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|Comfort: We Love It So Much We May Lose It
by James Robison
I am grateful for all of the comforts we enjoy throughout so many advanced nations. In no way should we ever feel guilty because of the privileges and prosperity our freedom allows. God is certainly not opposed to comfort. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Comforter and the Bible encourages us to comfort one another with the comfort we have received.
Our problem begins with the contentment and complacency that this privilege often produces. We find ourselves unknowingly worshipping our comfort. When this happens, we often refuse to stand for the very principles that afford us comfort. We can be possessed by our possessions. This improper focus on "things" causes us to lose the strength of character and the resolve necessary to oppose that which would destroy our freedom -- not just outside threats of terrorists, but also the evil that potentially lurks in all of us. We become self-absorbed, self-centered and self-gratifying. We sacrifice all that is worthwhile for that which is worthless.
We are no longer a principled people. Some have become purely partisan, thinking that hope lies in a political party or candidate. Don't misunderstand what I am saying; we should always support, from the local level to the national level, candidates who are guided by unshakable principles. I often refer to them as "absolutes." They are time-tested and historically-proven foundational elements upon which free nations must be established.
Cotton Mather, the colonial pioneer whom George Washington described as "the father of the founding fathers," said, "Religion hath brought forth prosperity, and the daughter may well destroy the mother -- there is a danger, lest the enchantments of this world make us forget our errand into the wilderness."
The founders were willing to take the risk of freedom, but they were also always wary, ever vigilant and persistently attentive to first principles -- supreme authority, a reliable source for truth, and time-tested values to guide the affairs of free men -- lest Mather's prophecy come true. I am concerned that this may be happening at this time. If we do not return as a nation to the principles upon which the nation was established, then we are in fact building on sand and our house will collapse. Presently, we may be on the way to an unnecessary fall because comfort and ease have replaced conviction and strength of character.
I continually pray that every person will read the message I delivered last year, "We Have A Choice: Humility or Humiliation." I am telling you, these are the issues we face.
We are either going to find ourselves totally broken by our lack of resolve to resist in the right areas and stand firm for certain principles, not with a mean spirit, but with a steadfastness that no force of evil can cause us to bow before it any more than Daniel in the Old Testament would bow when facing the lions or when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to the idols of King Nebuchadnezzar and were cast into the fire. They found the "fourth man" adequate to the point that even in the furnace they didn't smell of smoke as they walked around in His presence. It is this power to deliver us from evil and the enemy's intent that we must have in this hour of challenge.
Although it is important to elect the right people, our hope for the future does not rest upon the shoulders of any man. Our hope rests in God and a return to His unshakable principles. I am concerned that the day will come when the lights will go out -- literally. You will get up in the morning and flip the switch, but there will be no light. You will go to the television, but there will be no picture; to the radio, but no sound; to the telephone, but no dial tone; to the cell phone, but no signal. The enemy intends to put us in darkness by destroying our lives or destroying our way of life. They are determined to destroy our comfort, our future freedom and our very lives.
If we are not willing to sacrifice our comfort to stand against an enemy that has pledged our destruction, as well as the destruction of nations like Israel, we are going to find ourselves groping in the darkness because our light did not shine. I am not simply referring to the imperative that Christians are to shine like light as witnesses to a dark world, but I am talking about the light and glory that radiates from individuals committed to unshakable principles.
I once preached as Ronald Reagan sat behind me and I turned to him in the presence of 17,000 attendees and said, "Sir, if you will stand by the principles that have made this nation great, we will be your greatest friends. If you do not, we can become your greatest nightmare." I was not only referring to people of faith, but also to people who understood the importance of principles that have in fact made this nation great. Any move away from these principles must be firmly and faithfully resisted.
Many people talk about the need for a third, "independent" political party. What we really need is for all parties to become "dependent" parties -- dependent upon principles. All parties should be principled parties discussing ideas that can benefit everyone.
Sadly, too many have become unreasonable and unreasoning. We are not led by a spirit of life, which is a spirit of redemption, but we are controlled by the same spirit that controls the terrorists -- a spirit of destruction. Some talk show hosts, candidates and others with access to media outlets are intent not on changing those who may disagree with sound thinking, but destroying the opposition. This is a terrorist mentality: don't debate, don't discuss, just set out to destroy.
Some might say, "We need a new party called ‘The Principled Party'." No! We just need all parties, all candidates and all people to return to the proven principles that made us a great nation. If this is to occur prior to the further humiliation, it must come about not because we are crying out from the ashes and pain of torment, but because we cry out to God in humble prayer and commit ourselves to principles, even if it demands sacrifice. If we want to keep the comforts we enjoy, we must be willing to sacrifice while standing firm for what we believe.
We need to pray for wisdom from above. President Ronald Reagan said, "We are either going to be a nation under God, or a nation gone under." He reiterated that truth when he said, "Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women…. Let that be understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors."
That was true when Reagan said it and it's true today. Truth that has made us free and only truth can keep us free.
Author: James Robison
Word Count: 1195
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope.
Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net