The Apostle Paul wrote many influential letters that addressed certain issues in his day. These letters can be found in the New Testament and cover a wide-array of issues. However, what if Paul penned a letter today? What would he say to a region like West Virginia? I believe it would go something like this:
To the churches in West Virginia: It has become apparent that the enemy has set up camp in your communities. Your overdose rates are known throughout the nation and many of you are still wondering why. Are you infants in your thinking? Do you still not understand the Devils schemes? Does a country declare war on another country for the sake of war? Absolutely not! War is declared when a country feels threatened—the devil has become threatened.
Now, brothers and sisters, I urge you not to fight this battle with laws and regulations. This battle is not between man and drugs but between good and evil. And the enemy has never done well with abiding by laws. I assure you that the only way to fight your current battle is through the TRUTH of the Gospel. The addiction epidemic that you are facing only proves that people are searching for answers; the ground is fertile and accepting seed, but the enemy is frantically sowing his seed. This is why the enemy is there! God has prepared a great number of fields in West Virginia. The soil is the most fertile it has ever been—you need to sow the good seed.
Do you still not understand? Do you still not see? The enemy is greatly concerned that more Mountaineers will accept Christ. I tell you the truth, David himself was a Mountaineer! He struck down lions, bears, and Goliath. It wasn’t the size of David that made the difference but the tenacity, perseverance, and grit that allowed him to do amazing works for God. Do you not possess these rare qualities? I proclaim that you do! Throughout generations, God has used your coal mines to shape, mold, and polish these qualities and they have been passed down from generations. God is now ready to combine it with the greatest quality of all, faith. Do you think it’s a coincidence that for generations your state, through coal, gave light to the rest of the world? Jesus asked fishermen to go fish for men, wouldn’t he ask a coal state to go provide light (Jesus) to men?
What shall I say, then? The enemy is worried that your land possesses another David? Absolutely not! I’m proclaiming that your land possesses an Army of Davids! Who has heart like you do? Who stands up for the oppressed like you do? How my heart worries that you don’t see this. When the bear or lion took away a sheep from David’s flock, what did he do? He went after it! When floods swept away homes in your great state, what did you do? You ran toward it! You have always possessed a rare resource, West Virginia. Sow the good seed and bring light to the world.
Didn’t you—those that know God’s word—see this coming? Surely you have read that God uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. How does West Virginia rank in terms of foolishness? Whoa to the “wise” that labeled you as uneducated hillbillies, rednecks, and inbreeds. People judge from outward appearances, but God looks into the heart. Just as David wasn’t invited to the table when a king was being selected, you were not invited to the table either! David was tending to the flocks of sheep and you were tending to the oilfields and coal mines. Rise up and take your place!
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to drive out the enemy and stop allowing him to sow bad seed on your fertile ground. Those that possess the good seed must sow like they have never done before. This battle that you are facing is not because you are weak but because you are strong. The enemy is fully aware that you have the heart of David ingrained in your souls. Fight the good fight! From the beginning you were called to bring light to this world. You have done it with coal for years, I pray that you now do it with Jesus—the true light. I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to live up to your name: Almost Heaven, West Virginia.
written by: Mark Bland