Friday, November 2, 2007

The Winning Side

The Evil One lied to us about where true life was found . . . and we believed him.

God gave us the wondrous world as our playground, and he told us to enjoy it fully and freely.
Yet despite His extravagant generosity, we had to reach for the one forbidden thing.

And at that moment something in our hearts shifted.
We reached, and in our reaching we fell from grace.
Something has gone wrong with the human race, and we know it.
Better said, something has gone wrong within the human race.
It doesn’t take a theologian or a psychologist to tell you that.

Read a newspaper, spend a weekend with your relatives, pay attention to the movements of your own heart in a single day.
Most of the misery we suffer on this planet is the fruit of the human heart gone bad.
This glorious treasure has been stained, marred, infected.
Sin enters the story and spreads like a computer virus.

By the sixth chapter of Genesis, our downward spiral had reached the point where God himself couldn’t bear it any longer.

The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. (Genesis 6:5–6)
Any honest person knows this.
We know we are not what we were meant to be.

Rescuing the human heart is the hardest mission in the world.

The dilemma of the human race is this: we don’t know if we want to be rescued!
We are so enamored with our small stories and our false gods, we are so bound up in our addictions and our self-centeredness and take it for granted unbelief that we don’t even know how to cry out for help.

The Evil One has no intention of letting his captives walk away scot-free.
He seduces us, deceives us, assaults us and does whatever it takes to keep us in darkness.

Like a woman bound to an affair from which she cannot get free, like a man so corrupted he no longer knows his own name, the human race is captive in the worst way possible, we are captives of the heart.

Their hearts are always going astray. (Hebrews 3:10)

The challenge God faces is rescuing a people who have no idea how captive they are; no real idea how desperate they are.
We know we long for Eden, but we hesitate to give ourselves back to God in abandoned trust.
We are captivated by the lies of our Enemy.

But God has something up his sleeve.

The Bible clearly acknowledges the presence of invisible but very real spiritual beings, or powers.
In Ephesians 6:11-12, Paul declared that our primary warfare is against an army of rebellious angels headed by Satan.
The bad news is that they are more intelligent and powerful than we are.
The good news is that Jesus defeated them by His death on the cross: "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them" (Col. 2:15).
There are many things beyond our control, but we need not fear.

We who have placed our trust in Jesus, are on the winning side!

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