If the Bible’s constant warnings were not enough, look around you. Tragedy and suffering seem to be the soup de jour, and just when you think you have a handle on things, a bomb drops. My good friend, pastor, and mentor Sam Rainer has posted what leaders need to do when that bomb hits in his blog here. Today, I want to talk about what they laypeople should do, and not do, in the wake of an unexpected blow.
As I said, we are at war. Our war is a spiritual war for, “Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and authorities. It is a war against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
In war, the individual soldier or unit can get lost and confused in what the military calls “the fog of war,” which represents all of the distracting and confusing things going on around him and his own personal limited perspective.
In our war, when a bomb hits, there is chaos, confusion, pain, fear, and sorrow. We don’t know what to do, and from our limited perspective everything may seem to be falling apart. Reports start to come in, and most of them contradict each other. We are not sure who or what to believe and how to react. Often, the default position is to react out of the flesh to each rumor we hear. One moment we are on this side, then that. Soon the truth is lost, the wounded survivors are lost, and so is our chance to glorify God in the wake of the explosion.
Real soldiers have an easy way around this problem. When the fog of war clouds their vision and prevents them from making informed judgement they obey one simple rule: they follow orders.
Instead of trying to make sense out of the rumor-mill which is producing a new version of events every six minutes or simply reacting to whatever comes out of the fog through whatever emotion they happen to be feeling, the soldier simply receives his orders from above and follows them, even if he cannot see or make sense of what is happening.
Brothers and sisters, we are Christ’s soldiers in a terrible war against sin and death. Christ has given us spiritual weapons which are more than capable of handling our enemies (2 Corinthians 10:4), but He does not always give us clarity of vision in times of great struggle and danger. What He does give us are clear orders, and these come from His Word: the Bible.
The Bible tells us that when the chips are down and everything is going to pot, our reaction should be one of forgiveness, healing and restoration. When the bomb hits, we search for the wounded and bind them up (Psalm 147:3), we support and uplift one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and we watch out for the Enemy, who may be waiting to pick us off as we struggle to get our bearings (2 Corinthians 2:11).