What if you received a registered letter today from the government informing you that Intel had been passed to them that you were a target of a foreign entity? The letter states that you will be killed within the week—no matter where you are. You can’t hide. But you do have one choice . . . how you die.
You can be taken out by sniper—randomly, when you least expect it. One shot—gone.
Or something you drink or eat will be poisoned. You won’t know in what or when, but it will be ingested at some point. The poison will be a very slow death, likely quite painful, and you’ll be very aware that you are dying.
Which death would you choose?
99.9% of males are going to say “sniper.” If it is going to happen, then I choose random, quick, and done. Here, one second, gone the next.
But here’s the oddly ironic twist to this bizarre scenario. In real life, 99.9% of us choose the poison. Allow me to explain.
In the realm of sin, disobedience, flesh, and choices, we do occasionally hear of “sniper incidents.” The guy who has always been a family man, never did much more than the occasional parking ticket, goes on a business trip, gets hit on by a lady at his hotel, and has an affair. Not planned, didn’t see it coming, out of nowhere. Temptation strikes at just the opportune moment, weakness wins, and he’s out.
Or a guy who suddenly sees a window of opportunity to embezzle money from the company he’s worked at for years. Never even stolen a pack of gum, but he could pay off debt and doesn’t see any way it could be traced to him. Or the guy who is typically easy-going, but gets into an argument and in a flurry of anger, someone is critically hurt or even killed. Everyone is shocked. Especially him.
I could go on with examples, but you get it. Sniper hits are sudden with no warning. Everyone is surprised, even the person hit.
Poison is exactly opposite the sniper hit. It’s very slow. Poison can take years to kill. The point of ingestion may not be known, but the awareness that it’s inside you becomes glaringly evident.
Poison is anger, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, greed, materialism, apathy, complacency, lust, gluttony, covetousness, lying, criticism, blame, laziness, entitlement, betrayal, on and on. Poison typically starts very small, usually with an event connected to a feeling, an emotion. If not addressed, and especially when entertained, it starts to grow. Poison can stay hidden for a very long time, but will always, eventually, begin to show its effects. And, untreated, it will kill. And even spread to others.
Here is the very bad news. There will be a few guys that will be taken out by sniper fire. But, most of us have poison flowing through our veins. It will take its sweet time to destroy. It looks for opportunities to manifest symptoms and grow. Most of us know the poison in us right now.
But here’s the good news. Jesus knows the poison is there, where it is, how much is present, and He holds the cure. The only trick is that our health depends on our level of obedience. He has grace, mercy, provision, and healing for us, but we have the choice as to how much we accept His Cure. Each day, we must choose between the poison and the Cure. Flesh and Spirit. Sin and victory. Our salvation is not up to us to gain, it is a free gift of God. But our level of healing and growth lies in our daily decisions to choose Him, to take up our cross provided by His mercy, and follow Him.
Here are three practical ways you can avoid sniper fire and death by poison:
1—Connection with God. Through prayer and the Word.
2—Connection and prayer with your wife. (If single, see #1 again)
3—Connection and prayer with a small group of men who follow Jesus too.
The Shield for sniper fire and the Cure for poison is available today—right now!
I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left. —Lamentations 3:19-24 MSG