Faith, Culture & The Church
"In Him [Christ] you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."
(Ephesians 2:22, NIV)
(Ephesians 2:22, NIV)
As we all wrestle to wisely, kindly, and boldly live into the days set before us by a God who sees us right where we are, can I challenge all of us to remember the words of Ephesians 6:12-17?
Truth isn't in the headlines -- that is news. News changes every day. That is the nature of news. Truth is found in Scripture and the character of God. And His promises and plan are just as true today as they were when the scrolls (that have become the Bible) were written. His mission is the same. His strategy has not changed. His Sovereignty is not under attack or up for debate.
The enemy isn't the people with the money, power, and voice in the media. The enemy is Satan and he is always scheming against us and also tempting us to scheme against one another. God knows who is in leadership right now. He set them there for this time in history. He has long been in the business of using imperfect men and women to fulfill his purposes and will. And He asks us to believe and trust Him. In the words of Lysa TerKeurst: “God is good and he is really good at being God.” Do our actions, thoughts, social media posts show that we believe this?
Our weapons are not our words or our sleuthing skills. In fact, we don't need earthly weapons to wage earthly wars. That battle has been won. Jesus was and is the victor, and because he lives in us, so too are we. Instead, the ways we “fight” and what we “fight” against are opposite of the world's strategies, because our hope isn't set in this world. It is set in heaven and we are called to a greater battle--a more significant one that requires us to take up pieces of armor that are invisible in the physical, but made obvious by our actions words:
Our mission is to glorify God and to love and lead others to Jesus so they can have the hope and peace he gives to withstand the trials and tribulations that will come. Our mission is to be light in the darkness so that others can know freedom and grace. We have been set free in order to use our freedom to break free from the strategies of darkness and bring others along with us. We have been given grace, compassion and creativity in order to meet the needs of those who are hurting around us.
Our mission hasn't changed because the world around us is changing. Our mission remains and it is more important than ever that we be the ones who base our beliefs, actions and purposes on Truth, not news. In Christ, we are able to fight the battles we were built to fight, not against flesh and blood, but against the evil one. And Truth tells us we overcome him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Friends, let's not get side-tracked now. Let's not fix our eyes where they cause us to lose sight of our calling as children of the King who reigns over all the earth. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus, who suffered for us so that we might be able to live in this present age as people of joy because we see the bigger picture--the eternal mission. Let's use our energy, resources and time to pray, serve, encourage, build others up, care for the orphans and widows, sing praises, and seek truth in God's words in the Bible.
What if how we chose to “fight” right now was so starkly different than the norm that it caused others to stand in shock?
What if we faced our current circumstances with such joy, honor, and grace that it caught the attention of others outside the church?
What if we chose to “fight” based on Truth, instead of the news?
What if this crisis is an opportunity to pull on the armor we have set down for too long, and go do battle against the enemy that thinks he is winning?
You and I were set on this earth at this exact time, not on accident, but for a purpose. I say, let’s live into it! I say, it’s go, time!
I say, let’s throw off distractions and ideas that so easily entangle us, and instead run the race marked out for us. We have an awesome coach. He has a perfect strategy. He called us to his team. And with the weapons and teammates he has provided, we will reach the end of the course victorious.
Suit up, friends. It is time to throw down the weapons and battles that we weren’t meant to fight. And take up the ones we’ve been given in Christ, aiming to push back the darkness one act of kindness, honor, service, praise, prayer and love at a time.
Divided we’ll fall.
United we’ll stand.