I’m pleased with Jordan’s growing passion for Elyon Most High. He has shared his faith three times now. He meets regularly with Ryan, a wonderful role model. Adam’s race is led more by footprints than guideposts. Ryan is giving Jordan footprints to follow.
Diane’s conversion took my breath away. Only Elyon’s Spirit can pierce the hard shell of their hearts. When she accepted His gift and asked His forgiveness, Elshar and I embraced. We heard the cheers of Charis. I heard your voice among them, my prince. Her transformation injected us with new vigor and renewed hope for this needy family.
With Ryan’s aid, Jordan is learning to be a servant leader for his wife and children. They’ve determined to open Elyon’s Word and pray with them twice a week. The children are unenthused but watching carefully. Jordan lost his temper and alienated his children, yet his repentance showed them he was a different man. When he asked them to forgive him, their hearts were touched by Elyon. When, in front of his wife and son, he destroyed those videos Daniel found and asked their forgiveness again, I rejoiced.
Despite all this, Amrael, I believe I’ve failed Jordan—and Elyon. There is so much I haven’t been able to help him grasp.
If only Jordan could see Elyon as He really is; if He could catch but a glimpse, all his wrong thinking would fall to the ground like old garments. I long for him to know the real world, the universe outside the dark bottle in which he’s trapped. How disconnected and confused he often is.
If this is true even of Christians, I shudder at the dark state of the unredeemed. How can they go through the day without falling to their face in despair, crying out to Elyon for mercy?
Though Jordan has the Spirit within, he looks at the world with blinders on. He seems unaware that he walks on a battlefield, under relentless attack. He doesn’t see warfare is woven into his daily life. Even Ryan has been misled into thinking demonic activities aren’t widespread in America because there are so many Christians. He fails to see our enemies haven’t vacated the battlefield, but have adopted new strategies, not as conspicuous, yet all too obvious to those with eyes to see.
These western Christians are unprepared to address what primitive cultures realize is vital—how to deal with evil beings in the spirit realm. In some respects, unregenerate primitives know more about the unseen world than the Christians coming to evangelize them! I want Jordan to be freed from such blindness.
How can he not see the real universe? After all these millennia of working with the image-bearers I still do not understand. But this I know—Elyon loves them to an extent we cannot comprehend.
I hear Squaltaint’s incessant ranting, threatening me with some new secret strategy he’s learned from Foulgrin and waving his commander’s letters at me, daring me to come after them. I also hear the hollowness in his voice, the desperation. He’s a shell of what he once was. Still, Jordan’s old habits and the world’s propaganda make Squaltaint’s job much easier.
Not as often as I’d like am I permitted to put my hand into the physical realm. But over the years I’ve saved his life three times and managed to protect him again in his recent car accident. Two weeks ago I intervened when Squaltaint tried to drop the electrical wire on him. Jordan didn’t even know. Last night he sat on the recliner alone, flipping television stations. He was weary and morally vulnerable. Squaltaint was working him over. I tried to persuade him to turn it off, tried to call to his mind the words of Elyon and the counsel of Ryan and the men’s leader at his church. But his mind was numbed and his guard down. I tried to move his finger to the OFF button accidentally, something I did the night we first drew him to his mother’s Bible. This time I could not.
Finally I managed to touch the wiring and interfere with reception. He gave up and joined his wife in bed, but the escape was narrow. If Jordan keeps walking on the edge, he’s bound to drop off. He prays “help me not to fall into sin,” then proceeds to walk within inches of the precipice on a windy day. What’s he thinking? He wants to get as close as possible to sin without actually doing it. But this assures he will end up doing it.
I’ve tried to turn Jordan’s attention to Daniel, but he doesn’t take time to enter his son’s life. Every day, the fallen warriors lure Daniel further into their grasp. I fear for what the boy may do to himself and others. I’m appalled at his fixation on the powers of darkness. I hear the hideous laughter of the boy’s enemies. If Jordan could only see what’s happening, grasp what’s at stake, surely he would drop everything to give him the attention and guidance he so desperately needs.
It is hard here, Amrael, harder than in ages past. Adam’s race once had to leave their homes to feed their minds on such evil, but now it comes at them relentlessly, through airwaves and cables and phone lines. It’s so difficult to protect them, to convince them to guard their hearts. If only they could see the consequences, if only they could grasp how it hurts the King who died for them, surely then they would not permit those images into their homes and minds.
How can I convince Jordan he must claim his home for the King? How can I persuade him for the good of his family he must cleanse his home of the evil influences freely entering it?
Jordan still thinks Diane doesn’t understand him. He doesn’t realize she too is lonely and confused, though she’s basking in the initial glory of having embraced Elyon’s gift. They expect each other to meet their deepest needs, and are disappointed with each other for failing to do so. Elyon’s Spirit seeks to persuade Jordan that the King alone can meet his deepest needs, and it’s neither right nor fair for him to expect Diane to. As for his relationship with his secretary, I fear this is my worst failure. He does not seem to understand how perilously close he is to disaster. I confess, Amrael, I despair to know what more to do for him.
I try to prod Jordan to immerse himself in Christ’s body, to drink deeply of the Book, to saturate his soul in the beauty of Elyon. Sometimes I get through. Often I don’t.
I try to persuade him to say yes to serving at his church. I’ve not been able to convince him to jump in and serve. I know the Spirit is at work in His quiet ways, but battle fatigue settles upon me.
Forgive me, my captain; I do not mean to complain. It is my privilege to serve Elyon. I would gladly hold sword high and defend the small ones for a thousand years without rest if that would please Him and my strength could hold. Still, it is merciful of the King to grant us leave in Charis between assignments.
Whether it’s in many years or much sooner, I look forward to walking the streets of Charis again with you and my comrades. Oh, to breathe the air of heaven, free of sulfur. It is hard living in the Shadowlands, in this blindness and rebellion, for even a day. But over decades it becomes exceedingly difficult. All places that are not heaven have the cold, metallic taste of hell.
I see the twisted faces of Prince Beelzebub’s army. Squaltaint and his comrades attack Jordan and his family, whispering their lies. I remember what they were and shudder at what they’ve become. Knowing I too could have betrayed Elyon makes me fall to my knees and renew my devotion to Him.
I wonder sometimes why our Lord allows these tiny image-bearers to heap abuse upon Him, to slander His name, to break His commandments. I wonder why He doesn’t allow us to raise our swords and mount the steeds of Charis, invade the corrupted realm with all our armies to once and for all put an end to this cosmic insult. Why does He hold back our hands? Why has He restrained our wrath...and His?
I know the Book says that day will come, that Elyon is patient, wanting them to come to repentance. But I live for the day of vengeance. Forgive my impatience, Amrael. You are far greater than I, you who have sat in council with Michael and Gabriel, you understand these mysteries far better than I.
There are rumblings the King has begun a great and mighty movement, water flowing beneath the stony surface of Islam’s stronghold. Soon, they say, it may erupt and turn the tide of that battle, bringing many to Himself. Deploy me wherever you can best use me, whether here or there or anywhere else. Please tell my Lord I live each moment in anticipation of my return to Him, or His return to the Shadowlands. I speak to Him often. I know He hears me, but I long to see Him again, to feel His hand upon my shoulder. I yearn to hear His words, for they are life and breath to me. It is not easy being away from Him so long.
I’ve followed your advice and have been writing for Jordan an account of his life and my service to him. I will present it to him on the other side, when finally I can speak with him face to face.
I remind myself often of your counsel that the battles of these dark years will enhance the brightness of the eternal light. Our delight is not only in being at the place we are, but in knowing the Adventure will never end, and therefore the Joy will never end. I am so ancient that in comparison Jordan is but a newborn child. Yet when my knowledge is compared to Elyon’s, it is no different than Jordan’s, no different than if I had been born this very moment. We are all creatures—only He is the Uncreated.
Elyon miriel o aeron galad—chara domina beth charis o aleathes celebron!
I sing the ancient language to remind me not only of what was, but of the greater that is yet to be—the celebration that is Charis.
Today Jordan read a few verses about Charis in the Book. I tried to infuse him with what I’ve known first hand, but I couldn’t grab hold of his mind. His notion of heaven is so vague, so foreign. He imagines he will float aimlessly about, looking back longingly at his time spent on earth, the “real world.” He thinks Charis will be boring!
I suppose I shouldn’t expect them to long for immortality, they who don’t know what to do on a rainy afternoon. But inside they do long for it—if only they knew what it was their empty hearts crave!
Even now, if he would take the time to look around, to really look, he could see earth is crammed with hints of heaven, little foretastes of the real world.
The Book warns us the adversary slanders God’s person, His people, and His place. The evil ones have succeeded in perverting even the church’s view of Charis. What am I to do, Amrael, in the face of such monumental deception? Boredom in Charis? Lovers are never bored when together, for their delight is in each other. Our Beloved takes pleasure in creating new and better showcases to display His wonders. Charis is a fathomless repository of intrigue, an unending succession of delightful ventures.
How can I make Jordan see boredom exists only where creatures would make themselves what they are not and refuse to acknowledge what they are, gutting the world of wonder and leaving no riches to treasure and no realms to explore. Boredom on earth? Sometimes. In hell? Always. In heaven? Never! If Jordan had even a faint glimpse of this now, it could transform him.
One of his new church friends told him recently, “Some Christians are so heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good.” Wasn’t it Foulgrin who invented that saying? How can I make Jordan see the only way to be of earthly good is to be heavenly minded? How can I persuade him to live in light of eternity before he leaves Skiathorus, the land of second chances?
In every moment, asleep or awake, why does he not long for the place the Carpenter promised He’d build for him? Why can’t he grasp that every day the King is preparing heaven for him, and preparing him for heaven?
I long for Jordan to realize he need not wait until he dies to learn how he should have lived. Oh, that he would learn now while there is still time to change.
Amrael, with wisdom so far beyond mine, tell me what I can do to convince Jordan earth knows no sorrow heaven cannot heal. How can I help him experience Elyon’s transcendent joy? How can I persuade him to live now in anticipation of the boundless glory to come?
How can I prompt him to look beyond the moment and see the unseen?
To the Bridegroom’s glory,
This is an excerpt from Randy Alcorn's book, Lord Foulgrin's Letters.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.