Beirut, Lebanon where forty people were killed by ISIS bombs this weekend.
I hate to admit this, but, when I heard that France was bombing the ISIS capital, my first thought was, "Good. I'm sick to death of them." All thoughts of praying for my enemies flew right out of my mind, maybe because praying for my enemies is not as tightly implanted in my heart as I'd hoped.
My first response was not to pray for our enemy, ISIS. It was not even to pray for those anti-ISIS people whose city has been overrun by these terrorists.
I don't presume to know the mind of God in this big mess, but I do know that we have a worldwide crisis and an extremely volatile situation. My second thought was, "And so, World War III has started and we don't even realize it. At least not yet."
I want ISIS stopped. Please don't get me wrong about that.
But. I have a son.
I understand the need for a military effort, but I also know that every plane carries humans who do the tasks of war - piloting, navigating, bombing. Every gun requires a human to shoot it. Every tank requires a human to drive it, to fire its guns.
Those humans are someone's brother or sister, son or daughter, father or mother. They are loved. They are needed.
Unlike the terrorists, (one of whom blew up his own younger brother) I would not willingly sacrifice my son for anyone's cause. War scares me. I understand its necessity, but it is not to be taken lightly, for men and women someone loves will be in danger.
In truth, they (and we) are already in danger, regardless.
ISIS has promised attacks on Washington. It's not a threat. It's a promise, and I have no doubt they intend to fulfill their promise.
Just this weekend, they attacked both Paris and Lebanon. A week ago, they killed 200 children in Syria. Their reign of terror seems to have no end.
The heinous acts of evil men and women are, however, not new. ISIS is not the first organization to do the unspeakable and call it good. Nearly two thousand year ago, the Apostle Peter wrote of this unending reign of evil. His words are worth remembering.
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world..." 1 Peter 5:8-9 nasb
Just before these wise words, he also wrote of a beautiful, comforting truth.
"He cares for you."
We serve a God who knows us, knows our situation, and cares. He cares about our loved ones in harms' way. He cares about the ones who will survive their fight and the ones who will not. He cares about the ones of us who will be left to grieve. Whatever happens, He cares.
Therefore, Peter wrote, humble yourselves... cast your cares on Him... trust Him... and resist evil.
We are living in perilous, explosive times and there is one response that we must not forget in all our resisting.
Pray without ceasing...
for our nation
for our leaders
for our soldiers
for an end to the evil in this world
for protection from evil until our Lord returns to carry us home.
This is a beautiful but dangerous world we're living in, my brothers and sisters. We will never be safe until we reach eternity. Until then, let's serve well, pray well, love well.
In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links: The Blessings That Were Not, Loss of Power, Grateful Heart: Veterans, Grateful Heart: Laughter and Grateful Heart: Worldwide Kindness, Remembering Paris, and Persevering for Paris.
The most viewed post of the last week was Remembering Paris
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