Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"As I have planned..."

24 The Lord Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
    and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
25 I will crush the Assyrian in my land;

    on my mountains I will trample him down.
His yoke will be taken from my people,
    and his burden removed from their shoulders.”
26 This is the plan determined for the whole world;
    this is the hand stretched out over all nations.
27 For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him?

    His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?                       
Isaiah 14:24-27

It's been a lot of years since Frank Peretti  brought us his first book, "This Present Darkness."  I was probably among the last to read it when it came out, mainly because it was fiction, and I had the erroneous idea that fiction wasn't the place to look for spiritual truth.  I must confess now, in the Christian fiction I have read, those authors have a way of telling their stories while inserting lots of biblical teaching. 

When I started reading the Peretti book, I had a hard time getting through the first few chapters, but after that, I couldn't put it down. The book deals with the war of spiritual entities, God vs. Satan, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.  I thought I had a fairly good concept of the workings of Satan, his craftiness and his lies.  The story Peretti told opened my eyes to even more happenings in the world and in my own life, that could be attributed to spiritual darkness.  Before I finished the book I had already confessed to myself that the author seems to have lived in my house, walked in my shoes, and experienced many of the same frustrations I was experiencing. 

I'm very familiar with the suggestion that we read the end of the book, and not only does God win, we win, too.  But the fact still remains as long as we are in this life, we as Christians deal with the forces of Satan's darkness. It seems to be ever present around us, and sometimes in us. 

In the verses above, God's people are in bondage and captivity by the Babylonians.  God, through Isaiah is outlining the event of their release.  Inside the plan God reveals something about his nature that you and I need to know and understand in our battle with darkness. The plan is God ordained, with God's determination, to show his power and his love for his people. Read verses 26 and 27 again....out loud. The biblical truth is powerfully given.  All the forces of darkness cannot stop what God has ordained.
That truth is for nations, and for struggling people like you and me. We may experience some of "this present darkness," but our God is greater and more powerful than anything Satan throws our way.  Folks, that's the confidence we need in our lives. 


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