that legends and medals are born from. Now, look at that verse again.

For thousands of years, the devil has been waging a war as subtle and sly as any of the Cold war spying of the '50s and beyond. Without the proper change in perspective, we can miss that fact. And that our main line of protection is God's Word.  Scripture is a gift from God to strengthen us (edify), to guide us in the art of spiritual warfare (teach), get direction from the "General" (hear), and much more.  When we think of normal warfare, we look at spiritual warfare from the wrong perspective.

The objective of Satan isn't to vanquish men on earth, but to infiltrate and slowly draw them in so they never recognize they've been defeated.  There are things like music, TV, magazines, and movies that work on changing our thinking, one fraction of an idea at a time.  Till we buy the whole package.

One of my rare few TV favorites is NCIS, which is a good show for the most part.  But the main character, Gibbs, had a drug lord kill his family.  Gibbs proceeds to go to Mexico and use his military sniper training to kill the drug lord.  Those two incidents are minimal in time over the entire length of the series.  But the death of Gibbs' wife and daughter color all his relationships afterwards.  The sniper killing comes up at different times, from those who've done their homework, good and evil.  It becomes easy to start hoping that Gibbs still gets away with it.  And there's the problem.  Planted in the mind is a seed that accountability isn't always good.  It's OK to get self justice under the right circumstances.  But it is a seed that firmly draws the mind in the direction of situational ethics.  Judge, jury, and executioner outside the law, without God.

Or how about any of the recent flock of police dramas.  It seems impossible to get through several episodes without finding out that one or more officers are doing more than working with their partners or someone else close in the precinct.  Sometimes even though one of them is married to someone else.  Again, situational ethics.  It's supposedly OK because they're growing in their relationship.  Or they've just gone through danger together, supposedly giving them a special bond that makes it OK.

In those and other instances I could name, the situations are brief but long enough to insert themselves into the psyche.  Subtle, indirect, but guiding the mind in one direction.  Away from the Truth of God.  Away from the protection that true wisdom gives us.  If you look at some of the things that come out of gossip publications and the internet, you can better see how it works.  They can publish total falsehood.  And, if it gets republished and repeated often enough, readers start to accept it as truth.  Just because so many places say the same thing.  Our perspective gets deviated toward a wrong direction.

That takes us back to Psalm 119:11.  The Word needs to be planted.  It's the fortress around our souls, it's what informs our soul about right and wrong.  It's the contrast to the world's thinking that allows us to view the mind of God and be in unity with it.  It's what gives us the best angle to make life the perfect image of the heart of God.  The Word gives us the armor we're going to discuss next time.  What are you doing to hide that Word in your heart, so that God isn't always asking "Can you see Me now?"?

No comments:

Post a Comment