by Jason Cruise
Over the past year or so I've faced a battle, mostly in the mind. If I'm being candid I have to say that I think I lost many of the wars that have been fought there over this past year.
The battle, for me, was getting lost, or maybe, overcome, with the negative issues surrounding our country. At times, the only thing I could think about when it came to America was how ruined our country has become spiritually, financially, and morally. Every time I see Barack Obama on the television, or hear him on the radio, my thoughts would run to how much I despise basically everything about him. I would often discover my attitude steeped in anger over a sense of a loss of control and feeling helpless to do anything to help our country regain its compass.
The problem with this has been that I've allowed myself to adopt a line of thinking that for many years I have literally preached against concerning a warning to Christians ... a warning I certainly never thought could be applied to me ... in that Christians are guilty of what I call "shouting at the darkness." We shout at darkness for being dark. We shout at darkness in terms of symptoms such as moral depravity, loose living, and all those things that are certainly dark, for they make for incredibly easy targets.
Here's the truth: no matter how much you shout at the darkness for being so dark, the darkness doesn't change.
The only change I've actually seen so far in this past year is that my attitude goes to the gutter. Completely. My attitude does not and has not reflected the joy or the hope of Jesus, and my words have been full of nothing but scorn and disgust with my country.
The truth is, our country actually is bankrupt, both fiscally and spiritually. The truth is, I cannot help but feel the way I feel about our President who, I believe, is intentionally and systematically ruining our country by design. Even still, let us never forget that Barack Obama was, in fact, put in office by the American people, to represent their heart and desires for our future. He is not the one in fault in the end. Our country as a whole is at fault.
You see, that is exactly how the enemy uses darkness. He distracts us with symptoms instead of the core disease. If we spend our lives shouting at the darkness for being dark, we actually chase a distraction instead of honing in on the real issues at hand.
I believe Satan has used this tactic against the church for years. We shout at symptoms of sin like substance abuse or pornography, when the real disease is sin and its affect upon a person's soul.
The tactics of Satan to use distraction are not limited to the church. I see the enemy doing the same thing today within our culture in all matters pertaining to guns.
Do you not find it absurdly ironic, and equally insulting, that we have a growing portion of our country wanting to blame crime on something . . . on anything . . . other than the criminal?
How can a reasonable human being blame a lifeless, inanimate object that has no power, no soul, and no ability to act alone whatsoever, like that of a gun, and yet blame a gun for something so tragic as mass murder? However, that's exactly what Satan does. He uses darkness to cover that which is the most dark: the power of evil. So if symptoms of darkness can be used to distract from the core of darkness, then our enemy will do that very thing, for he is a deceiver.
Darkness is supposed to be dark. The greater truth is that I must share the light of Christ, not curse the darkness for being dark. I must tell anyone who will listen that there is a better Way, and His name is Jesus.
So my prayer this year has not been that I'll just "be positive" for the sake of being positive. That's an empty way to live, for one's hope must be built on something more than mere optimism. My hope is built on Jesus, for He is the overcomer. I must remember that simple truth.
My prayer is that His joy will fill my thoughts and my attitude, so that I won't be distracted by darkness, but rather that I'd be filled with the light.
I am thankful to say that I am winning more, and losing less, in this battle of mine. I will say it has not easy, but I will keep trying, because after experiencing the other side of joy, I don't like the alternative of staying there.