Who can forget the haunting image from a few weeks back—Libya’s 21 Christian martyrs clothed in orange jumpsuits and kneeling before their masked executioners?
Their names now belong with those which are more familiar to me, other brave ones who also faced Satan’s wrath head on in one way or another . . .
Amy Carmichael . . . Corrie Ten Boom . . . Darlene Deibler Rose . . . Eric Liddell . . . Dietrich Bonhoeffer . . . Jim Elliot . . . Nate Saint . . .
Satan wages war against all such because they are children of the one true King.
He targets them to unseat Him.
But to no eternal avail.
For the God who delights in using the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise and powerful, sets Satan’s malicious plans to naught through the lives of His precious children.
Such as these “toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies.
Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons.
We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.”
~Hebrews 11:33-38, The Message~
Satan is right to fear them, for their influence is beyond measure.
We, too, may find ourselves targets of the unseen forces who rail against our Father.
That’s why God brought us into this dark world—that bearing His image, we may illumine the darkness wherever our spheres of influence happen to be.
But fear not. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” ~I John 4:4~
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I loved what Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote as a caption beneath the photo of the martyrs:
“These are my brothers, faithful to Christ even unto death. King Jesus puts heads back on, and puts worlds back together. Maranatha.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
May we continue to strengthen each other for what lies ahead on this awesome faith journey. Blessings, friends!
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