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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Twilight’s Kingdom”

No two ways about it: in this episode, Twilight Sparkle does something foolish.

Unable to overcome Tirek, she had to choose between sacrificing the power that would allow him to completely conquer and destroy Equestria or let him destroy her friends. A horrible choice to be sure, but while the fate of Equestria might have been more important overall, as her loved ones were the most important thing to her it’s understandable why she would choose to give up her power. The truly foolish decision, however, comes when she makes Discord’s own freedom part of the deal.

It truly doesn’t make sense. Discord proved himself to be unreliable and self-interested. He showed he’d go with whatever gave him the most freedom, even backstabbing his own friends to get it. His sole desire is to have fun at the expense of others. And drained of power, there was nothing Twilight could have gained from freeing him at that point. Essentially, giving up something and getting nothing in return. An unwise action, and even a foolish one.

Yet, as those of you know who have seen the episode, it ended up being the right choice, as Discord’s repentance allowed Twilight to get the final Key of Harmony, ultimately leading to Tirek’s defeat and the rescue of Equestria.

There’s a great line in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;” Focusing on the first part of that line, it strikes me just how many times God asked people in the Bible to “do stupid things”. Noah had to spend literally an entire century building a gigantic boat on land. Abraham had to keep trusting in God until both he and his wife Sarah were rather elderly before they finally had a son, and not long after God told him to sacrifice him in spite of the son being the one he promised would bear his name and descendants. Noah was told to go to the head of one of the most powerful nations in the world at that time and tell him, with nothing other backing him up than “God said so”, to let go of hundreds and thousands of slaves. Joshua was told to march around an impregnable city for seven days in order to get inside. The widow who tended to Elijah, on the point of starving to death along with her son, was told to use her last bit of food to feed him first. And, of course, there’s Paul and the other Apostles and disciples in the New Testament, who after getting beaten, publicly humiliated, and, in some cases, murdered for their testimony are told to preach it even more loudly and more widespread.

These are all Biblical examples, but there are plenty throughout history and even in the modern day. I’ve heard a testimony from a person who was in a foreign country and the only Christian locally, harassed and even threatened with death, who was called to pray for her very persecutors when sick, a person who went into the house of a lowly herder to preach about Jesus even though he barely spoke a word of his language, and a missionary about how he tried to service children who had been impressed into warlord militias and, as a result, was eventually kidnapped to be held for ransom and had to escape through a jungle in the middle of the night.

In all these cases, I have to admit alone I’m both not brave enough as well as too “sensible” to expose myself to such danger. I think most Christians probably feel the same way. I hear these great testimonies and stories about people called to do extraordinary things, many times of which seem self-destructive, dangerous, or even suicidal, and managing to accomplish great work through them that I would have never dreamed possible…but even so I still have a hard time seeing myself trying the same thing. God calls us to do extraordinary things because they are just that: extraordinary. Requiring an amount of courage and faith…and perhaps just a grain of what the world would call “foolishness”…to accomplish.

However, as I think about it, it makes perfect sense. If Christians could accomplish mighty deeds or miracles through conventional actions, they wouldn’t really be mighty deeds or miracles. Yet even speaking in the everyday and “less miraculous” sense, if Christians were able to change the world from doing things that the world considered “smart” or “wise”, then there’d be no difference between us and well-intentioned nonbelievers. We’d simply be considered to be doing the same thing as everyone else and there’d be no advantage or anything that made us a “light of the world” compared to anyone else. That, unfortunately, is a major reason (in the United States at least) that Christians seem to have fallen so far. Nowadays, most Christians simply identify with this or that secular group (especially along political lines) and rather than ask ourselves if what this group is for in this or that area is in tune with Biblical values, we instead see how we can warp Biblical values to match that viewpoint. And if we go against that, we’re considered “foolish”…often in terms of worldly wisdom rather than Biblical values.

The fact of the matter is if God is telling me to do something that is not in my “comfort zone”, I can easily come up with a lot of reasons for it to be senseless or foolish and, therefore, not to do it. It’s at times like that in which I have to remember to pray for guidance and seriously ask myself if it is indeed a crazy impulse I’m getting or if it’s God telling me to do something and me making an excuse.

And whenever I find myself in a position where I’m siding with most people, especially on a moral issue, I have to remember what Jesus said in John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world.”Therefore, I should be wary when I find myself doing what most of “the world” is doing and using everyday society as the standard of what is sensible and what is “wacky”. There’s a good chance that it’s times like that I need to make a stand with the minority.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you that you never call us to do anything that you don’t intend to bring about good for myself and others, even if the consequences of the act are not readily apparent. Whether I’m ministering, testifying, working, playing, voting, expressing my opinion, or anything else, help me to keep in mind what you would have me do and desire for the world, and always remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:25: ‘For the foolishness of God is wiser than men’.Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”