Wednesday, August 27, 2014

War Against Your Soul

Three days after the earthquake here in Northern California and it is estimated at least 172 people were injured and there was one billion dollars worth of damage! Thankfully, no deaths.

But even in times such as these, and worse, God is still on His throne! He has not gone anywhere. He has not forsaken His people. We may get angry and shake a fist at Him out of shock, dismay, fear, etc. but like with the Israelites out of Egypt, God leads the way.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6. ESV.)
And His grace is sufficient.
9But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9. ESV.)

Today, I was working on an assignment for my Early Education: Diverse Learners class. The questions included: Do you think the role of schools in society has changed since you were a kid? If so, how? If not, why? Which of the five basic institutions do you see or hear being discussed in the Michael Brown case?

As I am sure you can imagine, my answer was very long winded. (I’m a writer, I like to give page long responses.) But, the reason I mention this is because here are yet more things about which I could be worrying…the state of our nation, discrimination, riots, war, the education of our children, etc. God has that covered, too! So where, exactly, should my focus remain?

11Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation (1 Peter 2:11-12. ESV.)

In seeking an answer to this question, I came across the following by Pastor John Piper who suggests,
What these two verses make clear is that there are two tremendous issues in the world. They are, I think, the most important issues in the world. And one of the reasons we know that we are aliens and strangers in the world is that the modern world we live in does not believe that these two issues are the main issues. If the world believed this, the newspaper and the television and the theater and the university and popular music and industry mission statements and government goals would look and sound very different than they do. But in fact we live in a world that shows by its priorities and values and commitments and standards and preoccupations and pleasures that it does not regard these two issues as paramount. In fact, they are not even on the list of the world's priorities.

The two issues that dominate these two verses—and indeed dominate the whole New Testament—are the salvation of the human soul and the glory of God. The two great issues of the Bible are how the soul of man might not be destroyed and how the glory of God might not be belittled
(By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website:

Cross references help me further understand the text:
1What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? (James 4:1. ESV.)

16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16. ESV.)
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