DayBreaks for 11/17/14 – Wormwood’s Work

DayBreaks for 11/17/14 – Wormwood’s Work

In the book The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis, a devil briefs his demon nephew, Wormwood, in a series of letters, on the subtleties and techniques of tempting people. In his writings, the devil says that the objective is not to make people wicked but to make them indifferent. This higher devil cautions Wormwood that he must keep the patient comfortable at all costs. If he should start thinking about anything of importance, encourage him to think about his luncheon plans and not to worry so much about truly important things because it could cause indigestion. And then the devil gives this instruction to his nephew: “I, the devil, will always see to it that there are bad people. Your job, my dear Wormwood, is to provide me with people who do not care.”

I saw on the news just today that a third American has apparently been beheaded by ISIS.  Do you know what?  I’ve not been praying about this rising evil very regularly.  I’ve not been calling on God to stretch forth His arm to deliver His children who have been suffering at the hands of this group or at the hands of others.  Why?  Because it is “out of sight, out of mind.”  Is that a good excuse?  No, it isn’t.  I fear that when it comes to this topic and so, so many others like it, I have fallen into Wormwood’s trap and I just simply don’t care enough.

Revelation 3:16 (NLT)  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

Those who don’t care enough don’t pray enough.  And Jesus’ word are a strong warning to us.  God, give us ears to hear and hearts to care!

PRAYER: God, forgive me for growing too comfortable while so many others are suffering because of Jesus, or disease, or evil.  Stir us to pray without ceasing for those in such desperate need of Your deliverance!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 12/30/11 – When Danger Is Remote

DayBreaks for 12/30/11 – When Danger Is Remote

Read the signs...and beware!!!!

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. – 1 Peter 5:8-9

Danger has a way of prompting us to be alert and take action, whether the danger is real, or just frighteningly potential.  Consider this story, told by Mickey Anders, in Keeping Watch:

“Folks back in Arkansas have always been fascinated by the New Madrid Fault, which runs along a line from Memphis up through southern Missouri. Back at the turn of the century, that area suffered one of the biggest earthquakes to ever hit North America. In fact, the Mississippi River ran upstream for several hours.

“In the fall of 1990, a scientist predicted that another major earthquake would occur in the New Madrid Fault on Tuesday, December 4. His prediction gathered a lot of attention in newscasts, public assemblies and private conversations. People stowed away precious possessions, stockpiled groceries and kerosene, and learned how to shut off their gas and water lines. Schools and businesses announced that they would be closed that week and several residents temporarily left the area. On December 2, 1990, the First Sunday in Advent and two days before the predicted quake, churches were packed. Many people stayed awake all night on December 3. But December 4, 1990, passed with no tremor. Then December passed, and the winter. Flashlight batteries drained. Extra food spoiled or was consumed. Fuel tanks sat empty once more. The earthquake is still predicted to happen one day. When a crisis seems imminent, we have no trouble keeping alert and awake. But when the threat of danger seems remote, our eyelids grow heavy and we sleep.”

Have you seen the “great enemy”, the devil, the roaring lion today?  Is he hot on your tail?  Oh, if it were only so simple!  The roaring lion can roar, but he can also be silent and stealthy, sneaking up on us in ways that lull us to sleepiness…and then when it is too late we realize he has us right where he wants us, between his jaws.

Where is the greatest danger in your life coming from right now?  Is it an attitude of lax morality?  A cavalier attitude toward the poor and needy?  From listening to the ideas of man instead of the promises of God?  God’s advice to us, through the pen of Peter, is simply this: Stay alert!  Watch out!

Don’t let your guard down or you may find yourself in the lion’s belly before you even knew you were in danger!

PRAYER: Father, don’t let our eyes grow dull and heavy because we think danger if far from us!  Let us not think we are strong and can stand, for it is surely at those moments that we are most likely to overtaken by our great enemy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 7/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

DayBreaks for 07/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

Palmer Chinchen, in True Religion, tells the following story:

My brothers and I had traveled to the western edge of Zimbabwe to raft the Zambezi River. We boarded our raft at the base of the Victoria Falls. Massive amounts of water spilled over the top of the giant falls and dropped almost a thousand feet; the roar was deafening. The falls are the largest in the world, more than a mile wide and three hundred feet high. Mist from the spray that fills the air like fog can be seen for fifty miles; the locals call it “Smoke That Thunders.” The water from the falls rushes down the gorge in torrents, creating the world’s largest rapids. In the United States, the highest-class rapid you are allowed to raft is a Class 5. The Zambezi’s whitewater rapids can top 7 and 8 ….

As I sat on the edge of the eight-person raft, all suited up in a tight, overstuffed jacket and a thick crash helmet, I felt like an over cautious tourist about to mount an overpowered moped in Honolulu or rent roller-blades on Huntington Beach. The Zambezi can’t be that dangerous, can it?

But then our guide [said], “When the raft flips …” There was no “If the raft flips” or “Or on the off-chance we get flipped.” But “When the raft flips.” He went on, “… stay in the rough water. You will be tempted to swim toward the stagnate water at the edge of the banks. Don’t do it. Because it is in the stagnate water that the crocs wait for you. They are large and hungry. Even when the raft flips, stay in the rough water.”

Several thoughts spring to mind from this story:

FIRST: we think we know where to go to be safe, we even have a natural instinct that smooth, quiet water is safer than raging whitewater…but our instincts are wrong and we must fight against them many times if we are to safely survive.  There are hidden dangers we can’t see when we run to self-help guru’s, secular advisors and counselors, etc., rather than the Spirit and the Word.

SECOND: it is in the calm waters from the story that people will face death.  The crocodiles won’t venture into the churning whitewater.  Stagnancy, complacency, a desire to just “go with the flow” will kill the spirit.  It is in the rough water that we pour our lives into others as Christians, because unbelievers are in life-threatening waves and they need the Life Preserver that Christ offers!

THIRD: when there is no spiritual “adventure” to our lives, we are in danger of drifting in our faith: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. – Hebrews 2:1  The rafters had to listen carefully to the truth of the lesson of white water versus smooth water – to not do so would have been deadly.

PRAYER: We fear white waters, Lord, but help us remember that we are never there alone, you are with us in the boat and we need not fear!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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