With the entrance of darkness into the universe, three deadly predators trailed along in the atmosphere like an infected carbuncle(boil). Early on, they each had their personal profile for carrying out their deadly intentions.
However, over time, they became close friends and formed a powerful coalition that works together for mass destruction. Hate, fear, and doubt are three of the deadliest weapons in the toolbox of darkness. Together they can score a knockout punch and create havoc in a very short time to hundreds of people.
These vultures are extremely dangerous since they have the capability to choose anyone as prey at any time without reservation or conscience.
If you have ever watched any type of construction, you know every house or building structure must begin with a foundation. In addition, every construction project must meet specific building and safety codes before the plans are approved. Once the standards are met, the project can move forward.
If we make the world situation our daily focus, it may appear we are faced with overwhelming odds to defeat the powers of darkness. As a result, we begin to wonder where is our foundation to overcome this toxic atmosphere?
Recall that every new construction project must meet certain safety standards. Assuredly, we have a foundation based on our spiritual Rock. He meets all the standards of eternal love. Biblically speaking, we have everything needed to wage war against any unholy alliance whose only aim is to keep us imprisoned and destroy our faith in His promises.
An important reminder is that our walk of faith will not be an easy one. We are wrestling against spiritual forces who hate God and His creations. You may not want to believe you are in a war for your soul, but truth be told, that is exactly what is happening every day. It is a war of darkness against light.
When we hang out with hatred, lock ourselves in the closet of fear, and hold hands with doubt, we give wicked principalities, cosmic forces and the powers of darkness approval to find a nesting place within our soul. (Ephesians 6:12)
Our weapons must be spiritual: the Bible (His truth and light), prayer, faith (trust/hope), are our offensive weapons to overcome evil forces. Our foundation cannot be built on sinking sand, but on the strength and love of our spiritual Rock.
Many of us have something we use to carry our personal belongings and our cash—a backpack, fanny pack, purse, money bag, or wallet. If an emergency arises, these become convenient ways to access an item or cash quickly.
There is another place where we frequently carry items that eventually become baggage in the soul. Similar to the nutrients stored in the hump(s) of a camel, humans frequently store memories that can survive for prolonged periods—sometimes weeks, months, years, or even decades.
There are several categories of baggage we carry which can trigger past and present memories:
One of the notable stories in the Bible of forgiveness involves a woman accused of adultery by the spiritual legalists. They asked Jesus to condemn her so they could bring evidence to trap Him. Jesus ignored them as He wrote on the ground. When He lifted His head to speak, He made one statement: "Let anyone of you who is without sin, be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7-11)
When the dust cleared, there was not one so-called "religious leader" remaining from the whole bunch. The scene had ended. There were no accusers. Jesus forgave the woman but admonished her to avoid repeating future exploits.
Returning to the camel, we are reminded that the camel's humps are storage compartments not for water, but of fatty tissue used as a source of nourishment when food is scarce. When he or she has gone a prolonged time without food, the humps will deflate and droop but quickly return once the camel receives more food.¹
All the negative triggers provide nutrition for diminishing God's purpose for each of us. They are counterfeits of His truth. When we continue to participate in or harbor memories of these activities, we shortchange our opportunities to experience God's power and creativity within us. It is time for us to allow the baggage compartments of our minds to deflate and droop.
We begin by conquering our thoughts and renewing our mind. (Romans 12:2) Habits and memories that are deeply rooted in a long-standing history may not go without kicking and screaming.
You may have to give up your favorite "binge watch" television program or learn to appreciate a different type of music or take a bathroom break when your favorite commercial appears. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
No matter what the stronghold, God can free you from any unwanted baggage costs and restore you to the person He intends you to be. (Revelation 3:20) Acquiring such freedom means that we must have a relentless desire to be free. Freedom of your mind comes by work—not by osmosis.
Camels were created to survive in hot desert climates. Their storage compartments are necessary for their survival. Mankind was created in the "image and likeness" of God without the need for a storage compartment to carry additional baggage.
¹ Do Camels Store Water in Their Humps? Britannica
I am amazed at how prolific seagulls can be. One morning as I was walking along the beach, I was stopped in my tracks by at least one hundred baby seagulls.
Like generals with watchful eyes, at least twenty-five adults flanked the babies as if to guard and protect them from any unwanted predators, including humans. Both the male and female seagulls alternated protecting and caring for their babies. I walked around them, careful not to invade their space or frighten them away.
For a moment, I reflected on these adult birds protecting those which belonged to them. I remembered that throughout Biblical history, God provided leaders to protect and guard those He loved. He endowed them with wisdom, strength, and skill.
More important, He taught them how to rely on Him. These leaders daily sought advice from Him, cautiously and wisely avoiding their own understanding of every situation. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Because they trusted in His advice, they won battles against overwhelming odds—for example, Moses, Gideon, Joshua, and David. Joseph became CFO of an entire kingdom. Many enjoyed long and productive lives. Abraham-175 years, Joseph-110 years, Moses-120 years, Joshua-110 years. They had children in old age, (Abraham-100 became a father), and they were made incredibly prosperous and successful. Any leader who mistreated the people He loved, faced grave consequences from God.
In our current era, and for several years, there seems to be a missing piece in our story. We seem to have lost our way and allowed predators to rule our lives. Many of us have made our love for life and each other center around one day a year with flowers, candy, or imaginative, fantasy clothing. Imagine if God only designated one day a year to love and protect us?
Like the seagull parents, we have an opportunity to continuously protect and love others. Perhaps it’s time to approach this idea with a little more commitment to step outside our comfort zone and embrace others.
Character – Accept general responsibility for family leadership, protection, and provision. Reflect spiritual values in your home, at school, or work.
Avoid temptation to be dishonest – There are no secrets. Light will always expose darkness. Every action has consequences.
Self-Control – Your temper, your tongue, your body, and your pride can be loose cannons. Check your attitude! This may require major surgery.
Our leaders have been given the responsibility to watch over, guard, and protect these United States. Part of this commentary belongs to “we the people.” Biblically, we have been commanded to pray. (I Timothy 2:1)
As members of a community, we have the power to safeguard the areas where we live, and protect those we value. To say we are unable to contribute anything to protect others, including those who may be outside our sphere of loved ones, is weakening our purpose for existing.
Just as God has equipped seagulls to help their own, He has given us strength, faith in Him, and the power of love to enrich the lives of others.