Under gently swaying palm trees, amongst rustling bamboo stands and around random clumps of cactus plants are splashed the amazing colors of the native flowers and plants of the La Mesa hills. The sun, rising above the morning fog, soon warms and brings to life the humming hives of bees perched on its palm tree stand. If only focus could remain at this distance, the quiet of the early morning would be a calming force welcoming the visitors to just sit and admire the handiwork of the Creator.
Too soon, the eyes are drawn to that which sits in stark contrast to the above beauty: the meth addict beginning to stir rising to find the next run of chemical oblivion; the alcoholic senior citizen pondering the sway of internal gyrations and the lure of the elixir to sink life back into numbness; the seller of human pleasures drawing herself back into a state of desire to attract her next fool descending on the stairway Solomon described as leading to death! The users and used begin the dance of fatal attraction and certain demise on the seemingly never ending cycle of the disease of sin.
Plunged into the midst of this chaos and beauty, I stand feeling the almost palatable oppression of Satan’s lie pasted over the truth of God’s creation and salvation. Fortunately, the undeniable truth of God pushes through the clutter and disasters surrounding my circumstances and I take a firm stance on the reality of Christ in me. Victory already belongs to my Savior, my heart is secure in His; this ground I stand upon is just a hospice for the condemned, a last gasp residence on the decent to a Godless eternity if something or someone doesn’t stand up and declare the liberty that comes through the cross.
A quote I recently saw on a shirt in a photo my aunt posted rings with the challenge of the moment, “Some want to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell” (C.T. Studd) Indeed! Who will rise up to fight? Or will I turn to run...to run away with the certain hope of victory even now promised?
Remembering Joshua as he stood before the walled fortress of Jericho, the first formidable obstacle on the entrance to the Promised Land. The Angel of the Lord... the Captain of God's Army, declares victory before even the mortar of the walled city began to slip..."And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”
Even though God had given Jericho into Joshua and the Children of Israel's hand before they ever took a single step, it still took 7 days of obedience and a lot of footsteps to see and experience the victory...reminds me that in many of the challenges we face in life, victory already belongs to the Lord...we've just got to be obedient and KEEP WALKING!! I've got to keep walking...down the long highway from the peaceful refuge of home into this infested stronghold of pending disaster. I've got to keep walking right up to the very massive walled fortification of human lust, sin and disease and shout out the victory of my Savior. Days, weeks, or even years...whatever my Commander and King requires, this is the way to victory!!