The Controversy Within
Josh. 24:14, 15
Wars, ethnic conflicts, natural disasters, nuclear threats, and many other misfortunes are happening all around us. This is what the Bible has pointed us to: “ ‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains’ ” (Matt. 24:6–8, NIV).
As Christians, we should not be fearful of such events as we had forewarnings from God throughout the bible. Instead we should be more aware and alert to these happenings and be an even brighter light for God in this crumbling world, sharing His Word more fervently. First, we need to acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves by our own merit, and that we are essentially helpless in this big cosmic battle between God and Satan. And this cosmic battle involves us, His faithful followers as well. We have to be even more dependent on God to equip us with the strength and fortitude to overcome the various conflicts and struggles that we face in our everyday life, big and small.
Yes, there is an ongoing controversy within each one of us and we have to be honest enough to admit it: like the occasional testing of the boundaries or the succumbing to temptation every so often, etc. We have to be doubly mindful of our own internal controversy as failure to do so may potentially place us in a different camp than where we have first started out in. Just as Matthew 24:42–44 says, “ ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him’ ” (NIV). It’s a silent killer, this internal controversy, if not handled with daily prayers and constant communication with God and fellow Christians. So keep that connection to God open and be ready.
1. What has God to teach us about this controversy in our own heart, the strife between inflowing selfishness and outgoing love?
2. How can we make use of the signs happening around us as an opportunity to witness?
Sheryl Pan, Singapore