In 2003, theologian Ronald Showers published his famous book “What on Earth is God Doing.” I’ve never read this book, so I don’t know if I agree with the theological positions it takes or not. But, I believe that the question the book’s title asks is a good one for all Believers to be mindful of. Sadly, more and more often these days, the question which seems to be on everyone’s mind is the one I rhetorically ask in the title of this blog.
A large number of the sermons, messages and teachings I’ve heard and/or watched videos of over the last several years were about all the lies and deceptions Satan is foisting on the human race and all the evil schemes he’s pushing. I’ve read dozens if not hundreds of articles, blogs, essays and even whole books devoted to warning Believers about this or that cult, this or that lie/deception, this or that false teaching and so on.
This is not entirely out of order.
The Bible makes clear that the shepherds of the flock need to be watching out for the clever lies and deceptions of the enemy and guarding against attacks. This is absolutely necessary and appropriate.
However, I would humbly submit that a great deal of the commentary on what we can see (or speculate about) Satan doing in this world is driven not by a desire to warn Believers to be on their guard, but rather it is a product of our fear. These feelings of fear almost inevitably lead to strong feelings of anger and anxiety, which never produce anything good and which can instead lead to an utterly joyless and unfruitful spiritual life, both for individual Believers and in the corporate life of the Church.
Once again, it is not out of line to pray for help when we’re afraid and in distress. But neither is fear and distress meant to dominate us.
Ephesians 16:17 says; And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The late Bible teacher Derek Prince said that this verse indicates a REQUIREMENT that the Believer be an optimist, and have a joyfully expectant attitude towards the future. Although he was no stranger to the things which cause us fear and distress, much less the attacks of the Enemy, he taught that the Believer must always look at the world and see what opportunities there were, even under the most difficult circumstances, to be about our Father’s business.
In other words, we should continually ask the question “What on Earth is God Doing” and the inevitable follow up question “how can I get involved in what God is doing”?
My dear brothers and sisters, the majority of people who read these blogs on KNI are in powerful, affluent, prosperous Western countries with Biblically-based cultures where it has long been VERY comfortable to be openly and unapologetically Christian. All that is rapidly changing, and it’s very disorienting and scary. We worry about what we’re losing, will happen to us, and we worry even more about what will happen to our children.
This naturally leads us to focus on the question I ask in the title of this blog, but once again, this is a mistake.
As someone who worked for over a decade in a job which required me to read the newspaper every morning, I am VERY aware of how gloomy and discouraging the situation in the world can be. But as a follower of Christ who makes it a priority to read a passage of Scripture every day BEFORE I look at any newspaper, I also know that God is definitely on the move in the world today. NOTHING that is going on today or will be going on tomorrow surprises or frustrates God. NONE of His plans or purposes are being stymied by anything that Satan is doing in this world today. Even when things look REALLY gloomy and even dangerous to our natural eyes, we MUST remember that God is in control, and instead of being fearful and anxious, we need to be optimistic and prayerful that we will be found worthy to be used as God’s instruments in whatever situation He places us in.
In John 16:33 Jesus speaks directly to this issue, saying “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
In conclusion, the answer to the question that I ask in the title of this blog is given to us in the Book of Job, which very clearly teaches us that the only things Satan is doing in the world today are the same things he’s always been doing, and it’s absolutely imperative for us to remember that these are things that God allows him to do. God allowed Satan to test Job to see if Job’s love for God was sincere and heartfelt, instead of just being, as Satan accused, the result of all the blessings God had poured out on his life.
So, brothers and sisters, we need to ask ourselves if we would pass the test that Job passed. Would be still love and trust God if He allows the Enemy to take away all the things that make our lives so comfortable and enjoyable? If the economy crashes, or if our countries become “socialist” or if the Bill of Rights is somehow done away with or if it becomes socially unacceptable to stand for Biblical truth or if we lose our job because we refuse to participate in something that the Bible clearly says is sinful, are we still going to have faith in the power and goodness of our God? Or are we going to allow the fear we have over what Satan is doing in this world neutralize us, cripple our witness and take away all our peace and joy?
This is the choice we must make every single day. I pray that you find a way to make the right choices, and I ask that you pray for me to do the same.