Ever have one of those mornings when it seems like you’re greeted by this kind of guy?
Muqtada al-Sadr is a real peach of a guy, an Iraqi muslim cleric who never says anything that isn’t laced with poison. You know—kill everyone who might be happy and free because, well, it is the will of Allah. And if his lunatic followers can’t get their hands on you right now, it’s because they’re making bombs with your name on them. Be just a few minutes.
And why do people surround him with microphones and cameras, giving him a stage he wouldn’t ordinarily have? How crazy is that?!
But he does remind me of something I regularly face—the accusations of the devil. He’s an invisible terrorist.
While usually more subtle and skilled than his loyal subject, al-Sadr, the devil is never satisfied with me being satisfied. He is a continual thorn in my side, a relentless bother. And I hate that he has such a microphone in my life.
Listening to his rants against me (“You failure!” “You loser!” “You lust bag!” You covetous clown!”), either I get bogged down and wearied, thinking he may have a point, or I wake up and slap him down without mercy.
The fact of the matter is I’m no longer a rookie in this world. While my enemy is, therefore, relentless in his attempts to derail and sidetrack me, God is even more tireless in treating me as a son. He knows who I am and He knows how I work. I am made to live by the Spirit, not by the flesh, and I am knowing that more and more these days.
The Muqtada al-Sadrs of this world (as well as those of the invisible world) strangely assist me in knowing that I cannot live as though I were of this world—there’s just not enough to it. If I believe what God says is true of me, then that means every day is a day of choosing to live as I am in this world; alien, foreigner, missionary. The invisible world, angelic and demonic, will recognize who I am—trouble is, I sometimes forget. When I grow foggy about that, the harsh voices of invisible al-Sadrs actually wake me up. I wonder, “Why am I hearing so much crap in my head?” Or something like that.
Right about then I begin to turn from the microphones and cameras of this world to the truth and grace of the invisible, eternal world. That’s where I live! I usually have one of those “Eureka!” moments, only I say something less sanctified like, “Oh, crap! I’ve been getting trashed!” My enemy loves to give me big doses of the visible and passing away world because he seeks to inoculate me against the real world, the invisible and eternal one.
But he has overdone it. I’m awake now.