There was an interesting devotion from David Jeremiah as he was writing about pride and he incorporated a quote from Charles Stanley.
Stanley said “Each morning, the enemy lays out his landmines in our lives. If we are not discerning we will fall prey to his tactics. The landmine of pride can tear a gaping hole in the life of the person who yields to its folly. It is one of Satan’s chief modes of operation and favourite weapons of warfare because it tempts us to take our eyes off God and place them on ourselves.”
Our reading today from Mark 13 doesn’t talk about pride per se, but it does touch on the possibility of the fear of the unknown in the future and how it can debilitate us. In fact, it can be so all-consuming in our thoughts and anxieties, that we are frozen to the spot in the outworking of our lives especially as Christians. Wars and rumours of wars can do that. The tyranny of so many tyrants in the past and even of today are so well known to us through books and TV, that we could end up living a fearful life rather than a fulfilled life. It happens. It can be such a normal part of life for so many of us. It’s not good. It doesn’t feel nice and it robs us of our life.
“Martin Luther of the 16th century was once asked what he would do if he knew that the world was going to end the next day, He replied that he would go out and plant an apple tree. At first this might seem like a strange reply, but the idea that Luther was trying to express is that he would live his life of faith exactly the same way, everyday whether the end was twenty years away or tomorrow.”
That’s how God calls us to live. Yes, be aware of all that is happening around the globe, but always, always keep in mind that through it all God has a purpose and He is in control. Nothing is outside of His control, and although we may not be able to see the reason for such frightening things happening in this life, one day we will, and somehow it will make sense. The thing is, just because we can’t see the reason, doesn’t mean to say that one doesn’t exist.
And as we continue on walking in simple faith in God, the ‘landmines’ of out-of-control fear and anxiety are defused one-by-one and all is good.
New Testament reading this Sunday Mark 13:1-8
Old Testament reading Malachi 3:1-6