Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Making a Peace-treaty With the Devil



Everyone has a sense of justice, of right and wrong. Atheists, agnostics, people of any religious persuasion all have a strong gut-reaction when they see injustice happening to them or those they care about.  Whether they know it or not, that sense was instilled in us by God, so that we could live by His principles.

But what happens when someone who cares nothing about God tries to take action against injustice?  They act on a God-given instinct without any consideration for God.  Taking it to a more personal level, a woman who has been cheated on immediately knows this betrayal is wrong and needs to act.  But with no godly principles to refer to, she consults her raging emotions, her past experiences, the movies she's watched, Desperate Housewives episodes, and the attitudes of friends to know just what action to take.  She then, (I've known women who have done this) calls the woman who has been seducing her husband and threatens her, texts her constantly, curses at her and becomes obsessed with her every move.  Then she throws a violent tantrum with her husband, throws a few vases at him and kicks him out of the house.  But in a day or two, she's crying and begging him to leave that woman and be faithful to her.  She'll wear more makeup, more suggestive clothing, try to make him want her, and not succeed.  She becomes more clingy, more needy and an explosive bomb.  She'll confess her undying love for him one minute, and be ready to kill him the next.  This may sound extreme, but it happens.  A lot.  Meanwhile her rat-of-a-husband's inflated ego has gone through the roof, enjoying his new status of having two women in desperate battle for his manly attention.  (Excuse me while I throw up…) 

Seeking justice without the God of Justice turns us into fools.  

Psalm 101 is right on the money when it teaches us not to tolerate evil.  When our home is being infiltrated by demonic activity - spouses or children who are succumbing to addictions, cursing, pornography, immoral behavior, affairs - God wants us to have a zero-tolerance stance.  Does that mean we kick spouses or kids out of the house when we find them involved in any of this?  No, zero-tolerance means, we take action immediately to find a way to rid our homes of the evil, out of love for the people.  We get our kids to counseling, ban them from certain activities, pray stronger, ask God for specific guidance, change our own behaviors and habits if necessary, take them to rehab if we have to, but never give up on helping them.  Mothers can easily throw their hands in the air and assume that they've done all they can after a few groundings or scoldings or threats to take away their cellphones. Their kids get worse, and they make a peace-treaty with the devil.  "Well, as long as my son finishes school and doesn't get into trouble, what can I do?  Kids are kids…"  These mothers fear that if they insist on breaking their child free from addictions, their child will hate them and life will get worse.  So the focus of their concern is themselves, and not the wellbeing of their kids.  They make evil welcome in their house and in their own children - and then they wonder why God doesn't answer their prayers.

There are times when zero tolerance does mean letting that person leave, and face the terrible consequences of their own choices.  When you try to rid your home of evil, and the person you want to help loves that evil more than himself, he may need to be removed too.  But God is faithful.  In the midst of their suffering, your prayers and faith for them will be a protection, a constant presence of God to draw them to Himself.  But do you have the faith to believe that God can do what you can't?  Do you trust that your prayers are powerful enough to accomplish a miracle in your loved-one even when they have gone back to the gutter?  Do you believe that you can do battle against the demons in your family even when you don't know where they are?  What if it's an unfaithful spouse who refuses to change?  Do you have the faith to let him go and know that God still has an amazing life prepared for you?

The God of Justice demands one thing, that we love what He loves and hate what He hates.  He is relentless in His desire to see evil defeated in this world, and when we as His children are tolerant of evil, we go against His will.  We can love our families more purely when we fight whatever evil wants to destroy them.  When we follow HIs path, He shows us how often we are part of the problem.  Many mothers helped create a spirit of disrespect and coldness between themselves and their kids to the point that they lost control.  But these women can learn to change if they really want to follow God's wisdom.  A woman with a straying husband may have to let him go, but God can reveal her own blind spots and flaws that contributed to this problem.  Even loss can be turned into gain when God's ways come first.

Read Psalm 101 today, and pair it with Romans 12:19-21.  Zero tolerance for evil, yet love your enemies.  God is the God of vengeance and justice, but He can only step in when we get in line with His ways.