Pastor Clay Faulk
Wake-up. Wake-up! The voice roused me from my sleep and I felt a tug on my shirt to get up and get going. It was my brother-in-law getting me out of my warm bed to pile into the station wagon for the long trip to Duke Medical Center. I was ten years old and my mother had what would be terminal cancer. This particular night was not totally uncommon, just too common. She was in such pain that she couldn’t stand it anymore and had called my sister and her husband to come help her. For years I didn’t understand why my mother had to deal with cancer. Why I had to live without her. If God is loving, then why is life sometimes so unloving? The answer, while not simple, can be partly found in a Biblical truth that many Christians miss because they are snoozing like I was that night.

The fact is we live in a world that is at war. What? You thought life should be full of peace? The world in which you and I inhabit is one that by its very nature is at war. There is a raging battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. The battle has been going on since the Garden of Eden and rages on today. While the victory was won on the cross of Calvary, Satan refuses to go quietly into the night. He is determined to battle on, thus, we must face his wrath in our lives.

So why fight, I did say that Jesus won on Calvary. You don’t have to fight. Indeed, you do have choices, God does not favor forced labor. But, when people don’t battle evil, they suffer for it. In Deuteronomy 1:26-41, the Israelites are punished for 40 years for refusing to fight the Amorites. It is not suffering because of God, it is self inflicted suffering because evil is allowed to get a foothold in lives. Ephesians 6 says it very clearly, “God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life.”

So wake-up! Sleeper arise! Wipe your eyes and do not be in denial! If you don’t believe me, how about C.S. Lewis who says in his book, “Mere Christianity,” “One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe—a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death, disease, and sin . . . Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees . . . this is a universe at war.” Indeed, a war of the spiritual realms and the fleshly realms. Author John Eldredge puts it this way, “I am staggered by the level of naïveté that most people live with regarding evil. They don’t take it seriously. They don’t live as though the story has a villain. Not the devil prancing about in red tights, carrying a pitchfork, but the incarnation of the very worst of every enemy you’ve met in every other story. Dear God — the Holocaust, child prostitution, terrorist bombings, genocidal governments. What is it going to take for us to take evil seriously?

Now back to my story. God is loving. Pain ends and eternal life is given. I know my mother’s faith and I know her place in God’s loving arms – although I still grieve for my loss. Unfortunately, we live in a war torn world. Bad things do happen. Disease, violence, poverty, war, corruption and all those hideous things are not the product of our good God, but a symptom of a world that has fallen from the presence of sin and forces opposed to God. This Easter, know that the victory is won, but don’t forget what led to the empty tomb: a trial, a beating beyond belief, and inhumane torture at the hands of those influenced by Satan. You have an enemy. We have an enemy. Now wake-up and let’s go, war is here. Until next time, Blessings!

Pastor Faulk lives in Bridge City and serves Providence Church off of Jimmy Johnson Boulevard in Port Arthur.