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…And the violent take it by force

violence 8b87e12d
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force.” (Matt: 11:12) It’s raining in Georgia as I write this, but not in my soul. By way of contrast, if you read yesterday’s blog, you saw my world was suffering violence. From some of your comments and emails, …
By Seth Barnes

Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and
violent men take it by force.” (Matt:
11:12)

violenceIt’s raining in Georgia as I write this, but not in my soul. By way of contrast, if you read yesterday’s
blog
, you saw my world was suffering violence.

From some of your comments and emails, I wasn’t
the only one having a day like that. So,
I postured myself to not be a victim, but to recognize that pain is a standard
occupational hazard for human beings, and particularly those who pose a threat
to our enemy.

And so, today dawns and though the people I know who were
hurting continue to struggle, I personally am not back on my heels reacting
like a punching bag for the enemy of my soul.

In fact, upon reflection, I like the ebb and flow of this life. I won’t
be surprised or sidelined by pain, and I’m going to make the devil pay for
coming after me. It’s not braggadocio;
it’s just a fact – in a spiritual sense, I’m a violent man, determined to war
on behalf of those I love and those that Jesus targeted for love – the poor in
spirit, the widow and the orphan.

We Jesus-followers, if our eyes are fixed on his kingdom and
his righteousness, are forever encroaching our enemy’s territory. We’re at
least a nuisance to him, and some of us are a spiritual force to be reckoned
with. I love meeting people like
that and aspire to be one myself.

Our enemy’s general strategy is to keep humans
hopeless and isolated, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, we bring them hope
and connection. This looks like force to the enemy – the kind of force that
comes when you’re gritting your teeth and have filled the cup of your soul to
the brim with determination.

My prayer is that many of you who have been wounded and
sidelined, benumbed or restrained, would regain the gleam in your eye. Be a man or woman of violence. Seek the kingdom as the focus of your life, don’t
be deterred along the way, and Jesus promises*, your life will be full to
overflowing.

*Matt. 6:33

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