Trusting In the LORD When Things Get Scary

I was reading Isaiah 30 this morning, and a verse stuck out to me. Before this, God is rebuking Judah for trying to seek Egypt for help in the coming attack from the Assyrians instead of seeking help from Him. Verses 15-18 say this:

“For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you were unwilling, (16) and you said, ‘No! We will flee upon horses’; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds’; therefore your pursuers shall be swift. (17) A thousan shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. (18) Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 30:15-18)

The people of Judah were being driven by fear. The Lord was waiting to deliver them— all they had to do was trust Him, and they didn’t. They decided to flee on swift horses, and therefore their pursuers were swift. In the heat of battle, the people of Judah made a critical mistake— they didn’t trust in the Lord, the Almighty God who created the universe and everything in it. They gave in to fear, and fled when God was ready and willing to save them. It didn’t end well for them.

We can use the people of Judah as an example. In our lives, we fight plenty of battles. As bombs burst around us, and bursts of gunfire tear through the air, the Lord has one request— to trust Him and His power. In returning and rest shall we be saved, and in quietness and in trust shall be our strength. The Lord is ready and willing to rescue us, to save us from our supernatural Enemy (Satan). Also in my Bible reading today was this verse from Ephesians:

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,  against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)

In our battle with the devil, we can’t find unintelligently. War isn’t won by accident. We must put on the Armor of God (see Ephesians 6:14-17) in order to withstand the attack.

We can’t lose faith in the Lord just because it looks scary; just because it appears that our Adversary has more power. The devil has already been defeated at the Cross, and he only has the amount of power that you allow him to have. When things in this life get scary, and when we can hear the sounds of battle around us, we must trust in Him. On that day, we will be saved in returning and rest, and our strength will be in quietness and trust. God’s got this. Don’t let fear be your defeat in the heat of battle.

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Marriage Sanctity Straight From the Pages of Genesis

God had just finished creating the earth and everything in it, and it was good. Except for one thing— God saw that it was not good for the man He’d created to be alone.

In the beginning, Adam was alone.

God had just finished creating the earth and everything in it, and it was good. Except for one thing— God saw that it was not good for the man He'd created to be alone. Genesis 2:18 tells us:

The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

So, God called the animals He'd created to Adam. Adam named them, but after all that, it was obvious that God hadn't yet found what He was looking for. So, he decided to put Adam to sleep. Genesis 2:21-24 says:

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Of course, it all went downhill from there with the whole fall of man thing, but that's not the point. In Genesis, God pointed out to us a foundational principle of our souls: it's not good for us to be alone. That could also apply to surrounding ourselves with Godly people, but that's not the point of what I'm writing to you either. In the beginning, God established the idea of marriage. He also established its sanctity, because if two people become one flesh, you can't separate them. That's why marriage is so important. One man, one woman, for life. Today, however, marriage has been devalued to the point where it's almost comical. With this suddenly popular idea of gender fluidity and self-defined truth, God's original purpose for marriage has been lost to us. God's Word is eternal and unchanging, but we have foolishly thought that we could redefine marriage. That's not our place. God set it up, and we can't knock down a foundation that God built. That's foolish. If I told you, "Hey bro, try and push over the Empire State Building by yourself with your bare hands," you probably would laugh. That's what we're doing. We, in comparison to God, are gnats. In fact, we're lower than gnats. We are powerless; we only have the fleeting power that He allows us to have.

Marriage is God's idea, and he didn't design something that foundational as a fluid idea. That's a human fallacy. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Not a whole lot of leeway there.

One man. One woman. For life. That's how God designed it. Even basic anatomy cries out to this fact. Gender fluidity and homosexual marriage are just perversions of God's initial plan. That's just how it is.

Why I Unashamedly Love Duck Dynasty

I like Duck Dynasty a whole lot. Before you judge me, here’s why.

I’m going to preface this discussion with a statement. I am an avid meat-eater, but hunting isn’t my thing. I’ve only shot a gun twice, and absolutely hated it— I told my dad that even though I was shooting a nonliving target that it was the most violent thing I’d ever done and I never wanted to do it again. However, I have no problem with hunting, as long as it’s for food and not for sport. I understand why some Christians are vegetarian or vegan, and I respect them for it. 

Now on to Duck Dynasty. I may catch some flack for this (sue me), but it’s one of my favorite television programs of all time. I think it’s funny, it’s relatable, and it’s just full of good people. The Robertson family catches a lot of angry Tweets and Facebook comments for their views (conservative Christian ones), but I’m personally very happy that we had a Christian family on a mainstream television network for years, praying in Jesus’ name at the end of each meal. 

I also love the people it’s brought into the spotlight— unlike other reality tv shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it has introduced the public to wonderful people of faith. Just about all of the cast has written a book or two, and some like Jase’s book Good Call and John Luke’s book Young and Beardless have changed my life and my way of thinking. Sadie Robertson has been a wonderful influence on young girls (also unlike the Kardashians). The Robertson family is a just a bunch of good people with a lot of wisdom to share.

Sadly, the show has recently wrapped up after having a healthy run of 5 years. I sure hope the Robertsons stay in the public spotlight— spreading the Gospel, hunting for ducks, and being a light in the darkness of media and reality tv. 

The takeaway here? Well, I think you should read some of the amazing books the Robertson family has put out. Here are my favorites out of what I’ve read (I haven’t read all of the ones they’ve put out, for the record)—

  1. Young and Beardless by John Luke Robertson 
  2. Good Call by Jase Robertson
  3. The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God by Jep and Jessica Robertson

What do you think? Do you like Duck Dynasty? Have you read any of these books? Have you ever eaten duck? Let me know below! 

DC Rebirth, Escapism, and Men In Tights

What role does escapism play in comic books?

Let's get this started with one admission—

I freaking love comic books. Shocking, I know. I also don't like to pick sides— I love Marvel and DC  characters equally. But DC's comic books right now are waaaaayyy better. While I won't go into great depth, the main reason? A little word called escapism.

Case in point— Superman Vol. 1: Son of Superman. It's a fun, action-packed story about Superman protecting his wife and son and just being heroic. There's not even any swearing in this volume (though swearing is present in other DC Rebirth books). It's not hyper-violent, either (thought that's also present in other books.) That's what we want superheroes for. We want them to be heroes. Most superhero stories now feature a grim antihero causing wanton destruction, killing unabashedly, swearing up a storm, and doing other morally reprehensible things. A lot of stories— like a lot of the stuff Marvel is spewing these days, like Champions and Captain America: Sam Wilson, are all about forcing political agendas down your throats.

But not Superman. Or Batman. Well, maybe Green Arrow, but that's not the point. Most of these comics have one goal in mind— telling good stories. They aren't focused on shoving leftist agendas down your throats. Just good stories.

Superman especially. When we read comics, we want escapism. We want to be transported to another world, one filled with men and women in bright costumes fighting evil and saving the day. We don't want to read about problems we currently have. We don't want to read about whatever platform the left wants us to swallow. We want to see inspirational figures that point us to what's right.

So, take notes, Marvel and others— tell good stories.

(Note: I do exercise restraint and research before giving your kids these. Superman is okay, but some of the other DC books aren't exactly kid-friendly all the time, like Batman, Harley Quinn, and others.)