I remember a unified America when I was a lad. Christians magnified Jesus at Christmas, and others had their secular traditions, and we all got along. There was a beautiful blend at that time because everyone accepted our Christian roots as a nation and everyone almost knew intuitively that we were blessed because of our Christian heritage. But now………… Wooow Nellie! There was a town out west a couple of years ago that refused to put up red and green Christmas lights because they reminded them of Christmas. Another town refused to allow poinsettias for the same reason! Cashiers are told to greet customers with the generic one size fits all: “Have a happy holiday.” (I usually tell them that if they check their calendar they will find that there is only one holiday on December 25). Wal Mart and other department stores sell holiday trees. Santa Monica, California has banned Nativity Scenes which have been there for six decades [Take heart, however, for there is a loophole that this refers to only unattended scenes– Live Nativity Scenes are all right]. Why is this? It is simply an antichrist spirit flaring up in our nation. The church has been out to lunch for too long or this never would have come about. Revival anyone?
Take a trip with me to over 100 years ago to Victorian London, England. Do you see the portly, corpulent and rotund Dutchman walking down the street past several shops, not far from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Church? Oh yes, he is muttering about the awful state of affairs in the church in his day. Oh, by the way his name is Charles Haddon Spurgeon (CHS) and he serves as the pastor of the aforementioned church. He founded an orphanage on the side, where he spends holidays and birthdays; and founded Spurgeon’s Bible College as well. CHS was well aware of our waning faith in the body of Christ, especially when we look around horizontally too much. So when Charles was bored, he wrote the best devotional that I have ever read called Morning and Evening. If you own a copy, the following excerpt is taken from “Evening, December 5.” If you do not have a copy, here it is:
Raising Up Defenders “Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen.” Zechariah 1:20
In this vision the prophet saw four terrible horns pushing this way and that, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest. When the prophet asked what the horns were, he was told, “These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem” (Zechariah 1:19).
Zechariah saw a representation of the powers that had oppressed the church. They were four horns, because the church is attacked from all quarters. The prophet had every right to be dismayed, but suddenly four craftsmen appeared. When he asked what they were coming for, he was told, “The craftsmen are coming to terrify them, to cast out the horns of the nations that lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.”
God will always find people for His work, and He will find them at the right time. At first, the prophet did not see the craftsmen. He saw the horns and then the craftsmen. Moreover, the Lord finds enough people. He did not find three craftsmen, but four. There were four horns, and so there must be four workmen. God also finds the right people. He did not choose four scribes with pens to write nor four architects with plans to draw. He found four craftsmen to do rough work.
*** Rest assured, you who tremble when the horns grow troublesome, the craftsmen will be found. Don’t worry about the weakness of the church. Growing up in obscurity may be the valient reformer who will shake the nations. Another Chrysostom may come from our ragged schools; another Augustine from the darkness of urban poverty. The Lord knows where to find His servants.
God has a multitude of mighty soldiers waiting in ambush, and at His word, they will start the battle, because, “the battle is the Lord’s” (I Samuel 17:47). Be faithful and in the right time Christ will raise our defense. *** CHS
Yes indeed, if Christians are simply faithful, we will see our Lord raise up soldiers who will be ever so strong in His mighty cause! Remember, it is darkest before the dawn. Blessings, Pastor Steve