“Evil Will Not Let You Alone”

Posted by Rural Missourian on Jul 14th, 2008

There is a quote from Charles Spurgeon that has had real meaning for me lately. You must either be overcome of evil, or you must yourself overcome evil: one of the two. You cannot let evil alone and evil will not let you alone. You must fight, and in the battle you must either conquer or be conquered. The words before us remind me of the saying of the Scotch officer to the Highland regiment when he brought them up in front of the enemy and said, “Lads, there they are: if ye dinna [don’t] kill them, they’ll kill you.” So does Paul marshal us in front of evil, and like a wise general he puts us on our mettle by saying, “Overcome, or be overcome.”

One thing I can really bear witness to is that evil will not let you alone, no matter how much you seek to live a quite life of peace as a follower of Jesus Christ (2Tim. 3:12). This has been painfully true in the small community I live where taking a stand for the Lord in the public square, especially in seeking to establish a just government accountable to the people, has brought a nonstop attack by a small handful of individuals obsessed with lighting fires of slander and lies fueled from whole cloth to stir folks against each other and to cause a constant state of hatred and confusion. The level of verbal attack by these human agents of hell tells me that our simple desire to see an honest and upright government established here and the fact we have taken real steps to see it through is something the enemy of God greatly fears and resists vigorously.

We are confronted with two choices. We can either stand our ground in fear and trembling before the Lord, looking to Him to make the way . . . or retreat in pragmatic compromise, driven by fear to placate those who hate God in hope they will leave us alone and grant us a measure of “peace,” of course temporal, which I believe American Christendom has been guilty of for the last several generations. But the fact of the matter is that evil will not let you alone. The peeling veneer of peace between true Christians and the rising God-hating paganism that dominates our nation is growing ever thin. Though one can still flee to the relative quietness of an isolated rural life, the battle is at the door whether one likes it or not, and someday soon there will be no where to flee the spiritual battle.

I believe the day is soon coming when Christians will greatly regret having not undertook the battle when they still could come together to take a stand. That their shameful efforts in blending in with our pagan society so as not to “rock the boat” in hope that evil would pass by them (so they could live their lives without conflict while preserving their little financial kingdoms) will be repented of by them in agonizing heartache and pain, as they find themselves alone and surrounded with few, if any, who will stand beside them because the risk to do right is too costly. I speak from the little but costly experience I have had here; true liberty and good government comes at a huge PERSONAL price that most people are unwilling to pay.

I thank the Lord for the saints here that have come together in standing the ground given them by the Lord . . . standing, as it were, back to back in pressing the cause of Christ in the public square. Yes, we are greatly outnumbered here, but numbers have never been as issue with the Lord, only with the Lord’s people who, through fear and compromise, will quickly settle for the lesser of two evils if they can win a “majority.” As few as my fellow brothers and sisters are here, they have stood their ground faithfully, and I am honored and humbled to be amongst them.

Does this mean the fires of slander have taken away our peace? No, the peace that God gives His people is not dependent upon the absence of conflict. Does this mean we are without fear? No, we are not so foolish to think that our cause does not present real risks, but perfect love casts out fear, something we look to the Lord to perfect in us who tremble as we press up the steep slopes of reformation. Does this mean we are without hope? No, on the contrary, we are learning that the hope of the true Gospel of the Kingdom prevails no matter what the gates of hell can throw against it. Does this conflict mean that our success is guaranteed? No, but whether the Lord grant us victory or not, the duty is ours, and we hope to see it through by His mercy and grace. Nonetheless, we believe more than ever that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give His people the kingdom, but this doesn’t happen in the mythical vacuum of peace and tranquility, but in the hot crucible of real spiritual battle, for we must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.

The Lord strengthens, establishes, and settles His people through those sufferings He ordains for them. We know that the few trials and fiery conflicts we are engaged in here have been are ordained of God. In as much as I would prefer to live without them, I know they are for our good, as He uses them to strengthen and toughen us for the long hard days of repentance and reformation that are ahead for us, as it is for all His people. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5:10-11). — The Rural Missourian

8 Responses

  1. Herrick Kimball Says:

    Without specific details, this post is somewhat cryptic.

    But that’s okay. I get the point. You are continuing to undergo difficulties with some of the locals and could really use some prayer support from those of us out here who care about what you all are doing there.

    Rest assurred that I will be praying for you and your situation, with renewed determination. God bless.

  2. Matt Davis Says:

    Hey Pastor Tom,

    Sounds a lot like what I was reading to the children tonight out of Romans 5:3-5 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, charactor; and charactor, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    You and all the saints in Rayville are in our prayers regularly. Please pray for us also.

    In Christ,

    Matt

  3. Missouri Rev Says:

    Hi Herrick, it is good to hear from you. We all truly appreciate your prayers here; thank you for your renewed efforts. I was non specific on purpose, however, as my chief reason in writing this piece was to give credence to the quote of Spurgeon on fighting evil . . . and from our experiences here, which are not unusual or special, but common to all believers of all ages. I am not sure that giving details would help, actually, as I would not want to discourage other believers from taking the same stand in their communities. What we are going through is typical in today’s post Christian culture, which includes willful disregard of law, corruption, and fairly malicious slander by certain members of the present city council, coupled with typical apathy from the powers that be that could intervene, though I must say that one man from the state realizes the depth of our problems here and is working to find remedies for us. I was elected to a seat on the city council in April with the highest number of votes, which election and results were certified by the county, yet the present city council has themselves deemed the election “illegal” and refuses to swear me in. Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse! After spending hours on the phone with various state and county officials, it appears that our only remedy is to sue them in court, which I find absolutely reprehensible. Where are the third party checks and balances to stop such lawlessness? Enough said, please keep us in prayer as we face real risks in exposing their deeds of darkness in our pursuit to establish good government.

    Hi Matt, I want to thank you also for your prayers and for reminding me of the truth that “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” We will continue to pray for all of you, please say hello to them for me.

  4. Hopeful Agrarian Says:

    Greeting,

    Your post reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite historians. It may serve to encourage although I am sure you already knew it to be true.

    “History has never been dominated by majorities, but only by dedicated minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith.”

  5. randallgerard Says:

    Evil will not leave us alone; how true that is. Tolkien clearly understood it, his fiction is laced with it as the hobbits struggle with a desire to remain at home and till the soil, or pitch in and help defeat the evil on their doorstep. I myself have struggled with this. I love peace and quiet as much as any hobbit. Ah, but what price am I willing to pay for my peace and quiet? And, is it worth what the devil charges?

    But Pastor, where do we draw the line when it comes to seeking dragons to kill and evil to overthrow? Where is the balance between isolationist blinders and interventionist crusades to the ends of the earth? I understand we must fight for righteousness locally; but how do we keep such a martial spirit properly restrained and at home, with our own business, and not let it become the equally evil lust for power and empire?

  6. Missouri Rev Says:

    Hopeful Agrarian, thank for the encouraging quote. May our present generation be found in the annals of history as one that stood unconditionally on their faith.

  7. Missouri Rev Says:

    Hi Randall, you ask a good question. There really isn’t any need to go looking for a dragons to slay, for as soon as one obeys the commandments of Christ right where one stands the dragons come out of the woodwork in reaction to the real threat the Church is when in is living in obedience to Christ, as the salt of the earth and light of world. Isolationism is a reactive response to the encroaching world that is willfully blind to the present realities that Jesus Christ, as King of kings, has all authority and power in Heaven and on earth over all principalities and powers and every name named, without exception. On the other hand, pressing the crown rights of King Jesus in this world by building His kingdom through preaching and living out the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ is proactive, as the focus is building and expanding, not diminishing through retreat. Because its strikes a decisive, fatal blow to the powers of hell, it is the proactive building of Christ’s kingdom on earth that brings the greatest persecution, not the flinging of arrows at passing dragons, no matter how evil (such as the abortion industry, etc.).

    The Puritans rightly understood the realities of Christ’s present rule and the vital necessity of establishing it LOCALLY through God ordained civil and ecclesiastical authority, which they saw as absolutely vital in promoting the peace and union of God’s people. The three towns of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor, which were part of the Connecticut Colony, adopted the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut” in the late 1630’s. One of its provisions states “and well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union of such a people there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God.” They made it very clear that this meant both civil and ecclesiastical authority. More so, because we are called to fulfill certain covenantal obligations to our families and to one another as the body of Christ, we are called to work with our hands in producing those necessities vital to life and peace, through the stewarding of the land the Lord gives us. These two aspects of Christian culture (there are many more) – establishing godly civil and ecclesiastical government and working the land with our hands to provide for necessities – work together, which requires a dedicated focus, which restrains us at home and with our business. As the Lord blesses these endeavors with growth and prosperity, so the churches are able to send groups of church planters to spread the Gospel in the same manner. A lust for power and empire has no place in the humble life of keeping covenant with the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, and when it does come to the surface, the local churches and the biblical powers that be must deal with it, less the Lord bring chastising judgments for disobedience. Randall, I hope that helped answer your question. God bless.

  8. Jim Ketchum Says:

    Greetings all,

    As one who is currently standing with Pastor Tom and the others here in Rayville, I get a firsthand look at the goings on to which this thread is directed.

    It is sometimes difficult to stand on the principles to which Christ has called all of His people to stand, wherever they may be. It is only by His grace and mercy that any throughout history have stood the test He puts upon them. To be counted worthy to be called by Him to do so is a very humbling thought, something we would guard well to not take for granted.

    Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

    Jim K.

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