When Things Go “Bump” In The Night

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20.

Some folks living around Langley, Virginia become a little nervous when they hear strange, or unexpected noises. Maybe, it is because they have an unusual neighbor. Their neighbor? The Central Intelligence Agency. The neighbors were a little concerned, when a helicopter hovered over the top of a building on the CIA grounds for an unusually long time. They were installing a new air conditioning unit. Or, the strange noise that emanated from the facility during a recent snowstorm. It was just some rented heat blowers to melt the snow.

A spokesperson for the CIA Bill Harlow said, “There are lots of houses that are adjacent to our fence line or close to it. Sometimes they see and hear things that gets them nervous.” So, the agency has hand-delivered postcards to the homes surrounding their facility. The cards asked residents to report “anything unusual or suspicious.” The card was signed by “Marie.” The CIA says that “If they see something or hear something which disturbs them, they need to know who to contact.” That way the neighbors can be assured that it’s just a new heating unit, or they were just melting some snow. I wonder what they will say during the summer? And who is “Marie?”

We live in an increasingly violent and uncertain time, with threats of war, and terrorism on many horizons. How do we face life during such a time? How do we continue to move forward living life, and serving God during such times? It is one thing to profess our faith, but a much greater challenge to actually live out that faith. How can we live in a way that will bring light to the darkness that constantly presses upon us?

The enemy uses fear to keep us in our place. He uses fear to keep us from spreading faith, hope, and love to others around us. Often our enemy uses verbal threats from others like Nehemiah faced (Nehemiah 6). Other times it is a fear based in reality like Moses faced when responding to God’s call. Moses knew how powerful the Egyptians were, and how cruel they could be. In both situations what happened? Nehemiah and the people completed the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem in spite of the threats. Moses led his people to freedom, in spite of the power and cruelty of the Egyptians of that era. In both situations, God provided the strength and resources needed. Nehemiah prayed, “Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands (Nehemiah 6:9b).” Moses was assured, as God addressed each of his excuses. Moses was to remember that it was God who sent him, and to share that with the Egyptians and his people (Exodus 3:13-14). Moses became great in prayer, speaking with God as a person would speak to another.

Moses and Nehemiah were both commissioned by God. Timothy and Paul were commissioned by God. You and I, if we know the Lord as our Savior, have been commissioned by God (Matthew 28:18-20). So, when the world says get back into your foxhole; when they say stop living and talking like a Christian, what do you do? Remember that you have been commissioned, sent by God to live out your faith in this world. Your Commander, is not your neighbor. Your Commander is the Creator of the Universe. If you need strength and courage, ask Him for it just as Nehemiah did, and He will provide it. Because, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

(We need to remember that as Christians we have been commissioned, and have the power of the Creator of our Universe living within us.)

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