Edmund Burke was an 18th century Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist, philosopher, and politician, serving for many years in the House of Commons, the lower house of the bicameral legislature serving British citizens in their parliamentary system of government.  One of my favorite quotes from this very talented intellect concerns the responsibility that we all have to oppose evil in this fallen world:  “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  I would, of course, add women as well to this quote, although I’m sure he meant to include them as well.  Evil in this world will always keep pushing tirelessly.  So, if we let up in our efforts to oppose it in our lives, the lives of our loved ones and friends, and the world around us, it will continuously gain ground.  And that evil will come from three main sources.  It can come from the untamed sinful nature of wicked people, doing evil, that which is completely natural to us without God’s intervention through salvation.  Or it can come the world system of governments and ruling authorities that is unconquered as yet by righteousness, although it will be when our Savior Comes again in His Glory.  Or evil can come from the spiritual powers and principalities that manipulate the world system and people for evil ends.     

The most insidious and tireless source of evil is Satan and his fallen angel followers.  1 Peter 5:8 warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring Lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  But, while he and his demons may be more powerful than us, he is a mere gnat to the Glorious Power of Our Loving Father, His Majestic Son, and His Holy Spirit.  As this verse suggests, we become vulnerable when we are not vigilant against his schemes, and when we are not sober, deadly serious in our lives about opposing evil.  Of course, this does not mean that we are never to have fun or to laugh.  Indeed, as God builds up His Spirit in us through sanctification, His Perfect Love will lift our souls and hearts into ever greater joy so that it will be harder and harder for Satan to get his hooks into us by making us fearful, constantly worried, prideful, controlling, impatient, judgmental, wrathful with others, or selfish.  As we become more loving, sacrificially giving, humble in spirit, gentle, patient, compassionate of other’s burdens, quick to forgive – as all these spiritual gifts build up in us, it becomes ever harder for Satan to make his mischief with us, although he is tireless and will from time to time get to us in our most vulnerable areas.  

So, how do we make sure that God’s gifts build up in us?  By meditating on Him and His ways and by reading/memorizing His Word; by praying, laying our burdens on Him and discussing all things with Him as we would a Friend, which He is.  It is primarily in daily prayer, meditation, and scripture reading and/or memorization that He places His power and wisdom into us, so these things are vital to our relationship with Him and to our spiritual growth.  But we must also be busy at His work because this is also necessary to our growth and is the proving ground for our developing spiritual character (the process of sanctification).  Moreover, when we are busy in acts of service and love, we are in the center of His Pleasure and His Will.  This is where He wants us to be, exerting His Will on earth just as His Will is done in Heaven (Mat. 6:10).  And His Will is the Way of Love.  His people, those whose hearts really belong to Him, will be known by their loving acts of service to others (Mat. 25: 31-46, Isaiah 58).     


I pray that you will all find time to be with Him and to read and meditate on His Word and His Ways so that He can put His Peace, Love, Wisdom, and other spiritual gifts into you in ever greater amounts. 
 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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