Pastor Mikes’ Garage January 21, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Jan 21, 2021*

Read any good books lately? I was challenged recently in my own life
about how much time I spend looking at my computer, phone and watching TV.
I used to read a lot in my younger years, but I will admit that for a
number of years I read very little other than the bible or the odd other
compulsory reading. Whether my eyes, or brain for that matter, doesn’t work
like it used to, or I just have become lazy and complacent, I don’t read
near as much as I used to. I decided to try and remedy that about a year
ago and make an effort to read more. I have always enjoyed biographies,
autobiographies, and historical fiction. I am currently rereading a series
of five books I really enjoyed a number of years ago by the author Stephen
R Lawhead called The Pendragon Cycle. They are set in England in the middle
ages and have to do with Merlin and King Arthur.

A few nights ago, while reading the fourth book in the series titled
Pendragon I was challenged in my faith. Arthur and his army are locked in
an epic battle in and for their own land with a vast horde of barbarians
called the Vandali. They are a vicious race so set on permanent domination
that they have burned their own ships after landing. The enemy outnumbers
them three to one. While Arthur and his army have won some battles, the
fight has gone on way too long. Too many men have died, too many villages
burned, too much of their land decimated. It is at this point that Amilcar,
the larger-than-life war leader of the enemy host, described as the Black
Boar, challenges Arthur to a one on one, leader against leader fight to the
death to once and for all settle the outcome of the war. Due to the enemy’s
nature, Arthur’s war council and wife are trying to talk him out of
entering such a fight as they do not trust the Vandali’s intentions or that
they will remain true to their word. It is while his wife is passionately
trying to change his mind, he makes this statement “I do not know whether
we shall succeed or fail. The task may be more difficult than any alive can
know. We may give all we have and still we may fail, but who in the ages to
come would forgive us if we did not try? Let us therefor pledge our hearts
and hands to something that is worthy-nay, more than worthy- of our best
efforts. We are not in Amilcar’s hands. Truly, we are in God’s hands. And
if the High King of Heaven upholds us, who can stand against us?”

Who is your enemy today? Has the battle been going on way too long?
Does it seem too costly? Does it feel like you’re losing the battle at
times? Whether your battle is one of relationship, finances, health,
government, willpower, sickness, etc., sometimes life can feel pretty hard!
Jesus never promised it would be easy, in fact he promised the opposite! I
was challenged about how I tend to worry and stress about things. Do I
really believe my life is in God’s hands? Am I living like He is able to
take care of my circumstances? Do I trust that He is a just God? Am I
resting in the fact that He is preparing a heavenly home for me? I will
leave you with a passage of scripture from the book of Romans. “What then
shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He
who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not
also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge
against Gods elect? It is God who justifies. Who is condemned? Christ Jesus
is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand
of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the
love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are
being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved
us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angel nor ruler, nor
things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of
God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39

Pastor Mike