Blog Archives

Victory!

         The New Testament teaches that there will be times of weariness for the believer. We are often pulled in many different directions and subjected to what can only be termed spiritual onslaughts. Christians have often failed to acknowledge the fact that a spiritual war goes on all around us. For those uninvolved, there is little fight. But for those openly attacking the forces of evil through their moral standard of living, their strong faith and obedience to the Lord, and even in direct spiritual confrontation, they are often subjected to a very tough fight.

         Because the devil doesn’t fight fair, real Christians sometimes get shot in the back. I remember when I was a kid watching westerns on television, I learned early on that one of the worst things a man could ever do is shoot another man in the back when he was unable to defend himself. No real man ever does it. Well, the devil does this routinely. It is one of his major methods of warfare—shoot ‘em in the back when they’re not watching. Veteran believers have been attacked this way many times.

         Yet, despite the enemy’s underhanded tactics, there is victory for the one who fights alongside the Lord: He or she recovers to fight another day and is much stronger and aware as a result. Victorious spiritual battle results in greater maturity and power for the believer. He or she also becomes wiser. How else did the apostle Paul withstand all the underhanded attacks against him, and still live to collect his social security check? He was a force. But it wasn’t actually him. It was the Lord in him.

         The Lord Jesus is the greatest Man who ever lived. He withstood everything. He won every battle. The enemy threw everything he had at Him and failed. So it is for the real Christian. We must never back down. Even though some attacks are vicious and vile, if we stand our ground and stand with the Lord, we will win. How demoralizing it must be for the devil to know he has used every wicked weapon in his arsenal, and has not only failed miserably, but actually helped foster great awakenings and strengthened spiritual giants? Godly wisdom regarding the battle at hand is often counterintuitive, and completely escapes the natural mind. 

         Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” [1Corinthians 2:6-9]

         May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high! May He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from Zion! May He remember all your meal offerings and find your burnt offering acceptable! Selah. May He grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your counsel! We will sing for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the LORD fulfill all your petitions. Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God. They have bowed down and fallen, but we have risen and stood upright. Save, O LORD; May the King answer us in the day we call. [Psalm 20:1-9] [1] 

         The Lord Jesus became the biggest loser in order to become the greatest winner. Savvy?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (soundtrack)

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         Over twenty years ago I made the statement, “Someday I’m going to write a book, and I’m going to call it Real Christianity.” By that time in my life I had already seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of much of what official Christianity had to offer. The old Clint Eastwood movie was pretty good too, but very tame by comparison. Millions of Christians worldwide live the real movie, and are experienced with both God’s wonderful love and grace, and sadly, man’s inhumanity to man in off-the-scale fashion. We can pretend that Christian persecution does not take place in this world, or that it certainly never happens in America. Or we can climb out from under our religious rocks and face the facts.

         There is a war going on for our souls, and the battle is most brutal in the realm of religion. Without the love and power of our Lord Jesus, all believers would be as sitting ducks getting blown to smithereens on our respective ponds. In reality, this does not happen, but the operative word is all. Many Christians do die as a result of persecution, and are dying as you read this. Many others are physically tortured. Still others are brow-beaten and warned repeatedly to get in line or suffer the consequences.

         Does all this sound “over the top?” Am I engaging in egregious exaggeration? One might be reminded of what happened to the Lord of all Creation when He showed up on the scene. One might consider what happened to almost every one of His chosen twelve. Their crime was preaching a new message never before heard that clashed with every other religious method and doctrine on the planet, especially those of their own people. How could there not be the manner of ensuing conflict that arose as a result of their work? The very nature of preaching the real gospel invites trouble, hatred, and persecution. But it also destroys the work of the enemy and hangs him out to dry. Real Christianity is therefore not for the squeamish or half-hearted. Countless witnesses of the Lord who have given their lives throughout history will attest to that. We spend much time trying to make Christianity a “nice” religion, a watered-down version of the original with no clout or gravitas, or ability to change hearts for the better. Imagine walking out on the field of battle unarmed against a formidable foe whose only desire is to kill you, and trying to be nice to him in an effort to alleviate his hatred.

         This brand of Christianity, instead of bringing about spiritual change and strength, has resulted in a profound weakness in all societies where preached, and has allowed the enemy of our souls to grow strong and entrenched. Real Christianity, that created and sponsored by our Lord Jesus twenty centuries ago, did the veritable opposite. It challenged powerful spiritual entities on their own turf. The Lord set the example for all later believers to follow, not only by His profound compassion, grace, and willingness to forgive the repentant, but also by His dogged pursuit of the devil and determination to free those made slaves by him. The best friend anyone could ever have is the Lord. But in order to be His friend, we must engage in His work. Those who do are blessed with the joy of seeing “The Good,” but also become familiar with “The Bad” and “The Ugly.” The attempt to eliminate the latter, however, by creating an alternative gospel, will also eliminate the former, and further eliminate any proper purpose for its existence in the first place.

         Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. The real gospel of the Lord changes hearts for the better, and in time it can change entire societies.

        “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]

        Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. [1 Timothy 6:12-16] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.