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The Word: ‘The way God would have me to live’

am on a family trip as I write. My family and I were walking through downtown Las Vegas when a local TV reporter and cameraman approached us. The reporter saw that we were a couple with two children and wanted to get our thoughts about safety in public places. The night before, pop singer Ariana Grande performed a concert in Manchester, England. An explosion blew nails and other shrapnel through the crowd of mostly teenagers killing at least 22 and injuring nearly 60.

She wanted to know specifically if we would allow our girls to attend a concert given the tragic incident that happened the night before. I told her that I would not prevent my daughters from attending a concert they wanted to see, and chances are, I would be there enjoying the show. I feel strongly that to do anything otherwise gives the terrorists their victory. Since 9/11 we have learned to be aware of our surroundings. We must also be prepared. Then we need to continue on with life.

Sadly, we can expect these attacks to continue. Democratic countries like ours and Great Britain and its citizens that elect our leaders and support our military are not innocent victims in the radical Muslim’s eyes. Thinking we have done no wrong to them is like waving a red blanket in front of a charging bull and expecting it not to impale you with its horns because you are a vegetarian. We are guilty in their eyes because of who we are and what we believe.

I am aware of my surroundings. I am also defensively prepared. That doesn’t do me any good when a bomb goes off in my presence.

So, what do we do? Do we stop going to concerts? Do we stop going into the public square? 2 Timothy 1:7 teaches us that “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I like what the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 64:1 “Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.”

The war against terrorism will not ultimately be won by military might, but by spiritual weapons such as power, love and a clear mind.

Followers of Jesus Christ are on the front lines of this spiritual conflict. This battle will be won, and the terrorists will lose, but it will be won on our knees in prayer, praying for the hearts of the radical Islamic terrorists, demonstrating love to others and living with “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

I don’t know if that’s what the reporter wanted to hear or if it ever aired. But it’s the way God would have me to live. O Lord, help us all to live it. What else can we do?

Rev. John Moxley is pastor at First Baptist Church in Dillwyn. His email address is jmoxley1@juno.com