Posts Tagged ‘broken man’

I had a bit of a strange dream last night. I was with the soldiers that captured the mansion where Saddam Hussein resided. But instead of his escaping to hideout for several months as happened in real life, he was there and we captured him. He was a broken man, defeated and powerless in the face of the strength of the righteous army that had swept in and broken his tyrannical dictatorship. We left him and quickly moved through the house providing humanitarian aid and help to the wounded, broken, and naked people throughout the house. Although I am not sure why it seems important at this time, one of my main tasks was to find weapons and destroy them and find clothes for people to put on. It seemed that more than half the people were either without clothes or dressed in rags.

I do not remember fighting perse, but I do remember being dressed and equipped as a fighter. My main mission, and I was the leader, was to help people. After removing all the weapons we could find and getting people stabilized and dressed we began talking with them. Many were cautiously appreciative, others told stories of terrible abuse and mistreatment, but a few appeared to be as in a trance. I remembered that we had left Saddam in a room upstairs so I went to get him and bring him down and take him away. As I slipped in the room from one direction I caught sight of him leaving the room from a door on the other side. Somehow while we were gone he had cleaned up, dressed in a fresh uniform, and amazingly appeared 20 years younger – a vital, strong, proud man. I watched with horror as he marched down the stairs and began to interact with the people we had recently liberated. Various reactions from terror to disbelief to adulation were recorded. The young Saddam for his part did not seem to have a recollection of being recently captured or deposed, but he knew clearly that HE was in charge. I realized at that point what a huge mistake we had made in treating him kindly and underestimating his power.

As this thought came to me my alarm went off. As I awoke my first thought was, “That is how we often deal with sin in our lives. We push it aside saying it is defeated and get busy with other things only to have it rear its ugly head strengthened and more entrenched the next time.”

The scripture for this morning is from Ephesians 6:10 – 12.  “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

In my dream I made a huge tactical mistake.  As a fighting unit we correctly pinpointed and subdued the leader of the opposition.  But we did not deal with him in a way that totally eliminated the threat, we did not take away his ability to come at us again.  I mentioned above that I my main mission was to help people.  I was eager to get to the part of giving aid but that was compromised by my failure to address the most pressing threat to their long-term safety.

Many who call themselves Christians struggle with achieving the abundant life that Jesus offers.  One of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, is because they fail to deal with sin in their life.  I know that the early days of my walk were full of identifying and casting off habits and attitudes that the Holy Spirit showed me were sinful.  But even today closing in on 29 years later, I still have to be attentive to the Holy Spirit as He points out areas where my heart can be lured away to sin.  Two situations last night came up that could very easily be traps for me.  Yet this morning I know that I must decisively deal with the potential sin in my heart so I can wisely deal with the situations at hand.

For those reading this who may not be of the faith or perhaps you are a new Christian, let me take just a moment to put things into perspective.  God dealt with the ultimate consequence of sin – separation from God, through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross.  God who is holy could not allow sin to reside with Him.  God who is just said the penalty for sin was death and separation from God.  God who is love said He would pay the penalty in our place.  He sent His son Jesus to stand in our place when the judgement for sin was carried out.  Jesus was the only person who has ever lived who was without sin.  For this reason His sacrifice is able to cleanse us all from all unrighteousness.  God’s only requirement is that we come to Him in faith accepting Jesus sacrifice on our behalf and making Him Lord of our life.

These two steps capture the essence of what it is to be a believer.  And following these two steps will result in abundant life.  Not a pain-free or challenge free life, but an abundant life.  Let me say that making Jesus Lord of your life is all encompassing.  One of the primary tasks we must undertake is to identify and deal with sin in us whenever and wherever we find it.  Sin left unchecked will prevent access to the abundant life Jesus offers.  It will ruin our witness for Christ.  It will hurt us and those around us.  And Jesus wants to help us deal with it, but we must respond to Him with faith in action.  When He points out sin in our life, or we come to a situation where the potential for sin exists, we must act decisively by saying NO to sin and yes to grace, truth, and love.  Temptations will come, but God who conquered death, hell and the grave is more than able to help us say No to every temptation if we put our trust in Him.

Have a blessed day!

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