I’m seventeen and the one of several nighttime Mardi Gras parades that take place in February/January in New Orleans had just finished. I was in a hurry to meet up with someone who had taken part on the floats throwing beads and trinkets out to masses of people yelling “Hey Mister, throw me something.” I took a short cut through a downtown area that was not to be used as a way to walk from point A to point B. I was hurrying, making my way and feeling pretty confident when I felt a very strong grip on my arm and came face to face with a man whose look honestly scared me. I’m yelling “Let me go!” The grip is getting tighter as I struggle to get loose and he is telling me I’m in trouble. He tells me I’m not supposed to be where I am and what am I up to and I’m giving him the “It’s a public place and I can go where I want and things are not getting better.
But it was his look and a tone in his voice, and I did start to settle down because though he hadn’t reached that point yet I had the distinct feeling he just wanted an excuse to deal with me in a much harsher way.
About this time another man comes up. He seems to be the superior of the other, asks what’s going on and I’m only too glad to tell him how I’m being treated by this guy, who still hasn’t let go, and that all I want to do is meet up with someone before I miss the chance. This other guy tells the “goon” to let me go and then explains there are security reasons for certain areas being off limits and he understands I may be in a hurry but rules are rules. “If you’re willing to just settle down, turn around and go around we can just let this little matter slide.” To which I with great relief conceded I understood, was in the wrong, sorry and I’ll be on my way.
There is a pattern here I believe, that illustrates what can happen and what will happen as time goes on for us… we God’s created ones, whether we are talking about the circumstances of temporal everyday life or the circumstances of the very end times.
“…For already this separating from Torah is at work secretly, but it will be secretly only until he who is restraining is out of the way. Then the one who embodies separation from Torah will be revealed, the one whom the Lord Yeshua will slay with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the glory of His coming…” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 CJB.
We read of something or someone that restrains. That’s the pattern for what will play out in the very end but also a pattern for what we see in present times.
In my case I was doing something wrong, got caught and treated, initially, in a way that could have, I believe was, leading to treatment that was way out of proportion to the offense. But there was a “restrainer” on the scene. This man was motivated to peacefully, calmly, deal with the situation, to my benefit.
If this man had not been there things would not have gone so well.
In our country today we see where unrestrained violence and destructiveness goes. We have in place laws and law enforcement people that are there to be a restraint against these ills and we see what happens when that and those “who are restraining ‘are’ out of the way…”
If we are willing to be restrained by the Word and Spirit of God, to allow Him to stand between us and lawlessness, between our own lawlessness and condemnation, we have found a way to be saved from destruction.
There are authorities over us who in reality are our servants. They have restraints placed on them preventing them from using their authority for any other purpose that to keep order and protect.
But if we are uncooperative or lawless we in effect release those restraints on them so that where on one hand they respect and protect and serve now they subdue and imprison us. Just be belligerent towards a police officer’s directions and see what I mean.
Father, we thank You for the One who came, the One who died to protect us from death Father.
May the restraints we accept that are obedience to Your Word be something we gladly take for ourselves and live with.
May they hold us back from actions that would lead to harm, that would separate us from You.
We pray in Yeshua’s name,
May God’s love be in us all.