It's 2020 and the world seems to be busting at the seams with strife, division, infighting and chaos. As a person of faith, sometimes its hard to distinguish when do we fight and when do we pray or when do we get quiet. We know already that God's plan will prevail because ultimately He is the master of the Universe. Yet we can find ourselves in a pickle of how to express our faith outside the 4 walls of church when the world is screaming back at us.
Well, the battle that is happening right now is not a battle of physical forces, although we see that, yet it is a battle of spiritual forces colliding to see who will control the people. Thankfully, we know that in the end Christians have victory, but in the here and now on this physical earth, it seems that victory is elusive. Why would victory be elusive? And, I am not speaking of political victory or economic victory, but of victory in the spiritual. The remnants of the fruit of the spirit, the witnessing of faith and salvation, the expression of love for our neighbor, the speaking of truth to the lies of satan.
I would venture to say that victory is elusive because we have watered down our faith. We have aligned our faith with the trends of the day, shrinking back of speaking God's truth so as not to make anyone uncomfortable or awkward. We have become, in general, a pop culture faith where we seek the popularity and approval of the people rather than the approval of God. God's word is without err, yet somehow we have skipped over some of the difficult to digest parts of the gospel so that we can get more members. And while we get more members, we have less discipleship and thus have fewer people who can speak the truth in love, understanding that what we are fighting for is light versus dark, good versus evil, truth versus lies. We have more people bending the word to the fit the culture and co-opting scripture for pop culture approval.
And this may even seem harsh to say it so one dimensionally because people are so multidimensional. Yet we also know that God's love is wide and big and all encompassing. Yet he doesn't leave that out. It's precisely because of His love that he lavishes upon us that he is calling us to come out, to share the gospel, to speak boldly to those who may not know him.
Recently I was at a spa shortly after some of the Covid restrictions had been lifted. The young lady working the front desk and attending to me struck up a conversation. In typical polite fashion, she asked, "how are you doing?" I proceeded to tell her up front it had been a rough week, that I had some things going on that tugged at my heart. Then I simply looked her in the face and asked her, "Are you a believer?" She got excited and said "YES!" We then had a God ordained moment of conversation and encouragement of one another. God is in the business of connecting us to what we need when we need it. In that moment, I needed to share God's love and have it reverberated back to me. Later while I was in my float pod - which is 10 inches of body temperature salt water - in complete silence and rest, a light entered my room and came over my like a blanket. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit giving me comfort and peace beyond all understanding. I embraced it momentarily, then like Peter on the water, I got a little scared and opened my eyes. God's assurance had come over me. I will always know what it means to have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Why, because I opened up myself to share the good news of Jesus Christ when my life wasn't perfect or looking great and I felt vulnerable. The good news isn't the good news only when things are in order or set up nicely. In fact, the good news is the good news because we can share are love of God in ways that may not be in alignment with the things that are occurring around us. By opening up the conversation and inviting God into the dialogue, He made his presence know. After all, where two or more are gathered God is with us.
The session ended and the gal and I embraced like sisters who hadn't seen each other in years. We didn't know each other beyond that moment, but the love of God had connected us for that space and time to carry one another's burdens and to invite the Holy Spirit into that place. When I see this young lady I get excited because I know that God is in her, and, hopefully, she too will have the boldness to say to someone randomly, "Are you a believer?"
It is this time in our world to share God's love, joy, and full embrace with others around us. We are made for a time such as this. A time of chaos, of unrest, of civil disobedience, identity politics, and extreme disdain for the christian experience. God is prompting us to boldly speak the truth in love and witness to others about the expansive love of Christ. He is also reminding us to not put on airs or think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We need to be praying, to humble ourselves, repent and seek his face. He doesn't call non-believers to this scripture, but his people. We are his people, we are his light. Now is the time because. we are created for such a time as this.