In Enemy Country
     There can be no denying that we are living in a time of increasing darkness.  We are in the midst of days where, as scripture speaks of, "good is called evil, and evil good."  For the believer, we must decide as to how we will respond to the darkness.  Will we give in to a fatalistic, gloom and doom outlook, and simply try to last through it till the Lord comes back?  Worse, will we allow ourselves to become immersed in it, slowly taking on the value system and worldview of the culture we are in?  Will we seek to fight back with good intentions and good works, putting all of our effort in an attempt to "change the world?"  There are probably a number of other responses, but there is really only one that's an option, and that is to be His Living Presence, Light and Life, in a world ensnared in deep darkness, death, and sin.  
     We are living in "enemy country," and we, the church, are to be, as one man put it, "a colony of heaven in the country of death."  That means that though we may find ourselves in a culture seemingly dominated by the prince of darkness, we are part of a Kingdom culture infinitely greater and more powerful than what the enemy, an already defeated enemy, could ever possess.  If we can grasp this truth, we'll find that no matter how deep we may find ourselves in hostile country, we can overcome it, be victorious in its midst by virtue of how deeply we live, are living, in Him.
     I read recently that more and more, it seems that preachers,teachers, and the church in general, are ignoring the Old Testament, feeling it only speaks of an Old Covenant that was done away with in Christ.  We do this to our great harm, for in the OT, we hear and see witness to Christ all the way along.  There is wonderful beauty, power and life to be found there, if we'll but have ears to hear and eyes to see.  One such place is found in Exodus, as the Father speaks to Moses, telling him how He intends to free the Israelites from their slavery to Egypt, the mightiest nation of that day.  He said to the Pharaoh of Egypt of His intended work to bring their freedom, " Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I have power even in the heart of enemy country."  What He said next cannot be missed, and must be remembered by all who take His name, "I will make a clear distinction between your people, and My people."  The Father has made that distinction.  Are you and I living in it?
    Yes, we are living in a day of deep darkness, but are we living as a people of distinction in its midst?  Not in harsh condemnation of the lives trapped in that darkness, but in the power of a life, His life, that this darkness cannot destroy, not in isolation, but in awesome power and presence, His presence.  Moses had such intimacy with Him that the glow of His glory was much upon his face.  How much more can we as we live in and with the fullness of His Holy Spirit in every place, even the darkest place?  Proving again and again, overcoming the world system again and again, that He is Lord, even in the midst of enemy country.
    In Exodus 7, God said to Pharaoh, "You are going to find out that I am the Lord."  He did find out.  Have we?  Are we, can we, live so deeply in Him that all the power arrayed against His people, His church, His Kingdom, shrinks back because of the power of His life, a life His word tells us can't be destroyed?  Yes, the darkness increases, but Paul said that where "sin (darkness) abounds, grace (His Life) abounds more."  Let us, you and me, live in His "more."  Let us find out that we, in Him, have power, even in the heart of the enemy's country.

Pastor O  
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   May 2019   
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