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Vigilance of the Signs Before Us

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Vigilance of the Signs Before Us Reply with quote

Vigilance of the Signs Before Us

Scripture:


For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall set them on fire, says the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings:
(Malachi 3:19-20A)

For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us. For we were not disorderly among you. Neither did we eat any man?s bread for nothing: but in labor and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you. Not as if we had not power: but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us. For also, when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat. For we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly: working not at all, but curiously meddling. Now we charge them that are such and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread.
(2 Thessalonian 3:7-12)

And some saying of the temple that it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said: These things which you see, the days will come in which there shall not be left a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down. And they asked him, saying: Master, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when they shall begin to come to pass? Who said: Take heed you be not seduced: for many will come in my name, saying: I am he and the time is at hand. Go ye not therefore after them. And when you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified. These things must first come to pass: but the end is not yet presently.

Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there shall be great earthquakes in diverse places and pestilences and famines and terrors from heaven: and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for the sake of my name. And it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay. And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren and kinsmen and friends: and so me of you they will put to death. And you shall be hated by all men for the sake of my name. But a hair of your head shall not perish. In your patience you shall possess your souls.

(Luke 21:5-19)

Reflection:

We are tempted to isolate ourselves in our pursuits, ignoring the signs of constant change and whether such change yields what is good or evil. In a moment, all seems right and there appear to be no worries before us, then, suddenly, joy is swallowed by sorrow. In some cases, tragedy unfolds with little warning, but in others, it brews and stews over time.

Wolves in the clothing of sheep roam among us, seeking advantage over the weak and complacent along with the ruination of souls. (cf. Matthew 7:15-20) From a distance, they may appear harmless in the fluff of their garb, but if we observe carefully, they cannot hide the menace of their teeth and claws.

For evil to do its damage, it must reveal itself. The question, then becomes, will we recognize it in time to stop it or at least to mitigate its harm? We must remember, evil plots to attack through many tactics and by many means. Its sources are multifold, therefore, we must be vigilant for the signs of its rising.

As we examine this time which surrounds us, we must be concerned with all the evil schemes and broken lives, for as we neglect what God asks of us, we cede ground to the designs of the evil one. As immorality and violence make their appearance in our streets and dark hearts infect our institutions, we may be tempted to hide or endeavor to simply keep our heads down so we are not noticed by the persecutors, or others prepared to do us harm.

Such a tactic is only a temporary strategy which oftentimes gives the illusion that time might be bought, but too often, it is only time which is squandered. Though we may play dead for a while, the predator simply roams and lies in wait for the opportune moment. We should consider the rabbit, which employs a strategy of stillness so as to not draw the attention of a predator, but usually finds itself in a moment where they must decide to use their gift of speed, or be devoured.

So it is for us all that we must maintain our awareness and be mindful of what is growing, what is roaming, what is multiplying, and what is surrounding us. If we are to defend ourselves against the evil day, we must encourage all which is good and prepare ourselves with the armor of God so we may withstand the waves of wolves. (cf. Matthew 7:15-16, Ephesians 6:10-17) When we suddenly observe a swell of evil surrounding us, we might be tempted to lift up our arms and cry to God, ?Why have you allowed this,? but we must expect a question in return, ?Why have you??

Despite the political and moral conflicts which rage about us, we must remember to what we are called as explained to us in 1 Peter 3:8-9 ?Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble. Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.?

Let us remember, a blessing is an invocation of God's power and care. When we pray for the blessing for another, for what greater gift could we ask not only for our loved ones, but also for those who harbor enmities, scheme against the less fortunate and innocent, as well as those who persecute the faithful? It is God's power and care by which righteous hearts are filled with love and joy, and dark hearts may be healed.

Our prayer should not be only for blessings, but also for understanding of what God asks of us. We were all created with gifts and talents by which we may help fulfill the will of God. If we are uncertain in any way as to what He calls us to do with what He has placed within us, then, we should ask Him in prayer and then listen within our heart for His ?light, silent sound.? (cf. 1 Kings 19:12)

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we prepare for the day we shall stand before our Lord?

In what ways do we work for the blessings of those who surround us?

In what ways do we endeavor to observe the signs of the times so we may put on the armor of God and prepare ourselves to stand firm against the tactics of the evil one?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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