Sunday, January 22, 2017

I took the bait...

I've tried. Honestly, I have! I've tried to keep my mouth shut, but of course, I have failed...repeatedly. I've written what was on my mind. True, usually I would go back and delete what I'd written, but I wrote it all the same. I tried to stay out of conversations that, well, anyone who has looked at facebook lately can figure out the direction things went. I've tried to remain calm, but still have been misunderstood. Tonight, I figured out something. I took the bait. 

I realized this when I read something written by the nineteenth-century British poet and philosopher, Matthew Arnold: "If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known."

That's when it hit me. The enemy is using the same tactic he's used for centuries. He's out to divide us. I'm not talking about believers and unbelievers...I'm talking about believers with different opinions. The enemy would try to divide us so that we are no longer in unity, having us fight with one another instead of facing our real enemy.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

So that's it. I finally recognized who is dangling the bait in front of me, and there is most definitely a hook inside. I'm not going to say I won't ever fall for it again. There is a part of me that enjoys "coming back with a pithy answer," and when I feel someone has called me out, I enjoy feeling powerful with my words and my "rights". I don't think I'm so smart as to not be pulled into fruitless arguments, but from here on out I will do my best to keep my mouth shut and not bite into the bait. (Did I mention there's a hook inside?)

My friends, men and women, who have found ourselves pulled into arguments about women's rights, or political issues more than ever, we need to stop and pay attention. It is an issue of "us and them," it's just that the "them" is an unseen enemy that would do anything to divide God's children. Let us, instead, stand together, watch each other's back, and reach out a hand to help our brothers and sisters in the fight.

I don't want to fight people anymore, not even in the spirit of "political debate." (I know I have friends who actually enjoy this - I am not one of them.) There's a battle going on and it's not against people. I will do my best to now fight the battle where it should be fought - in prayer.

So how about it brothers and sisters? We aren't really convincing each other of anything on facebook. How about we spend our time with something that will make a difference? How about we remember who our real enemy is? How about, just for now at least, we refuse to take the bait? 

Let's post some "No fishing" signs in our lives and the lives of our families. Let's use our words instead to speak to dry bones and watch as God does something truly worth talking about. 

Ezekiel 37
The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord [b]GodYou know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’”10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.