A few years back, I was stuck in a rut with #TeamTotallyOutraged.
I was known for attacking ears (both the ears that did and did not want to hear) with the force of my indignation at the vile things daily birthed by humanity and the irreverent rebellion against God flooding our society. There’s no doubt I was ‘angry’ and I had (still have) every right to be. So-called believers seemed to just keep blaspheming and dishonouring my sweet, precious savior (Revelations 16:11), doing things that are as a slap to His face and all the while whispering, “grace“. Then there was (as always) the majority that made it clear what side of the fence they were on by letting their actions yell, TO HELL WITH GOD! So naturally, I couldn’t not be infuriated. But herein lay my folly:
That is all I chose to be. Infuriated! End of story.
In the heat of offence taking at one thing or the other that assaults our saved and sanctified senses, it’s very easy to forget we are called to much more than righteous indignation. Am I saying it’s wrong to take it personally when sin is bursting forth everywhere in Technicolor and the devil is working over time to get more people nice and flamed? Definitely not. We ought to hate what our Father hates and there’s nothing He hates more than sin. But He loved us enough to reach for us while we were drenched in and characterized by the nasty stuff, didn’t He? He didn’t hold any stops when He let His wrath to be poured out on Jesus on that cross. Did He still hate sin then? Yes. But did He choose to love ‘US’ (those of us who have received Him) out of it? YES! You see He loves the whole wide world but alas, His love alone isn’t going to get us to an eternity with Him, rescued from eternal damnation. We have a role to play. (Acts 17:30||Acts 20:21||2 Peter 2:21)
Matthew 25:46 says: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
Even if I wished you good luck with being righteous outside Jesus, it’d be worthless. God will never stop loving us but until we choose Him and keep Him as our choice, we stay separated.
We needed saving. We were all fallen – those of us who have now been redeemed. Steeped in sin and distant from glorious sanctity until Jesus came and changed it up in our favor, for our eternal good. His sacrifice was made in spite of the outrageous choice man made – sin over God. Despite all we opted to engage in with our hands, minds, home (earth), tongues, intelligence, bodies and every other gift He has blessed us with. We used His gifts to despise Him and though it passes for outrageous and must have been super annoying for Him to watch people He could very well wipe out in a blink repeatedly take Him for granted and seemingly get away with it, He didn’t let it influence His decision adversely. He delivered us and chose to bring us back to perfection in His love.
The world still needs Jesus. It is still fallen and we’re here to point those who are blind to sight in the Light. The church needs to remember: We have but ONE enemy. Satan. Any evil you see played out is birthed by him. He runs this earth and those yet to realise the beautiful redemption that awaits them in Christ. So when we see folks exhibit his traits of filthy evil, we ought to get upset about how he – a defeated, desperate, trying-super-hard-to-be-more-relevant-than-I-actually-am-right-now enemy – is toying carelessly with someone our saviour cherishes and bled his last drop of blood for, and then channel that vexation into relentless evangelism and fervent ceaseless prayer (while setting the godly example in every life aspect and being the truth you preach, of course)!
That’s a better example of what a useful response looks like.
Like I stated and re-iterated during the #OneLessWhinerChallenge in August, it’s one thing to get upset and another entirely harnessing emotions in a manner that will eventually yield beneficial, lasting results and solutions. The war is over – there’s no need to get hopeless or doubtful about God’s ability or the victory won in Christ Jesus, no matter how overwhelming the dismal headlines get and all the extra depressing situations that only seem to worsen. As 1 John 5:4 reminds us: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
The battle is still on though. Very much so. And the best way to stay battle ready is to train yourself (your Spirit man – your real man) by the word so you’re not merely tossed around by moods, feelings, circumstances and what have you. Don’t live as a reactor; responding to the provocations of the enemy as one caught unawares. Take action. Be the initiator. Be strong in faith and fervent in prayer. Be vigilant. Be compassionate and uncompromising. Be grounded in the word and mature in truth. Be faithful and ever increasing in the knowledge of God and in virtue. Be the light.
We are here as ambassadors. To shine God’s light and represent the Kingdom of heaven so the lost are drawn to the truth. Always ask yourself the questions of Romans 10:14 until they sink into your Spirit and bring conviction when the sinfulness escalating in the world is threatening to “get to you”:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
We are not called to merely make a fuss. We are called to reach out to those lost.
Christian, do your job.