Viewer Discretion Advised

vintage-tv Fox has a new show called “Lucifer” that premiered a week or so ago. The premise for the show, which is actually based on a comic book, is that Satan has grown tired of being lord of hell and has retired to Los Angeles, where he meets up with a detective named, Chloe, and he becomes intrigued by the idea of punishing those who do bad things. This leads Lucifer to a sort of crisis of conscious. Hmmm.

Of course, Lucifer is portrayed as a handsome, charming, and somewhat whimsical man with whom most of us might otherwise want to be friends with. After all, who doesn’t find a fun-loving spirit who wants to help a cop pursue justice attractive? Double hmmmm. There seems to be something wrong with this premise.

Before I dive in any further, I want to make it absolutely clear I believe fully in the right to free speech and artistic license, so I am not condemning Fox for airing this show. It is, however, unlikely I will ever watch an episode. While a TV network has the right to air whatever they wish, within the guidelines of the FCC, I have an equal right to choose not to watch. In the case of this particular show, it didn’t take me but a fraction of a second to decide I would pass.

I certainly understand this show is nothing more than a comic book fantasy and, as such, can be classified as a form of entertainment art. It is not meant, at least on its surface, to be taken seriously. But can a show such as this have negative consequences, whether intentional or not? Can an entertainment art form such as this have a hidden agenda veiled by the very way its whimsical main character is depicted?

To answer those questions, let’s move away from the character portrayed in the TV show to the real Lucifer described to us in the Bible. In John 8:44 we read, “He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” And in Isaiah 14:12: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”

So in just these two verses alone we see that Lucifer, or Satan, is fallen from heaven; he is a murderer; and he is not just a liar but is, in fact, the father of lies. Think about that last part….“father of lies”. From the very moment he deceived Adam and Eve and precipitated the fall of man, Lucifer has taken every opportunity to trip up humankind, weaving a tangled web of deceit that seeks to convince us that our sinful desires are only natural needs and then, when we fall, he accuses us, often pushing us into a climate of guilt that holds us down in depression and dysfunction. Hardly charming behavior.

Yet it seems Fox’s new TV show would have us believe Satan isn’t that bad of a guy, perhaps he’s even just a bit misunderstood. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Apostle Peter warned us to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1Peter 5:8) Because I do not want you to be deceived, let me point out a subtle truth in Peter’s words: the devil “prowls around”. Whereas the TV show would have us believe Lucifer was just sitting around hell becoming bored prior to his arrival in LA, the Bible correctly informs us that he is actively on the prowl. This is confirmed in Job 1:7 as well, when God asked Satan: “Where have you come from?” To which Satan answered, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

No, Lucifer most certainly is not sitting idly by in hell. Rather, he is looking for “someone to devour.” Satan thrives on our misfortune. I won’t go so far as to say Satan causes all our problems, but from your last argument with your spouse to world wars to the holocaust, it would not be incorrect to suspect his involvement. So I would caution you right here to think about how inaccurately this TV show depicts Lucifer. And to think about why. After all, would anyone watch a TV show about Lucifer if he was represented as he really is; in all his ugliness and deception? The very word Satan means “adversary”, which is defined as a person, group, or force that opposes or attacks. Fox couldn’t very well market Lucifer that way could they?

Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised that Lucifer is characterized as a handsome, charming young man in this TV show. For the Bible instructs us that “Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2Corinthians 11:14) Lucifer’s goal is to convince you that God is not real, that there is no spiritual truth that applies to all mankind. Indeed, casting doubt about God’s Word has been one of Satan’s main objectives in his efforts to destroy humanity. A TV show painting himself as something better than he is just might be one of his weapons.  So don’t be fooled.

While Lucifer seeks to accuse and to destroy, God is pure and perfect love and his plan of redemption through the shed blood of Christ is available for all. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) If you would like to know more about how to become a Christian, please do not hesitate to contact us at ReignDropsBlog@gmail.com.

May God bless you and keep you.

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Help!

woman praying to GodI awoke that morning groggy and tired. It couldn’t be that time already. It felt like a suit of weights hanging on my body as I crawled from my bed. The familiar dread hit me hard. I didn’t want to go back to work. Work had become unbearable in the past few months. The atmosphere was toxic. I had never worked in a place so full of turmoil. There was a constant atmosphere of stress and I felt like if I made one mistake I was going to be hauled into the boss’s office and harshly reprimanded. I first noticed this the very week I started there, but I discounted it in the hopes that things would improve over time. They didn’t. One particular woman seemed out to get me. I found out later that her friend was the one I had replaced in my position, so it seemed she was bent on seeing me fail. I found myself crying out to God for help on a regular basis. I began to wonder if I was asking too much of Him.

Do you ever feel like you need help but might be asking too much from God?  There have been many times in my life when I have felt this way; this job I had being one of those times. I think the majority of us have seasons in life when all we can do is cry out to God; where serenity and happiness seem out of reach. If this is how you feel today, don’t agonize over it. God wants us to reach out to him always, and especially in times of need. The Apostle Peter instructed us to “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7.) The truth is, we can never ask too much from God.

I have had to cry out to God numerous times, when life or work or events have overwhelmed me. But God is faithful and always there. When I was in that job, I had a lot of turmoil around me, it seemed like the enemy was using everything and everyone around me to bring me down. It was so stressful it was impacting my health. I recall how God lifted me out of darkness and provided the assurance I was going to be okay, and through Him I could see there was light at the end of the tunnel, even though often it did not feel that way. Sometimes we are so focused on the darkness that we forget to seek and look for the light. In Psalms 3:1-5, David cried out to God in his time of need “Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him.’ But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” The same God David cried out to will help you, too!

Strengthening my relationship with God has been the crucial factor for me in learning to handle these types of situations when they come along. I have found that while praying is important and essential, I still must do even more if I expect to experience the fullness of God’s work in my life. My experience tells me that it is difficult to realize the power of God if I am only sitting around waiting for it to happen. The Bible provides guidance on the things we need to do to strengthen our relationship with God. James 4:8 tells us “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” How do we draw closer to God? Prayer is one way, but I find spending time reading my Bible is also crucial. Having quiet time in communion with the Holy Spirit is another. It is important to do all of these things, for in this way we strengthen our relationship with Him.

Faith requires action. If we are making the attempt to draw closer to God and seeking a deeper relationship with Him, He is able to work in our life. Path corrections cannot be made if there is no movement. Give God your momentum so that he can direct you. Keep praying. Keep seeking. Keep praising and thanking Him. God wants to raise you up out of your circumstances. Strengthen your relationship with Him, and He will direct your path.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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What Problem?

alcoholic1 It was sometime in the early 1980’s when Joey had a little alcohol-related run-in with the law and, in his attempt to escape with the minimum possible punishment, he voluntarily consented to some personal counseling. Over a few weeks’ time, Joey met regularly with a professional therapist, answering a variety of questions about his childhood, his current situation, and his drinking habits. Joey was mostly truthful, as he recalls it, but maybe not completely honest. After several of these soul-baring sessions, the good doctor pronounced his diagnosis: Joey had a pattern of heavy drinking but was probably not an alcoholic. Whew! That was close!

And so began a pattern of attempts by Joey at drinking self-control that would last nearly a decade. In the volume, Alcoholics Anonymous, the authors wrote: “Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.” (p. 30)

Joey’s story validates the accuracy of that concept. Throughout the 1980’s, he tried relentlessly to prove to himself, and to those around him, that he could handle alcohol and that he did not have a problem. Some of the control methods Joey tried included: counting the number of drinks he had every day, drinking only beer, having no more than one shot of whiskey a night, drinking rum instead of whiskey, drinking wine instead of hard liquor, drinking only on the weekends, not drinking on the weekends, drinking only at home, drinking only at parties, never drinking alone, keeping only limited amounts of alcohol in the house, and more. For a couple years, Joey even managed not to drink at all!

Sometimes Joey’s attempts were successful, but only for brief periods of time. Eventually, he always ended up drunk again; doing something embarrassing, getting into trouble at home or at work, sometimes with the law, feeling remorse and frustration. Some people are fortunate enough to be blackout drinkers, but Joey rarely was. He typically woke up remembering every distressing nuance of the night before. His atrocious actions, the horrific insults he hurled at those around him, his insane arguments and perpetual know-it-all philosophy almost always came back to him in full force the morning after, motivating Joey to even greater attempts toward self-control. Little did he know, at the time, that his efforts at micro-managing his drinking were, in themselves, evidence of the futility of his condition.

The authors of Alcoholics Anonymous go on to say: “We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals – usually brief – were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.” (p. 30)

Just as these men wrote, Joey continued to get worse over time. By 1990, he was virtually without a friend; alone, drunk, depressed, and confused. It was a horrifying and painful reality in which to find himself. Joey had lost everything that mattered to him and he was dead inside. Yet he still continued his vain attempts at controlled drinking for another year before the pain finally drove him to action.

Lord willing, Joey will soon celebrate the 25th anniversary of his freedom from addiction.

Can you identify with Joey’s story? Almost no one likes to think of himself or herself as being unable to control his behavior, but addiction is a progressive and deadly disease and is, perhaps, the only disease where one of the primary symptoms is the absolute belief you do not have it. But there is hope. If Joey can recover – so can you!

The authors of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote: “What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God.” Indeed, I am confident beyond doubt that you will find, if you seek God, that He is more than able to deliver you from addiction and the incomprehensible pain and despair that accompany it. But you are likely to also need the help of your fellow man. In most cities, there are recovery meetings available through your local church. So if you are in a church, check with them.

Other resources are also available. Here are links to some of them. I encourage you to take the bold step, like Joey did, of reaching out to one or more of these. I am confident you will find the help you need:

Celebrate Recovery
Teen & Adult Challenge
Calvary Addiction Recovery Center
Alcoholics Anonymous

And for those who may love someone suffering from addiction: Al Anon is almost certainly available in your area.

May God bless you and keep you. As always, if we may be of further service, please do not hesitate to drop us an email at: ReignDropsBlog@gmail.com

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