Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Out from the Shadows

After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.
(Judges 3:31 – ESV)

A huge problem today is that we often think that we are not hiding in the shadows of sin because we are not “sinning” as bad as we used to. But I am talking about more than that. We cannot think that we aren’t hiding away when all we do is live our Christian life isolated from the non-Christian world. We cannot be so content to occupy the back roads that the enemy has made inroads to our main roads. They may leave us alone for now, but they will advance if we don’t stand for Christ. I am talking about spiritually, of course. We cannot sit back and retreat into a Christian ghetto, isolating ourselves into our little Christian caves, because the enemy will eventually make its way into any place we retreat to. No, we must live boldly as martyrs out there in the real world, proclaiming the gospel even if it means, and especially if it means, persecution. We must be living the light of Christ, out in the open, out where people can see us, can see the light, and can experience Christ through our lives and our witness.

Shamgar was plowing, occupying his own piece of land despite everyone else fleeing and fearing and leaving off normal business. This is probably why he was challenged. When the rest of the people are falling into sin or simply compromising, their bold witness is lost. That is when we need modern day deliverers to stand as a standard of the Lord, to give hope to the helpless. This is why we need judges today, to show the people just how far they have fallen into sin and away from the power of God to shine as lights in this dark world. The judges’ example judges the sin, it says no, we as Christians do not have to live in fear, we do not have to hide in the shadows, we do not have to act like the rest of the world, we will stand up when the world is beating us down, even if we are put down into the grave for it.

Their example judges the sin, but it also points to Him, to Christ, who has judged sin, and who empowers us all to be delivered out of the hands of the enemy, from out of the shadows, out from the fear, and back into the highways of holiness, shining again as bright lights to the way of God. We need a revival of true religion today. The answer is not simply “come to our cave” unless it is also “go out and be brave”.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Annette said...

that braveness I am learning.

I'm learning that it's worse to be ashamed before God because I didn't speak up for him, then it is to be poked fun at because I love him unequivocably. (I have NO clue right now how to spell that correctly). :)

And when I consider persecution, laughter at me should be the least of my concerns.

Even So... said...

That is a good word, sister...

Jim said...

Sin sure does dull the blade of boldness. I think one of the subtle things about sin is its ability to cause us to question God's word and therefore lose confidence.

We are then reduced to inactive participants in the struggle for souls and God's kingdom.

Even So... said...

That is a good point Jim, and it also filters into when we are afraid to witness because we "don't know enough"...we have Jesus, and he is enough, amen...sure we should be learning to be more "effective" with our evangelism, but we need to remember that all we are really doing is presenting Jesus as the answer to our sin, and any Christian can do that...our being gripped by the gospel will contsrain us to share the good news...