THE DISCIPLINE OF DISASTER
By Henry Jaegers
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel; Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
(Ezra 4: 1-5)
As we consider the subject, "The Discipline of Disaster”, I would like to call attention to John chapter 10:9, which tells us, "the thief cometh not but to kill, steal, and to destroy". Although Satan may cause us to think that sin is alluring and beautiful, we must remember that Satan does not care about true joy and true pleasure. He is only concerned about destroying us and keeping us from following after God. He has many tools that he employs to cause this to happen, but one of the tools we do not hear about very often, and yet is one of his major obstacles, is this matter of distraction. When we talk about the discipline of disaster, we are talking about the methods that God uses to help us recognize, indoor, and overcome temptation.
The verse that we are considering this morning, speaks clearly of some of the methods that Satan uses to distract us from seeking the perfect will of God being accomplished in our life. First, he came as an angel of light, as he often does. He approached the Israelites as a friend wishing to help them in their goals and who were equally interested in the same thing. In the word, “disaster", it is necessary to explain the purpose of this topic. First, disaster is Satan's purpose for us, and distraction is one of his major tools to keep us from being successful in our journey.
In the verse under consideration, we see some of Satan's tactics demonstrated. First, he appears as an angel of light, (as he always does), and pretends to be on our side and want to help us. But we must remember that Satan never has our good in mind, only his purposes to destroy us. If we are to be successful in the Christian life, it is very important that we realize at the very outset the methods that Satan uses and to get us off track. He usually begins in our times of weakness. He always takes advantage of this. But in this first case, we find the leaders of Israel standing up and recognizing what was happening and refusing to allow God's people to be distracted.
That is a sign of good leadership.
When Satan does not win the battle, he tries something else and he never stops trying, but in the case of the Christian, he is fighting against God and he always comes out the loser when he does so. It is our purpose, therefore, to help our brothers and sisters in Christ to keep their focus on the purpose for which God has called them. Jesus continues the words in John chapter 10 with these; "but I am come, that they may have life, and to have it more abundantly." Now there are many things we can say about this, but just let us spend a little time concerning this matter of being distracted.
I am certain, that if you are a sincere follower of Jesus Christ, you will understand perfectly what I am trying to say. It is important to have a proper beginning but it is equally important to grow in our faith. I recalled the words of Paul the apostle to the people at Galatia telling them "Ye did run well; who did hinder you?" (Galatians 5:7) This is both an Old Testament and a New Testament problem. Satan is always a problem and the biggest problem of all is that he never gives up trying. It is important in our Christian life that we recognize distraction as being one of the biggest hindrances to Christian growth.
One of the most important things I have to do each day is praying for my friends, yet day after day without fail, Satan has some way to keep me from being focused on this matter. There is much to say on this subject, but for practical purposes, I wish to help others to recognize distraction is a tool that Satan uses, no matter how long we have been a Christian or how faithful we have been, there is always something he places in our mind to keep us properly focused on our spiritual journey.
As we close this section, I wish to share with you that there is one book in the New Testament that talks about the importance of undistracted fellowship with God. It is the book of first John. If we were to give it a proper title, it would be “Unclouded Communion” or “Unhindered Fellowship”
May God help us to begin each day by resisting the temptation to think other things are more important than undistracted fellowship with God.