John 12:23-25

Dale Eland reflects on the enemy's tactics and God's bigger plan.

Dale Eland
Dale Eland

One night we were asleep in our bed at home and were awoken with the sound of gun fire. Five shots rang out into the deathly quiet night. Our two-year-old was safely tucked between us, our latest move to protect our little family. Life in suburban Johannesburg wasn't always easy. Our area had been the target of a crime wave and every night we prayed, "Lord, please protect us and our family tonight."

We were one of the 'lucky' ones. Millions, possibly billions, live in far more dire and desperate states than ours. Many survive but many don't. Satan is on a rampage to steal kill and destroy lives, as many and as quickly as he can - no exceptions. His tactics change but his goal never does. In Moses' day, thousands of babies were murdered, except one, and that one changed history. In Jesus' day, thousands of babies were murdered, except one, and that one changed mankind. Today, thousands of babies are murdered, perhaps just one can be saved.

Sometimes we think that just one life won't actually make a difference and so we sit back and say or do nothing. But it could make the world of difference, literally. If you think that you are too poor, too uneducated, too ruined to make a difference, then Satan has achieved his objective and you have been eliminated from the fight. You see, you may not be a Moses, but you may be his mother.

Without his mother's wisdom and insight to protect and defend her helpless baby, would there be a Pentateuch? There are times when we need to hide ourselves (and others) from the enemy, hide until it is the right time. And sometimes the hiding place is very unusual. Where would you expect Moses to survive, well, inside the enemy's camp! The safest place in town! And where did God tell Joseph to take Jesus - back to Egypt - the very symbol of bondage. "A banquet in the presence of our enemies".

There is a time to hide and find protection. And there is a time to stand and fight. Satan will try and eliminate you right at the start when you are vulnerable. Perhaps you feel like you have been eliminated already, perhaps there was no one to hide you when you were defenceless against a ruthless enemy. The assassination attempt was successful. Or was it?

Perhaps only one seed survived in your heart. The very one that was destined to be raised up to defeat the enemy. You hold the key - you can choose to protect that one infant seedling, or chose to allow it to be eliminated. Protect, nurture, find wisdom, but don't let go of that hope, that dream, that deep calling inside your soul.

Everything must die except that one thing that God wants to pull out of you. Receive the pruning process with gladness because once everything is stripped and there is nothing but death, God's resurrection life will shine forth.

John 12:23-25 says "Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for Eternal Life."

This Easter, in the midst of death and persecution in a dark world, I trust you find Life, Protection and Hope. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.