Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Final Minutes?

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  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.    Ephesians 6:10-13  NKJV

I have received many questions about my thoughts on the convergence of potentially earth changing events set to occur this September.  To be truthful, at first the only thing I was looking forward to in September was the start of football season.  Yet as the list of events scheduled to occur in September grew, I began to wonder along with everyone else if there was more to this than meets the eye.  Of course, my mind being what it is, I could not help but put the two together and think of an interesting correlation between football and what we have been talking about lately; that is, what we can expect from Satan as the Church age approaches it's end?

Let me attempt to explain what I am thinking here.  If you follow football at all you are certainly familiar with how the game changes as you approach the last minutes of the game.  In football, we see the two minute offense where the team that is behind stops using the huddle to call plays and does whatever it can to speed up the game and try to catch the other team off guard. To the uninitiated, what happens on the field in the last minutes looks like total confusion as two teams pull out all the stops and try anything and everything in order to win the game. In other words, if you are behind, the closer you get to the end, tactics change in order to try and pull out a win.

Now do you see what I'm getting at? If we are approaching the end of this age as many believe, then certainly Satan knows that as well. If we think seriously about it, we should readily admit Satan probably knows the Bible a lot better than we do. This is, of course, the individual who tempted Jesus by using scripture to justify his arguments. There is no question in my mind that Satan is fully aware that his time is running short, so it should be easy to believe that he will change his tactics the closer we get to the end. He will do whatever he can to take as many down with him as he can. So as believers, is it too much to expect that attacks on believers will increase in frequency and severity?

Knowing this, I thought it might be appropriate to look closer at what Paul had to say to us in the book of Ephesians about our fight against Satan and his forces of darkness. In this passage, Paul outlines all we need to know about defending ourselves from these attacks.  Here we see that Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus and explaining God's purpose for the church, as well as outlining what God expects from His people. God knows what we can expect from Satan, so He goes to great lengths here to teach us how to defend ourselves. In verse ten Paul's tells us that our strength is from the Lord, and it is His strength that will fight our battles for us. How often do we fail because we think we can fight our own battles rather than let God do it for us?

Paul then tells us that we need to "put on the full armor of God".  Paul's point here is that to be successful we need to wear the whole suit. It may sound funny, but I remember something that happened when I was playing football in college back in the dark ages. I was a receiver, technically in that particular offense called a split end, and my job was to catch balls over the middle of the field rather than out by the sidelines. I had missed a few balls that were over my head, and I decided that it was my shoulder pads that were hindering my ability to stretch my arms as high as they could go. So I figured a little modification was in order, and after taking some of the "excess" padding off, I could then catch the passes that had up till then been a little out of my reach. All was well and good until the inevitable collision occurred which convinced me that removing part of my protection was a really bad idea. This is Paul's point. To succeed in defending ourselves from the "schemes" of the devil, (or tactics), we need to put on the complete armor leaving nothing off. Why?

The answer to that can be found in verse twelve where he tells us we need to do this because of who and what we are facing. He tells us "our struggle is not against flesh and blood". You see, if it was, we would probably only need to be defended from our front where an attack by a person would probably come from. But we are facing a fight from two fronts; rulers, forces, and powers of darkness of this world, and spiritual forces of wickedness from the heavenly places. So there are at least two fronts to defend ourselves from, and these attacks can come from any direction. There is no way we are capable to defend ourselves in this kind of war. We need to put on the complete armor God has provided, and let Him do the fighting for us.  If we do this, we are told in verse thirteen that we will be able to stand, and not be defeated in that “evil” day.

I think it is entirely possible that the month of September could be the “final minute” where we see Satan try anything and everything to try and win.  How reassuring it is for us to know that our strength comes from the Lord, and our victory is already won.  We can literally watch as God does our fighting for us and stand firm knowing that our deliverance, the rapture of the Church, is but moments away.

Keep watching.

PS.  If the subject of September is new to you, here is just one link of many which deal with what is scheduled to occur.