Dark · Error · Light · Restrainer · Truth

restraining lawlessness… for now…

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.
Only he who now restrains it will do so until
he is out of the way.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 ESV
It’s no mystery that lawlessness is already at work…
we see it all around us… just spend a few minutes watching the news…
Not only is the man of lawlessness attacking people in general… those made in the image of God… lawlessness is attacking His Church… with increasing degrees of persecution… all around the world…
Contemplating this passage for another blog… I was caught by how he who restrains… the restrainer… will be taken out of the way…
It’s unclear exactly who the restrainer is…
Paul told the Thessalonians while he was with them…
but he didn’t repeat the information here…
Do you not remember that when I was still with you
I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now 
so that he may be revealed in his time.
2 Thessalonians 2:5-6 ESV
Theologians over the years have asserted various ideas on what is restraining… and who the restrainer might be… but in my writing earlier today… I had a glimpse… of what might be… a revelation…
I recently studied the letters to the Thessalonians with a group of ladies… using Beth Moore’s study Children of the Day… and one of the explanations she gave… the one I felt most to be true… cited the restraining “what” as the church… and named the restrainer “who” as the Holy Spirit…
With this in the back of my mind… I saw two errors Believers can fall prey to… with the increasing work of the lawless one… 
The first is the error of falling for his deception…
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan
with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all
wicked deception for those who are perishing, because
they refused to love the truth…
2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 ESV
The lawless one comes with the enemy’s power…
false signs… wonders… deception… lies…
This is the one Adam and Eve fell prey to…
and they were two who walked closest to God…
How can we expect to not be swayed…? escape temptation…?
The second error… giving into fear… dismay… despair…
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble
at its swelling. Selah
Psalm 46:1-3 ESV
Keeping our eyes on the world… and not on Him…
can lead us to be paralyzed with fear…
a la Peter walking on water… until he took his eyes off Jesus…
and focused on the wind… the waves… the storm…
Lawlessness is darkness…
it’s restrained by Light…
The light of the church… its people… its spirit…
will become dimmer and dimmer…
less able to restrain lawlessness…
by falling to deception…
or giving into inaction… smothered by fear and despair…
The Holy Spirit speaks loudest in our hearts when we listen and obey… sometimes I think He keeps quiet… when He knows we won’t do what He says… 
With the disobedience of the church… through deception and fear… 
with few to none… to work through…
perhaps… the Holy Spirit will be moved out of the way… 
“… when the Son of  Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” —Jesus
Luke 18:8 ESV
Both errors can be overcome… 
by rooting ourselves in His Word… His Truth… His Way…
by faith… believing and upholding what He says is true…
by steeping in the Word… in prayer… in trusting obedience…
While we are here… let us be restrainers of darkness…
trust the One who is Truth… love… grace… mercy…
trust the One who knows… when we don’t…
Pray for Him to protect you from both errors…
deception… and… fear…
Push back the darkness… be the light He calls us to be… for now… there is no other…
You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14 ESV

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