Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
My friend and I were discussing how to proceed as followers of Jesus Christ in this day and age that, even in the so-called “free West,” reveals more and more anti-Christian sentiment.
Our focus was how to be strong in an increasingly menacing world for believers who refuse to bow to the spirit of Antichrist in today’s particular manifestations.
The Spirit of Antichrist? Today?
But isn’t the Antichrist yet to arrive on the scene, in or about chapter 13 in the book of Revelation?
Actually, he’s already here, that is to say his spirit is already here, motivating and deluding people. As Gospel writer John put it:
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:2-3, emphasis added)
So the AC has been deceiving and influencing people to walk the dark path for a long, long time, at least since the time St. John wrote his letter to the early believers, back in 1 AD.
And after all, Jesus did prophesy the “p” word when He walked His talk on earth. also two-thousand years ago.
Nevertheless, countless people of every nation, creed, and tongue continue to put their faith in God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and to proceed.
But even prior to Jesus’ time, those who believed in God faced the arch-enemy of all.
BELIEVERS THEN, BELIEVERS NOW
My friend and I discussed how a few “weak” (weak in the world’s eyes, anyway) biblical characters achieved mighty victories when they put their trust in God and pulled on their work boots, so to speak, both physical and spiritual, literal and figurative.
This, of course, is always a topic of great encouragement for believers of any era.
Examples we noted included David facing Goliath and Abigail taking on the threat against her household. I thought later also of Gideon, who gathered his small band of cohorts to defeat the massive Midianite army.
I also thought of today’s believers who overcome great odds despite their own kind of weaknesses even as my friend and I had discussed a few victories in our own lives.
“STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS”
The next morning I awoke to my radio already tuned in (I had forgotten to turn it off before I fell asleep) to a local Christian radio station on which the late Pastor Ashley Day was finishing up a presentation on the call of Gideon with his small army to defeat the massive Midianite army. The narrative is found the book of Judges, chapter 6-8.
And this story, I thought, along with the stories and anecdotes my friend and I shared and more, will be one to both encourage and strengthen us now in our world facing both small and fierce adversaries of our own.
The specific presentation I listened to and share below as Part 1 of my new series is number 6 of Pastor Day’s 8 broadcasts on Old Testament hero, Gideon. This one is titled “Strength in Weakness.”
My new series will offer not only guest features but also additional commentary on a few modern illustrations of what happens when weak mortals face big challenges, perhaps even supernatural challenges, and when they put faith and trust in God when by faith through grace they/we realize victories often beyond what we can ask, think, or imagine–or think we can pull off, that is, pull off our part of the challenge–that Gideon’s story, for starters, illustrates so well.
I offer this series as encouragement for you also, dear reader, who might be experiencing a need today in the unique circumstances of your life, not to mention for all believers across the globe in such a time as this.
Here is today’s, Part 1: Life of Gideon (seedtime.net)–scroll down to #6.
For a past, completed series based on the verses of Psalm 91 and collected in devotional form you are also invited here to access this free resource: “In the Midst of the Fray“.