“They will fall down slain in Babylon, fatally wounded in her streets. For Israel and Judah have not been forsaken by their God, the Lord Almighty….Every man is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols…..But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, the tribe of his inheritance- The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is his name!” (Selections from Jeremiah 51)
“The Lord’s portion is his people, Deut. 32:9
Each person has a story. Each nation has a story. Each age has a story. And each story has many episodes, many beginnings, climaxes and endings. The Babylonians had a story. They became great, and then Jeremiah prophesied of the time that they would become nothing.
It is good to remember that each episode has an ending. It is scary to watch evil gain ascendency in other nations, and in our own. We want to feel like evil is having victories, it is becoming stronger, it will win.
But God wins! He always does.
And evil will not win against us, although at times it has victories. I was reminding a sister last night who is struggling that when you resist the devil, he will flee from you. It doesn’t happen all at once, but if you persevere, HE WILL FLEE. The episode of that temptation will be over, and as I joked with her, a new one will probably take its place.
The reason evil doesn’t win against us is that we are God’s portion, his inheritance. Nations rose and fell, yet God watched after his people and rescued them and preserved them, time and time again. And now it is a time when we are a part of an everlasting kingdom that surpasses all others. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” (Dan 2:44)
So although I am going through an episode of struggle, and I see struggles all around me, these are only for awhile.
And what is my story? A page will be written today. I can write it for myself. I can let God write it.
Last night I watched the Oscars for awhile. They had a tribute to film professionals who passed away in the last year. One said, “More than anything else, it’s the story. It’s always the story.” I’ve tried to write stories, and it is hard to write a good story. I’ve always looked at the things happening around me, and felt that God by far writes the best stories.
One of the things I was doing last night as I watched was researching the situation with Iran for my foreign policy class. I read a bipartisan think tank paper that talked about the delicate balance in the Mideast, and how it will adversely affect the whole world economy if the balance becomes destabilized by Iran achieving nuclear power. There were graphs and prediction models. I was amazed, because I saw how much the US feels that we have to play God to the world and manipulate other nations so that the economy will function at maximum efficiency. I understand that billions of people are affected, and we don’t want to just stand by, but in spite of all the expert opinions, do we really know what is best? It’s still a guessing game. And do we really have the right to do this? I think there are some ways we should act, after carefully considering expert advice, but we must be very judicious and humble.
And it’s the same in my life. I want to write the story. I see the probability of outcomes, and I want to manipulate things for the maximum benefit. But it’s still a guessing game. God knows how to write the story so He wins, and I win. I need to trust His story.
Alex Jackson preached yesterday about becoming like a child. One way we become like a child is to have teachers and learn from others. We need to surround ourselves with learning, cultivate relationships with people who can teach us all kinds of ways to overcome sin and become excellent in life. I do need a lot of great input from others if I am to write a good story with my life.
But I still don’t want to become fearful and succumb to the temptation to manipulate. Right now I see serious things happening that could make or break people’s lives. Things may need to be said and done. But I want to be very careful. At one point this past weekend I said something to someone because I felt momentum shifting in a negative direction. But because I was in an irritable state of heart, what I said could have caused more of a shift in the negative direction. I see so much lately how words have led to negative consequences, in spite of good intentions. It is so hard to say the right thing.
But back to the original point: GOD WINS! He helps us to win because we are His people. I need to trust the process, trust the Author. I need to make it my overweening ambition to know Him better, so I can act in accordance with His will. I need to feel His pen writing on my heart the agenda of the day. And may that writing become my poetry, inspiring the stories I enact.