Perilous Times Primer #38

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
Psalm 11:3

What to Do in Dark Times

The question above seems to be a common theme for many believers today. It is easy to see why. Our world is shaking—the foundations seem to be under assault from every side. Our constitutional republic is under sustained attack by those who hate all that the American ideal stands for. Our history is distorted, our laws are ignored or perverted into a two-tier system of “justice,” where the so-called “elites” violate the law with impunity, while the common citizen, [like] sheep to be slaughtered” (Psalm 44:22; Rom. 8:36), is shown no mercy. Our constitution is ignored and despised by the very judges whose job it is to protect and defend it.

There is no reason to deny it—we are living in very dark times. Many simply choose to close their eyes to the truth. Even in our churches and among our pastors we are told, “Don’t be negative, what we need is optimism.” But biblical optimism is never acquired by ignoring reality. We cannot overcome the darkness until we acknowledge its true nature.

America is in a battle for its soul. This is the truth. In fact, I would go so far as to say, we are living in the greatest existential struggle this nation has ever faced. First of all, because it is no longer the enemy without, it is the enemy within. It is not an attack by invasion, but by infiltration—the most dangerous and deadly of enemies (Psalm 41:9; John 13:18). Secondly, the strategy of the enemy (Satan) is to get us focused on the physical battle and to ignore the spiritual dimension. Far too many Christians today have forgotten that “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). This does not deny that we have earthly enemies. What it means is that any and all attempts to fight the physical battle without first striking a death-blow to the spiritual enemy, is doomed to fail. So “what can the righteous do?”

Don’t Throw in the Towel

Far too many Christians today have become weak, whining crybabies. You can easily see this in the cry “The Government should do something!” Well, in many cases, the government has done something: they shut down our churches. And what have most pastors and Christians done? Shut down their churches! This certainly violates the First Amendment of our Constitution. So what? What if we had no such constitution? We have a commandment from God: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together … and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb. 10:25). Where are the Christians who are being arrested because, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)? What has happened to the Church in America that we meekly bow to corrupt and evil tyrants and excuse our disobedience to God?

This great land of America, founded on biblical ideals, will stand or fall as the true people of God stand or fall. There is no way that the pestilence of evil unleashed among us can prevail if those who belong to Christ refuse to bow the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18). The truth is that the great darkness and evil that we are facing is both a gift and a test. It is a gift designed to call the Church out of its apathy and lethargy. It is a test of our profession of discipleship and loyalty to “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” (1 Tim. 6:15). How desperately we need to revive the spiritual-warrior ethos!

Our President demonstrated this most eloquently, without speaking a word, when he took his stand in front of St. Johns Church, which had been burned by the crazed mob. He took his stand and held high the Bible—a trumpet call to all who claim to love God’s Word. I believe his actions were a challenge to believers in this nation. It is time to take a resolute stand on the Word of God against the forces of darkness seeking to tear down this nation!

Real Faith Thrives in Perilous Times

“Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle
… my shield and the One in whom I take refuge.”
Psalm 144:1–2

Spiritual warriors do not fear the battle. They know that they are born for the battle! You and I were born “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). We should be assaulting the gates of Hell, not cowering in some corner, waiting for someone to save us!

The problem is that while times were good, we were not training for the next war, we were hoping “the good times” would last forever. They never do! Now, as Wyatt Earp said to Ike Clanton at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, “The fight’s commenced! Get to fighting or get away!” That statement was not a Hollywood invention. It was clearly heard by bystanders at the actual event.

I would say to all who read this post, the fight has commenced! It is time for every believer to resolve whether to “get to fighting, or get away.” What credit is there in not bowing the knee to the mob, if we then bow our knee to the tyrant? It is high time to curse our spiritual and physical cowardice and to reclaim our birthright as spiritual warriors! “What can the righteous do?” Below are two suggestions.

Time to Attack the Giants

“For the battle is the Lord’s, and He will [deliver] you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:47b

Fear cowers while faith conquers. Today we must choose whether we will go down in history like a Joshua, or a Caleb, or a David; or whether we will cower like the spies who refused to go into the land (Num. 13:31–33). This is precisely the decision each and every one of us must make. For those who will choose the path of the patriot and hero, here are some beginning steps:

  1. Repent. In every message to the seven churches of Asia, with the glorious exception of Smyrna and Philadelphia, there was a call and command to repent. We will never reclaim our birthright as heroes of faith until we admit that we have forsaken it.
  2. Come out. The call in Revelation 18:4 to the people of God is, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” This nation has become gradually, over the last one hundred years, a spiritual Babylon. It has all happened due to the cooperation of the “church,” because of apathetic, Laodicean believers. It is time to “come out” by refusing to be a willing or passive participant in the evils of this age.
  3. Stand up. It is no accident that Paul challenges us four times to “stand” in Ephesians 6:11–14. We need to commit to a holy resistance of the God-hating and truth-scorning mindset of our day. It is time to take a stand for truth, regardless of the cost!
  4. Cry out. We need to stop depending on the government and start calling on our Deliverer. The goal of putting on the armor of God is for effective prayer (Eph. 6:18). We are assured that if we call out in faith, our Deliverer will hear (Psalms 18:3, 6; 50:15). The invisible forces of God fight when the people of God pray (Dan. 9:20–23; 10:12–14).

    Note: There is a group of Christians who have organized a national time of prayer—each day at 8 PM, CST. Join with us and send our united prayers up to the “throne of grace” for our nation (Heb. 4:16).
  5. Lift up. Spiritual soldiers (and any warrior worthy of the name) do not leave their wounded on the battlefield. For far too long, Christians have shot their own wounded. We need to battle our own judgmental natures and to rescue the wounded ones in our path (Luke 10:30–37). A kind word and a gracious helping hand has rescued many wounded souls and enabled them to re-enter the fight (Heb 3:13).
  6. Arm up. “The wise man sees danger ahead and hides himself; but the fool goes on and suffers the consequences” (Prov. 22:3; 27:12 ccv—the Cunningham Colloquial Version). Our so-called “leaders” (“fools”) are cowering in their gated and guarded mansions while America burns. But for the wise believer, hiding God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:10–16) draws you closer to Him and allows you to arm yourself with the most powerful weapon in the world—the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91 begins, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

    You can unleash the ammo from this weapon at the 8 PM national time of prayer!
  7. Witness. Now, more than ever, the eyes of many are being opened to the evil that is permeating our world. The contrast of light versus darkness has never been more obvious—it is the contrast between good and evil (Isa. 5:20; Heb. 5:14). As people begin to question “the end of the world as we know it,” believers have great opportunities to bring biblical truth into the conversation, and to present the claims of Christ as the only hope (John 14:6; Heb. 6:19; 2 Pet. 3:14–15). All the darkness in the world cannot withstand the light of the smallest candle. Be that candle (Matt. 5:16)!

Let’s Reclaim Our Revolutionary Spirit

History shows us that the spiritual battle often spills over into physical, earthly conflict. The day may soon come when we are called upon to fight. It may be that this precious land, purchased by the blood of patriots, will require the same dues from us today. I earnestly pray that should that time come, we will not be found wanting.

Therefore, as well as being spiritually prepared for battle, you may consider arming yourself, getting plenty of ammo, and as much firearms training as possible. If you have waited this long, you may be behind the learning curve, but it is never too late to start. “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God,” the favorite motto of Thomas Jefferson, has been attributed to the Scottish Reformation preacher, John Knox.

Are we worthy of our forefathers, both national and spiritual (Heb. 11:7–12:1)? Will we make our ancestors proud on that Day (Bema Seat) that we stand before our Lord? The following is the standard we should strive for. I close with the immortal words of two of the greatest men in history:

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The Apostle Paul, circaa.d. 52

“The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry, 1775

Americans have always chosen to die on their feet rather than to live on their knees. May we all continue that sacred heritage.

Victory or death!

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