I think our brains must have an invisible trip wire attached to our memory storage unit. All it takes is for some random snippet to glide past it and, Voilà! We’re reliving something not necessarily related to our current situation. For instance, for me, about 5 minutes into my 35-minute ride home from the office, that wire gets tripped, a signal flashes to my stomach and there they are, right on cue – hunger pangs. Up to that point, nothing. It’s like just knowing Sue will have dinner in progress stirs them up with anticipation. Or, stranger, the smell of diesel fuel takes me to the bus stop where I eagerly waited for the elementary school bus. You likely have that wire tripped a time or two yourself.
Of course, not all these ‘wire-trippings’ are pleasant. Some cause a flash of fear or anger or other dark emotion. World events now delivered to us 24/7 are also prone to evoke strong emotion. Certainly, for the last seven days, the Israel-Hamas conflict is one vivid, unrelenting, example. And, once again, as followers of Jesus, we need to ask: What do the Scriptures say? The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians: “. . . although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons . . . Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power . . .” (2 Cor. 10:3, TPT). (This is not advocating pacifism, it’s about our unwavering Kingdom priorities.)
It’s helpful for us to notice the word, ‘we’ in this verse. He’s instructing believers, the church, those who are in the world but not of it, us. To the Philippians, Paul writes: “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 4:6, TPT).
Then, there’s this difficult-to-obey teaching of Jesus: “Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.” (Matt. 5:43,44, TPT). Proverbs 10:12, VOICE, tells us: “Hatred fuels dissension, but love calms all rebellions.”
And this amazing verse: “ . . . every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world. So, who are the world conquerors, defeating its power? Those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4,5, TPT).
Looking forward to seeing all you amazing world conquerors tomorrow, 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM. PD