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Timothy Griffin: Looking Up

Prisoners in War

(Timothy Griffin)
November 12, 2013

flag.jpgLast week, I had the opportunity to hear a challenge from a veteran named Gerald Coffee, who as a Vietnam POW spent seven years and nine days in a cell that measured 6 feet by 4 feet. In recounting his message over the next several days, I verbalized I would have trouble with the nine days, let alone seven years. But, in making it through the imprisonment, Coffee would say there was a thought that continually sustained him. That thought was “God = strength”.

The following day after hearing Coffee, I took the opportunity to grab a one-hour slot as my home church held a 24-hour prayer vigil. A half hour into praying, I remember thinking, “man this is good”. By the end of that hour, you couldn’t touch me. Later, as I spoke to one of my students, I said, "I started this day off praying for an hour. There is nothing that can hit me today that I won’t be prepared for."

As I shared my “spiritual high,” I recollected how several years ago, as I led a couples’ Sunday school class on the topic of stewardship, God laid it on my heart to give a tithe of my time --- 2.4 hours of every 24 hour day spent with God.

I must say that I have fallen woefully short of that goal in 90% of the days since that time. But as I considered the power I felt on that day last week and in similar occasions in years past, I am still asking, "what if I spent one hour a day with God in prayer and time on top of that reading His word." I would be untouchable and the same would hold true for you.

looking_up.jpgWhen we consider the topic of biblical stewardship, there are three “Ts” that come to light – time, talent and treasures – and to juxtapose Paul’s words from his letter to the Corinthians, I think it is more than appropriate to say, “these three, but the greatest of these is time.”

You see the aforementioned soldier said “God=strength”, but the reality of it is, God’s strength lies dormant in our lives unless we are willing to spend time with Him, thus allowing that strength to manifest itself.

In Luke 12:34, the good doctor tells us, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Of course the rest of the message is in the previous verse, exhorting us to lay up our treasures in heaven. But the reality of it is, in order for you to desire to lay your treasures in heaven to begin with, you’ve got to spend time with God, understanding who He is, in so doing, forsaking the temporal cares of this world for the eternal blessings of heaven.

We spent time this week giving thanks to veterans like Captain Coffee, thanking them for their sacrifice –even imprisonment, to ensure the freedoms we hold dear. But, as Christians we must remember that we too are prisoners – prisoners of Christ, and we are in a war with spiritual forces of wickedness.

The time we spend with our commander on a daily basis will cause us to not only overcome all challenges, but to reflect the light of God that will allow many others in this battle called life to find the same victory we have in Christ.

Timothy Griffin serves as a Campus Pastor at Liberty University. The Campus Pastors Office exists to help produce students who have the highest standards of Christian conduct and Biblical principles so that they may reach people for Christ in whatever venue that the Lord may call them.