If all the posts I planned to write actually made their way to this page, I would be the most prolific blogger in history. But, I stop more than I finish. I can’t write what my conscience considers “fluff.” I want my words to have substance; I want them to be genuine. I definitely don’t want them to be rehearsed.
So, I just finished reading a pre-release copy of Levi Lusko’s “Through The Eyes Of A Lion.” I’ll write much more about it later, but, in summary, the point behind the work is that you have a purpose and every moment of your life should be devoted to that purpose. It’s just one of the things that has me doing some soul-searching.
In my daily time with Oswald Chambers today, he wrote that I could actually speak so well that it could get in the way of people hearing from the Holy Spirit. He said that I could be a distraction by being good at what I do. I’d never thought of that before. I felt like I could be a hindrance to Him being able to speak through me, but I never considered the possibility of “excellence” in my economy being an excuse for someone else to miss the point. So, although this isn’t a sermon, if you really like the way that I have with words, please ignore the writer and hear what’s written. SEE what’s coming from my heart, because I believe that even here Jesus desires to speak through me. All of our words are important; none of them are designed to be “throw away.” I want to say something REAL when I write, and I want it to be a means to cause you to think and maybe be changed not by my writing but by what the Holy Spirit wants to say to you through it.
My heart has been especially heavy since the first couple of days of our first summer camp back in early June. It was the day that the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that wasn’t unexpected at all. But, when I read the news on my iPhone during a break in the action, I couldn’t help but feel like something shifted that day. It seemed clear to me that society changed course and was set on a path that she would never come back from. The majority of people would probably tell you that it was a good thing, that it had been a long time coming, that it was progress. I am certain that isn’t the case. In my spirit, I felt for this first time the clear recognition that we were heading for our end.
It wasn’t just about that issue. I had been watching the racial tensions in our nation explode for months listening to people try to explain it away. People trying to deny that systemic racism still exists in our country. People saying that blacks need to let bygones be bygones like they could even understand the depth of the generational scars handed down by the heinous behavior of our ancestors both historic and even contemporary. A camper from our 2014 season was on the run with a convicted sex offender which indicated that there was something she was trying to escape from in the first place that would lead her to leave with a man she didn’t even know that was more than twice her age. Jesus followers on the other side of the world were losing their lives, heads being separated from their bodies, by people spewing such hatred that it makes me cringe still just thinking about it. It had been a rough year, and it rose to a crescendo that day. I knew that in America something had been lost.
I can honestly say that I’ve heard that the end is near all of my life. I’m 43 years old, and I was hearing it 30 plus years ago as an elementary school student. We’ve lamented the state of the world for the whole of my existence, and, if I’m to be honest, I’d become desensitized to it. So, I’ve soldiered on thinking there is probably a lot more existence out there beyond me than I’ll see. I believe that God’s still got plans, but the fruition of them will likely happen long after I’m gone. I’d settled on being in at the ground floor, but I’d never truly believed I would see the conclusion of anything. I’ll celebrate in Heaven when those who will be here to see it meet up with me up there long after I’m gone.
Over the past few weeks, a change has taken place inside of me. I’ve steadfastly stated for a few years now that I believe there will be a supernatural awakening in our country before Jesus returns to bring all things to conclusion. I’ve said it with conviction. I can’t find it anywhere in myself to believe that God is finished here. But, I fear that I actually convinced myself that I would have a minimal role in that event. I decided that I was just a part of the workforce laying some sort of foundation that others would build on, and I wouldn’t actually be a part of the “real action.” I’ve decided that I was wrong.
I’ve decided that I will ask the questions and sound the call. “Why not here?” “Why not now?” “Why not us?” “Why can’t we be at ground zero for the next great awakening that brings Jesus back to center of our country and culture?” I WANT to be in the action! But, I now know that it will not look like what most of the people in American churches have in mind. We aren’t going to change anything by being “for something” or “against something.” I’m pretty sick of the church being defined by those phrases. It was never meant to be that way.
There is no leader, parliament, or court that can legislate the things of God. I’ve read numerous writings in the past few weeks from people much smarter than me who have said, in essence, nothing has changed. Society has decided they aren’t going to go along with God’s way of doing things, but it hasn’t changed a thing He set as true from before the foundations of time. So, let’s stop expending ridiculous amounts of energy trying to get things back to the way they used to be. Scripture tells us that’s not going to happen. It’s time for the Church to play the hand it has been dealt with the only culture changing tool it has: love.
Jesus states clearly in John 13 that if we’re going to be identified as His disciples it will be based on how we love. Moreover, it won’t be just how we love them, but how we love each other. You see, the hardest part of the past few weeks for me is the cracks that have been exposed inside of the Church. The truth is that there are clear dividing lines between us. We don’t agree on basic Biblical principles, so we go to war with each other which makes everyone on the outside wonder why they should even listen to us. We must stand firm on the truth, but we have to stop taking each other into the coliseum to throw ourselves to the lions. If you know Christians who are absolutely wrong in their stance on an issue, agree to disagree and love them well. It’s God’s job to bring them to a proper understanding of Scripture….not you. Let’s calm the noise within, so we can make a difference without.
And, about those outside of the walls, love them no matter how far “off the reservation” they may be. Welcome the opportunity to know them and be a part of their lives. We rub shoulders everyday with people who don’t know Jesus, and if we want them to even entertain the notion of Him, we have to display Him in the way He always wanted us to with love and compassion. Nobody ever compromised the truth by loving someone and caring about what they were going through. Love them well, spend time with them, KNOW them. It’s the only way you’re ever going to be a difference maker in their live
People need Jesus. Time is short. He’s chosen us to help Him reach them. Awakening is coming. I’ve chosen to participate….will you?