"After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the city of Ashdod. They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside the idol of Dagon. But when the citizens of Ashdod went to see it the next morning Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark of the Lord! So they set the idol up again. But the next morning the same thing happened - the idol had fallen face down before the Ark of the Lord again. This time his head and hands were broken off...." I Samuel 5:1-4....."I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me." John 12:32...."What the world needs is not a 'little bit of love,' but a surgical operation." Oswald Chambers  


Here in Manassas, Virginia, there is quite an uproar over a response to an annual nativity scene erected in a local park. A private citizen has placed a large sign right next to it, proclaiming that, in essence, there is no God, there is no need for God, and so all of the meaning of Christmas is a lie. I understand why people are upset by this brazen display of unbelief, but my first response wasn't in being upset. What His Spirit brought to mind for me was that picture shown above in the passage from I Samuel 5. The Philistines had defeated the Israelites in battle, completely due to the sin and rebellion of the Israelites. In doing so, they captured the Ark of the Lord, symbol of His dwelling among His people. It was His very Presence among them. The Philistines believed they had conquered the God of Israel, and putting Him alongside their false God Dagon was meant to show all who was the most powerful. Yet the power of Almighty God was displayed in the fact that the idol Dagon first fell at the foot of the Ark, and then finally, was broken in pieces before Him. The message is clear. All the power of an unbelieving mocking world cannot, will not ever change the reality and truth that God reigns. That God is true. That God is and always will be God and God alone.


I love nativity scenes, but they are not what prove the truth of our living God and Savior. His powerful presence in the lives of His people, a Presence that results in the reality of John 12 being made real in and through those lives. He is so alive in us that our very being results in His being lifted up in the midst of a sin crushed world....and drawing people to Himself from everywhere within it. When that kind of Life is emanating from within His people, His Church, than all the "signs" the enemy erects to deny Him can only end as did Dagon, broken in pieces at His feet. Though needed, this is something more than a Church engaged in good works and acts of love. It is a living, breathing, unleashed power and presence of the Three in One God in the midst of a fallen world and culture. As Chambers says, it is not bits of love the world needs, but a surgical operation. Holy Spirit surgery that results in making all things new in the lives where the surgery takes place.

I love what Beth Moore says; "As living stones, do our lives expose and empty tomb and a living, thriving, personal God? Are we proof Christ lives? Do people walk into our churches and see us living stones gathered in a spiritual house? If so, we'll never have to beg for visitors." Yet we needn't wait for them to come to see us, they have to see us as such where we live, work, even play. In all things and all ways, we shine forth with His Light and Life. When we do so, Dagon falls.....every time. Toppling Dagon; How much of our life is about that?

Pastor O

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  March 2018  
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