The Other Cheek

When I share my artwork, I scrawl the word Grimm somewhere towards the bottom. Partly a nod to the Brothers Grimm and partly due to a fascination with horror art/fiction, it proved a fitting moniker. Yesterday, my wife pointed out something else. In many ways, I’ve become the name. Solitary, quiet, almost melancholic. I am not afraid of death or the inevitability of my own. It’s a name that indicates- at least to me- someone capable of taking hit after hit, of delving deeper into darkness, and just… not surrendering.

It’s the name of a hard man. One who, frankly, can hold a grudge and be unforgiving at times.

In Matthew 5:39, Jesus tells us “But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” How many of us find it easy to pass judgment? To react harshly to those who hurt us? In verses 43 through 45 of that same chapter, Jesus goes on to say “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

It’s easy to love those who are good to us. I love my wife so immensely. She encourages me, uplifts me, shares life with me, and tries to keep me connected to the world around me. She shares my love of stories and pushes me to keep using my God-given gifts. When I look at her or even just think about her, I’m filled with warmth, love, and all those wonderful, good things. I truly believe God shines on this house and blesses us every day.

However, like many others, there are people in my life who aren’t easy to tolerate, let alone like or love. Blood or time does not deny cruelty. It does not always hinder it. Often, we learn the ones who hurt us most are ones with time on their side; they’ve put in the work, so they believe they are entitled to say anything, to make everything acceptable. Jesus says turn the other cheek. Show them love. Show them mercy. Do not reciprocate with your hate. Luke 6: 26-28 states, “Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the false prophets. But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Let me posit something. Take Romans 16:17-18. “Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them, because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.” Far too often, we equate forgiveness and turning the other cheek with submission. Submit to God, not man. It’s your duty as a Christ-follower to offer forgiveness. That is what is right in God’s eyes. Those who have hate in their hearts are not of God.

Turn the other cheek, but not to keep score. Turn the other cheek, but not because you deserve abuse. Turn the other cheek, but not because you wish to play the martyr. No. Turn the other cheek because you trust in your Father, who wields the righteous flame of judgment. Turn the other cheek because you will not be beaten. Turn the other cheek because you have faith in Jesus Christ.

Life isn’t kind. We’re told throughout scripture that when we seek God and when we identify as a follower of Jesus Christ, the world- and those who side with it- will strike out against us. We choose how we respond. We can be like Grimm, harsh and sometimes unforgiving, or we can be like Jesus commanded us: loving and full of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean we have to accept these forces into our lives. Some people are just too toxic for our well-being. But, we should never allow their hate, their anger, their meanness infect our hearts and souls.

Because when we stop turning the other cheek, the devil wins.

Renewal

Honesty. That’s always an excellent place to start. Hard one, too. Recently, I contemplated closing Torchlight down for good. I’d spent most of 2021 angry at God, tired, and just plain downtrodden. While there were many reasons for celebration, certain interactions in my personal and professional life were taking a toll on me. Like many of you, I tried to understand why hardship continued its assault. I’m a good person and try, always, to do the right thing. So why then, did God seem constantly intent on punishing me? I couldn’t see the proverbial end of the tunnel. Nor, frankly, did I feel comfortable devoting time and energy to Torchlight.

On our main page, there is an important verse I’d forgotten. John 12:46 – “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” I was abiding in darkness. Not the darkness of faithlessness, perhaps. No, more the darkness of hurt, of untrusting, of keeping my burdens upon my own shoulders instead of laying them at the feet of my God. I walked through the shadowlands of doubt, where I permitted others a say in who I am, when God has already done that. I allowed other people’s sinfulness to cloud my own walk with God.

And so I reached a point where I was going to delete Torchlight and remove it from existence. I’d even logged into the site and started the process when a feeling struck me. This was WRONG. I wasn’t supposed to do this. So, I closed the tab on my internet browser and left it alone for a little bit. Funny thing though, I started to feel God again. I realized I didn’t want to let my anger keep me from His love anymore. But, I’m stubborn. I wasn’t going to work on this ministry again, just because I didn’t feel right about shutting it down.

Two things happened. Well, maybe more than two, but they stood out most. First. We let my father’s mother come to Christmas. There’s trauma in my relationship with her to where I can’t welcome her into my life again, but I realized I no longer wanted to carry the hate I’d held for her. So, I wrote a letter forgiving her and, I think, this helped open the door a little more. The other was a conversation with my longtime best friend/brother, Emmanuel. Things had become strained with us, to the point that during his first trip home in three years, I nearly ended our friendship. With the assistance of my wife, hard conversation, and prayer, we saw healing and I can say our friendship has seen renewal.

And, I think… we’ve decided to stop trying to emulate Jonah. My friend has his own spiritual journey, which I’ll let him share in his time. As for myself, well, I’m going to answer the call I’ve been avoiding. Let’s see what happens next.

I, Disciple

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 20: 18-20 NKJV)

We’ve gotten off track. We’ve blinded ourselves to God’s truth and to the commandments he’s placed on our lives. We’re too busy getting by to realize God is trying to settle the bill on our soul. We’re too self-involved, trying to build our kingdom, so we’ve forgotten we weren’t called to rich and fame. No, we were called into the discipleship.

I wrote this piece a few years back. Curiously, I felt God putting this back in my heart. Not as it’d been, but more, better, bigger. I’ve been struggling with faith lately. As many know, 2020 has been a hard year. We have a major pandemic afflicting the world. We Americans had an election. There have been mass killings. There has been so much evil. And many of us have just given up. But, if you believe in God, if you want to follow the teachings laid out in scripture, I’m here to tell you God knew this year was going to be like this. He knew and still called us to serve.

If you were ever told following Jesus was easy, someone lied to you. It isn’t easy and it isn’t supposed to be. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the GREAT commission. Faith requires fire to temper it and hardship to test it. So, how do our lives really serve God? Sure, we go through our hardship, but the end goal is not a closeness with Him; it’s the paycheck at the end of two weeks and a few days breathing room. That’s not putting Christ before ourselves. Christ wants our discipleship, not adherence to our daily idols.

But, what is a disciple? A disciple is a follower of Christ. Jesus laid out the requirements to be a disciple in Luke 14:25-35. You have to love Him more than anyone else. I love my wife more than anyone on this earth. Except for God and his glorious son. Next, you have to deny yourself and take up the cross. Our comforts, ambitions, and perceived necessities pale in comparison to doing His work. You have to forsake all you have. That’s not a call to live in squalor. It’s more that our material possessions have become our idols and the gods we sacrifice to. Finally, you have to count the cost; do you truly have what is needed to follow Him? Are you in a place where you’re willing to let the frivolous go and set out on a truly great adventure?

Discipleship is not easy. To truly follow Jesus, we must understand that our priorities need realignment. We spend our free time playing video games, existing on social media, socializing with friends, and just going through the grind. It’s a daily struggle. It’s easy to get bogged down and forgetful. It doesn’t always seem like things are preventing our pursuit of God. We go to church, maybe even join a community group or Bible study. We talk about Jesus and His love from time to time. But our passion and devotion fixates on the lives we are living. It’s on accumulating things that will make our existence on this planet just a bit more bearable. So what do we do? How do we really follow Jesus and throw away the things that shouldn’t matter?

I think it comes down to realizing that nothing outside Jesus Christ can save our souls. Sure, having money, friends, and things to do improve the quality of life. Being able to pay our bills ensures comfort we’d not have on the streets. But, having faith in God’s Son ensures our souls enter into the holy doorway so we may join Him in the kingdom.

I am not saying we should not take care of our responsibilities.  Bills won’t stop coming- boy, we wish they would! But, we have to decide where the glory goes and who we’re really seeking. Are we seeking God’s glory or our own well-being? Now, I’m burdened by the sheer apathy we see in Christians. We want His blessings, but we’ve formed gods out of the day to day things. We have lost true discipleship and many have traded true discipleship for getting by. Are we any better than Judas, selling Him out for our 30 pieces? Christianity is not about our convenience! It is not. If we waited for our time, if we waited until we felt ready, then our new gods and idols will have won. And, if we keep waiting, we’re not talking to others about Jesus. Or, to use a phrase I’ve heard recently; we’re not sharing our Jesus story.

Faith isn’t just a battle. It’s a street fight. We are going to get bloody and wounded. The world is going to be at our throats. Its god will scrabble for your soul. Who will win? Jesus? Or, these things you sacrifice to every day? When we’re living a life based on our own needs, God tends to tumble- no, we shove Him- to the wayside. Don’t have time to talk about Jesus today, have to pay the power bill! I understand. I really do. I’m sure God does too.

However.

Name one time when He tolerates putting anything above Himself. Remember Luke 16:13? You cannot serve two masters. Now, I don’t want to sound preachy and patronizing. I’m not telling you that life is fair and you can do better. I’ve worked sixteen-hour days to put food on the table only to realize it just isn’t enough. I have woken up angry because I didn’t know what to do about bills due several days before a horribly insufficient paycheck. It isn’t fair. It’s easy to put these things first, to hope something better comes along. When you’re weary and miserable, do you really want to read your Bible and give thanks? Do you really want to tell others about how loving our God is? Not always.

To make disciples, we must first be a disciple. We must talk to our Father. We must talk to our spiritual leaders. We must pray. We must read our Bibles. We must strip away the excess. We must submit to His authority. And we must not let our sin get in the way of bringing others to Him. Friends, we live in a world that’s hellbent on crushing us, on distracting us with pleasure and pain, so there are no real warriors for God.

To be a disciple, we must first love God. To love God, we must first know Him. To know Him, we must read His word and pray. Also, we must risk looking foolish for His glory. I think it’s a perfect time to turn this around and give our lives back to Him. That way, it’s not just God’s Great Commission. It’s ours too.

God, Our Strength

Every now and then, I will sit at my desk, look at some website, news story, or social media post, and feel so helplessly, overwhelmingly disheartened. The surrounding world is rife with hatefulness. It is rife with ignorance. It is rife with malcontent. I listen to my fellow Christians berate each. I watch as they accuse others for lacking faith; for what? For utilizing universal health precautions. For using sound judgment in the face of global catastrophes. I have seen the non-believer and believer, alike, question whether God truly exists and, if so, why does He not seem to care about us anymore.

Confession. I have had a lot of anger towards God. I have felt His hands drop the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have begged for Him to take the cup and offer it to someone else. This year is hard. It sucks sometimes. At a church service I attended recently, the pastor communicated that God absolutely gives us more than we can handle. That’s partly why we’re to turn to Him, to use His strength when ours is lacking. Maybe it’s the whole purpose of faith. Believe, when there seems no reason to, because He is there and He is waiting.

1. God is bigger.

It’s easy to imagine our burdens as giants. They tower overhead, causing us to feel smaller and smaller. What is your giant? What burdens oppress you to the point you want to shut down? Is it a family member? Job? Health concerns? Is it society? How about any of the countless burdens we face in our lifetime? When we do not have God in our lives, or we’re not keeping Him where He belongs, life seems too much. Matthew 19:26 tells us: ““But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”” Likewise, Jeremiah 32:17 states, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.” He encompasses us- including our burdens- in His love. We are incapable of enduring all our hurts; our strength is not infinite. God is. God’s is.

2. God keeps welcoming us back into his arms.

Remember the parable of the prodigal son? What about the lost sheep? How about the story of Jonah? Peter? Paul? David? Throughout scripture, God sees us turn away, ignore Him, and go about the world’s business. And yet, every time we turn back to Him, the Father welcomes us into His embrace. I can be angry at Him. I can want to do my own thing. But, God’s still there- the ever-patient parent- waiting for my return. That’s not to say we should live in sin and keep running to Him when we feel like it. No, we should always seek God. We should humble ourselves before Him. But, God knows our sin. He understands us in ways we never can comprehend ourselves. Isn’t that beautiful?

Keep in mind, that’s simply not saying that if we cry out for Him, God will welcome us back. Matthew 7:21 says, “”Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Faith and obedience. Living the Christlike life is important. Moreover, believing in it. Believing God sent His son to perish for our sins. Believing that Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. Believing that God’s plan and His will is bigger than us. And better for us.

I think when we can return God to where He belongs in our lives, we can start seeing just how small our burdens and the hatefulness of the world really is.

The price of Evil: Wrath

” but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain]talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” -Genesis 4:5-9 (NKJV).

If we look around, if we look to social media or listen to the news, if we step out into the world and just listen, do we commonly witness goodness? Does brother love brother? Or, does he hate him? Do we love our enemies? Or, do we look at those who do not fit into the neat little boxes we’ve constructed around our lives with contempt, fear, or anger? Do we take God’s place as judge? What is the cost?

Here are two questions we should ask ourselves:

  • What harm does our wrath inflict upon ourselves?
  • What harm does our wrath inflict on our enemies?

Let’s unpack these and see what scripture says about it.

Photo by Evelyn Chong on Pexels.com

Let’s look at the following scenario. Imagine waking up, same as you’ve done every day, and after performing your daily routine, you head into work. Imagine that you’ve put in countless hours at the office, helping grow the business to what it is or, at the very least, doing your part to keep the bottom line in the black. Now, your coworker is a particularly unpleasant person, who is quick to underhanded actions and spinning events to suit their favor. Take this farther by imagining this particular person messes up a particularly important report. Instead of taking responsibility, this coworker passes blame to you and, for one reason or another, your supervisor does not believe you. Perhaps they are friends outside work. Perhaps you’ve made mistakes in the past. It does not matter. Your supervisor fires you. Then, as you’re vacating your workspace, the coworker gloats to your face. You lash out angrily in your hurt and are escorted from the premises.

Now, I know that’s a pretty unpleasant situation. Let’s return to our two questions. First, what harm does a situation like this cause to us when we’re in the midst of it? Proverbs 14:17 (NKJV) says, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of wicked intentions is hated.” Ecclesiastes 7:9 also states, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” We become foolish when we let our tempers get away from us. In our scenario, we might argue that the person was justified in his or her anger. Until lashing out, no blame rested on the employee’s shoulders. And sure, because of the coworkers actions, this person is now without a job, a way to put food on the table or pay the bills, and will now have their permanent employment record affected. Until lashing out, however, there was no sin on the person’s part. Whether it was physical or verbal, the “victim” acted in such a way to warrant being escorted from the premises. When God tells us throughout scripture to get rid of our anger, how does acting out of it, no matter how justified we feel we are, serve Him? The consequences, beyond the legal and moral, are that we are sinning against God and defying His commandment. How likely are you to repent for anger you feel is righteously gained? How likely are you to repent when you feel your unkind words are justified? Especially when our legal systems back you up? God is not a legal system. God is not a man-made law. He is above all earthly laws. And he says in Matthew 5:22 (NKJV) “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”

When we heap rage upon our enemies’ heads, do we serve God? If they are of the world, is it our place to condemn them? As in our scenario, we can agree there are plenty of circumstances where we feel the anger is deserving or our words should spew forth as venom. But, we are to show mercy and forgiveness. Jesus told us to turn our heads and let our enemies strike our other cheeks. Hey, I know it’s hard. I struggle with this myself. Our enemies can look like our friends, our loved ones, our coworkers, our leaders… as we are all birthed in sin, as we are all creatures who are removed from God until we step through the doorway that is Jesus Christ, we all look like the enemy to someone else. When we pass judgment, when we react so poorly, we stop showing Christ to others. We push our enemies deeper into their darkness. We help weaken the thread of spiritual life because we, as Christians, are behaving poorly. Justified or not, we are to discard our hate, our anger, even our hurt. We are to love our enemies. We are to minister to them, even as we bleed, and help guide them to God. The harm- the true harm- comes when we put our own misery above God’s command; then, we are serving our own agendas.

I’ve read that God is love. And I have read that if you hate your brother than you are not of God. We are all Cain. We are all guilty and only made innocent through the blood of Jesus Christ. So I’m going to end with a prayer. You can join me and use it for yourself if you like.

Lord, I come to you in humbleness. I’ve lived a life where my anger destroyed relationships and denied opportunities I might have been given. Lord, help me get past feeling like I have a right to be angry. Help me remember that though someone might slap me, your Son said to offer our other cheek. Lord, I don’t want my anger, my hurt, my feelings to draw me away from your glory. Here, in this moment, I’m leaving it at the cross as you’ve commanded me. I want to be of love, Lord. I want to be among your children at the feet of glory. Amen.

Go with God my friends.

A Travesty of Evil: Pride

Note: This piece was written by Emmanuel and myself as the first part in a series on evil. What follows is a combination of our thoughts to provide you on the concept of Biblical evil, as it connects to present day. This will be the first of a three part series I will be working on over the next few months.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. –Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. –John 3:20 (NKJV)

I’m going to start this a bit differently than usual…

Lord, during these troubled times, help us remember you will deliver us from evil. Help us to remember that, despite being undeserving of your grace, we still receive it. Help us remember that we are to stand firm in faith, to let the world see we are part of your army. Lord, we see such horror around us. We see crime. We see murder. We see men and women berate and demean others for their skin color, their sexual identities, their weight, their social class… for whatever they choose to justify their own hatefulness. We ask you, Father… we ask you to fill our hearts with love. We sorely need it. Help us remember why you sent your Son and why it is important to show Christ to the world. Give us courage Lord. Because we will not let evil stand. We will not surrender to the wicked. We will not turn a blind eye to wrongdoing. In your glorious name, we pray. Amen.

Lately, when we turn our televisions to the latest news report or hop on social media, we are blasted with the latest atrocity. People cry out only for their voices to drown in a vast digital sea of apathy. Merriam-Webster defines evil as being morally reprehensible and arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct. We are living in evil times, brothers and sisters. But, haven’t we done so since Adam and Eve first sinned? Haven’t we since Cain slew Abel?

Before we delve deeper into our study of Biblical evil and how it takes root in our modern world, we should remember the following:

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:5 (NKJV)

“The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” – Psalm 121:7-8 (NKJV)

Within these two verses, we see that lines are drawn and forces are given names. As society has progressed, we grow quick to label areas of life gray and not easily defined. These days, even the word evil stirs the cynic in us; only in fiction or when we see truly atrocious behavior by our fellow man, do we wipe the dust off this old concept and grudgingly put it to use. The world, as we would have it, is very gray. But, as the verses above note, light and darkness cannot and do not mix.

Why, then, is there so much evil in the world? Where did it come from? Why is it still here? What do we even do about it?

When we talk about Original Sin, we often point to Adam and Eve, where the couple ate from the tree God explicitly told them not to take from. That is man’s original sin. But what was the original evil? People laugh at the concept of a devil and make light of the name of Lucifer. The spirit world is never taken to be a real place, just a fascinating setting for countless fictions we tell.

Some people believe in it, and some do not. But this does not change the facts: it is real, and things that happen there cause ripples that touch, bless, and destroy human lives.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) tells states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  It was in this realm of being, that the first act of evil, not yet witnessed by man, occurred. His name is Lucifer, the Morning Star. If Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith,” then Satan is the author of evil. Isaiah 14: 13-14 record his first offense, and the ‘you’ addressed here is Satan:

For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High’ (Isaiah 14:13-14 NKJV).

The first sin, before Adam and Eve tasted that fatal fruit, was the sin of pride, of trying to do away with the Creator in favor of creation. Or, perhaps it was the act of choosing self over God. That singular event spawned evil, whatever rises against God and what He stands for. And, my friends, it has been growing ever since then. We, sadly, are born into it. All the more reason to jump for joy at the saving grace of Jesus Christ! It was one, Satan, who brought evil into the world of man, but it is One, Christ, who will redeem any who believe on Him. One thing is certain; no matter how evil the times may be, Jesus Christ is still Lord. Cling to that; please do not forget it.

And let’s go back to that word from earlier: pride. As we illustrate how evil got deeper into our society, through Biblical passages, keep that word in your mind. Just how in the world did Adam and Eve, unaware of the very concept of evil, who walked with God like you walk with your own father by your side, fall prey to disobeying their Creator? After all, He was right there. As close as your breath. Humans long just to feel God’s presence, let alone be able to see Him as clear as sunlight. If we lived in a state of perfection, able to feel, touch, and hear God with all our senses, we would think “I’d never disobey Him.”

But…it happened. Why?

Let’s look at Genesis 3:1-6 (NKJV): Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Sound familiar? Satan wanted to be on top, to outdo the Creator. Remember that word pride? Don’t get us wrong – pride is not bad in and of itself. But sadly, we often forget – or simply do not know – that even our accomplishments are the result of God allowing us to flourish or blessing us.

When a child bullies a former friend on the playground, thinking she is better than her. When coworkers laugh behind our backs for being fat and clumsy. When a man lynches another because he esteems him lower than himself. When a husband cheats on his wife or a wife on her husband, forgetting that a marriage is a sacred bond. When genocide is started to remove a supposed threat to a tyrant. If you look deep enough, squint hard enough, you will see the common denominator: the fall of man was (and is) the pride of man. Where are we? Are we standing upon a threshold of acceptance, where we turn a blind eye to evil because it is either too big or too small? There is a spectrum, though stemming from the original source, that seems to diminish evil. Thus, our response differs. Our acceptance differs. Far too often, pride is easier to ignore than it is to address openly. That in itself may be the power of current evil. We cannot address past sins in the way we can address those taking place in the here and now. Our rugs, under which we sweep many things, grow too high. Where is God in this? He is not the savior of brooms. He is a Living God, one who calls us to His higher standard. Can repentance without change truly be called repentance? Can we see eternity at His feet when we clutch to our pride? The point has been and will always ever be Jesus Christ. When armed with God, the Son, and Holy Spirit, how can we not combat the evils around us? And what power surpasses Him? None.