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Tying up The Strongman

Posted by Doug Routledge on

2 Timothy 2:1-2 “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

I remember hearing about the confrontation…One side accusing the other of being Satan. Jesus being accused. Religious leaders of the day, who could not replicate Jesus’ effect, popularity or message simply tagging him as “cancelable” by stating that Jesus was working for the enemy.  

That ought to do it.

In order to cancel another person’s validity, all I have to do is throw shade on their motives. An accused person cannot defend their motives against a person who already questions them. The accusation requires no proof. It merely has to find a listener who will entertain it, and in so doing, it creates the end of dialogue, unity and rhetoric.

The goal of these religious leaders was to keep people from engaging in Jesus’ conversations. Slanderous clergy made the case- the only reason Jesus was able to bring healing was “he controlled evil.” Therefore, they proposed Jesus was clearly evil as well. This scenario sounds to me, a lot like the confrontations of today. The problem, in a day of conjecture and skepticism, is one cannot defend or attack another’s motives, because one does not know them. 

It dawned on me that Jesus’ response to the motive accusers was truth. He shared that in order to take away what belongs to the Strongman, to whom Christ was referring to Satan, you must tie him up first. 

Truth is truth. If an opponent wants to inflict evil, they have to tie up the Lord of the manor. The flip side of this truth is where strength rules, but evil can be, and still is driven back. Bear up! We need to take action in the strengths we have through Christ, not in the fear that God has been sidelined! 

I am contending and have witnessed believers acting as if Christ is tied up. According to the way we respond to today’s struggles, it would appear Christ must have been detained; Satan, by appearances of Christians family infighting, must have clear and free reign. We as Christ followers are fearful in the pulpit. We are timid in our prayer and have acted as though we are interlopers in God’s house. We are, instead, free to roam around His house. We are heirs to the true “Strongest One.” 

God is not tied up. Satan has neither the authority nor the strength to bring about his kingdom. 

Here is my response in truth to these recent things that have made us weak, divided and cannibalized. By the way, these truths are not political. They are not aimed at those who have chosen to accept regulations, mandates and recommendations or those who have chosen lesser measures. These are not truths aimed at a social response movement or those at which the movement has been aimed. This is the profound beauty of truth; it isn’t aimed. It holds accusations accountable. It holds my opinion accountable. It holds my reactions and my measured responses accountable. It holds.

God has written so much clarity into our lives. Many of the discussions, arguments and disagreements come from believers living outside of the authority of scripture. It is as if these contentions, thieves intent to steal our peace, power and faith, have come to our door and announced their objectives. In response, it feels to me that many of us have said, “Hold on. I need to lock Father in the back room. He would not abide your stealing from us.”

God’s Word has spoken to people like us, in places like these during times worse than ours. It needs to be an entry point for our discussions. 

Even in the face of continued disagreement, we must never call motive into question. That is the consensus killer. By understanding scripture in our contexts, we are engaging in body life. We are practicing the ‘One Another’s,” like, unite, defer, submit, accept, bear up, pray for, and you can take any of the 53 others. Where the Bible makes common sense, it makes no sense to seek any other sense.  

Here is my list of conversational fences. Interestingly, none are about being heard. 

  1. God’s Word is the commentary and final moral authority on each subject. 
  2. We need to be fully entrenched and entranced by the words of a timeless God.
  3. When we do what we are clearly told to do by God, we have less time to become an ethics pundit for everyone else.
  4. Truth is strong. It is also ourstrength.
  5. The person who walks most closely to God has the privilege of speaking most quietly.
  6. Where God has made his thoughts clear, I seek no other voice, opinion or variation.
  7. We are only strong in Him. We are temporary, mortal and dust without. 
  8. When all is over during this contentious time in the history of governments and church pews, God will still be on His throne. 

I am sitting in an office as over 45 CRF staff are praying to their Father. The unity has been nearly palpable in this building tonight. In a room of heirs, God roams free. He is writing his words of hope, peace, strength and truth across our lives and with our words. Try saying this out loud, “There is no place where Satan’s destruction shouts louder than God’s Presence.”

Be strong.

Be true.

Start conversing.

Be committed to answers we find clearly marked in God’s timeless word. Pray for the rest- the rest of the answers, the rest in the disagreement, the rest of the peace, and the rest of the world disagreeing with me.


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