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Wars and Rumors of Wars

Roughly 60 active wars smolder, burn, or rage across the earth as I pen this Reflections on a Wednesday night in the second week of March, 2022. The conflict on which everyone is presently fixated is the very fresh war between Russia and the Ukraine. In that war, Russia – which may have biblically prophetic significance – has invaded her neighbor and appears hellbent on subduing him. Russia’s intentions are not entirely clear, but two potential motives beg some consideration. The first is that, perhaps, Russia invaded to create a buffer between herself and the NATO aligned nations which Ukraine had hoped to join. If Ukraine had joined NATO, then Russia’s most competent foes would be sharing a border with her via Ukraine’s NATO membership.  The other motive might be that Russia wishes to reconstitute her soviet empire. In this case, Russia is driven by national pride, rather than national security. In either case, the bloodshed and rain of fire and bullets in the Ukraine is either the actual beginning of World War III, or it is the harbinger of such a potential global conflict. If it does not resolve, then the world can fairly expect to descend into economic, political, and martial tribulation sooner than any of us would care to think about. 

This is no secret to those familiar with bible prophecy. Jesus warned us that there would be wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6), and that these would be the beginnings of birth pains for the end times. But you will notice also that Jesus tells us not to be alarmed at these wars and rumors. He tells us that they are necessary, and that they do not signal the actual end. Just like a woman who is approaching the moment of birth, these pains will increase in frequency and in intensity. As we notice this we can better focus our attention and preparation.

However, as Christians, our attention for such events is necessary, but not primary. Physical, earthly wars are always at least partly the result of spiritual forces, or the absence of spiritual moorings. Because of this, our primary focus should be on spreading the gospel and living it out. Our primary focus is spiritual. Our battles are not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces in high places (Ephesians 6:12).

What are you doing to help others combat such forces, or to give your community the spiritual moorings it needs to manage wars, their rumors, and tribulations of which they may be ushering in?

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