Daily Devotional for Thursday May 8, 2003
The next attack on the United States
( Isaiah 48:10, 1 Peter 1:7, 4:12 )
The next attack on the United States. Of course, only God knows for sure, but based on the reports from our intelligence community, the high degree of hatred of the United States by very organized groups overseas, and common sense, it is safe to assume that there will be additional acts of terror on US soil. With the horror of 9/11/2001 now almost 20 months behind us, most people have returned to their normal day to day lives. Sadly, most have lost the spiritual fervor that was so apparent in the days and weeks following those horrible events that we lived through.
In the aftermath of 9/11, people desperately turned to God for answers. Churches we overflowing, prayer was everywhere, there was a spiritual awakening as people realized just how fragile this life really is, and countless lives were committed to Christ. However, just 20 short months later, church attendance is back to where it was pre-9/11, prayer is not as important any longer, and people are focused once again on the things of this world without much concern for God and their spiritual lives.
It is sad how it takes a real crisis to get people to pay attention to God. But people have not changed. When we read the Old Testament, we read how the children of Israel would run to God when their enemies attacked. God would help them gain victory, which would be followed by a season of peace and prosperity. It was during that time of peace and prosperity the children of Israel would start to forget God and fall into all types of sin again. Soon, their enemies would attack, and they would once again run to God. It was an oft repeated cycle.
Sadly, we are the same as the children of Israel. When the trials and tribulations of life come upon us, we run to God. We find solace in Him during our time of trouble. But soon the trouble passes, and there is a time of peace in our lives. Sadly, during the times of peace we slowly move away from God and often end up involved in sin of some kind. The storms of life come upon us and once again, we run to the Lord for help. And just like the children of Israel, the cycle is repeated over and over during the course of our life.
I love you and care about you so much. My word for you today is to run to God NOW! Even if you are in that season of peace, stay close to Him. Just because people are not blowing up buildings and killing innocent people does not mean that we can relax and put God on the back burner. There is just as much evil in the world today as there was on 9/11, just as many people lost, hurting, looking for answers as there was in the aftermath of 9/11.
Only God knows the time of Christ's return. The Bible says it will be in the "twinkling of an eye". But the indicators Jesus gave us in Matthew chapter 24, and Paul gives us in 2 Timothy chapter 3 and 2 Peter chapter 3 all show us that we are living in the last days. The time is running out. That is why the people of God MUST NOT be passive at this time. We can't simply wait for the next incident to share Christ with this lost and hurting world.
If you had the knowledge right this moment, that the next attack on the United States would be at Disneyworld in Orlando Florida one week from today, what would you do? No doubt you would call all of the proper authorities and when the date and time for the attack came, that entire area would be evacuated. Nobody would be killed because you cared enough to share the information you had. Well, the fact is, the Bible clearly says that those who die without Christ will be destined to everlasting separation from God their creator. They will be lost for eternity. The people of God possess the information that can save people from everlasting darkness. Now, if someone chooses to not listen, there is nothing that you can do. But how can you not at least take the time to tell them? That is a responsibility EVERY child of God has and must take seriously.
I will pray today that you don't allow the peace that we are currently experiencing make you lazy and forget those around you who are looking for answers in their life. I have no doubt that there will be future attacks on our nation, but I pray that we don't wait until the next crisis to be serious about sharing the hope and love of Jesus Christ with everyone God brings into our life. After all, that is what God has asked us to do.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller