I should probably issue a warning right about now. Before you read any further, you need to know this isn’t going to be a “typical” post for me. I’m feeling pretty feisty and I’m coming out swinging. I’m sick and tired of hell’s schemes on this planet. I’m sick and tired of playing nice. I’m ruffled and I’m riled. But it’s not bad– it’s good. It’s good because more than anything, my faith is rising. My faith is rising and it’s not “nice-nice” faith. It’s not polite faith. It’s indignant …
I’m sick and tired of God’s people being weighed down. I’m sick and tired of so many feeling oppressed and overwhelmed. I’m sick and tired of seeing so many running around in a crazy swirl of chaos that never seems to end.
We’re getting played, people. Most of the time we’re not even aware. If it were so obvious, we’d cry “Foul!” We’d call for reinforcements. We’d do something about it.
But the enemy’s work is devious. It’s insidious. And often it is oh, so subtle …
- It’s fear masquerading as wisdom
- It’s complacency pretending to be contentment
- It’s self-indulgence disguised as authenticity
- It’s laziness in the name of liberty
- It’s the spirit of religion purporting to be balance
- It’s condoning sin and calling it freedom
And, my personal favorite …
- It’s taking a lack of faith and personal responsibility and labeling it–of all things–“the will of God”
And no, I’m not just pointing a finger outwardly. Most of those bullets are pointed directly at me. I’m also not, for even one minute, neglecting the reality of God’s amazing grace. I love grace. (No–really–I LOVE grace.) I need grace. I can’t do a thing without it. And until you also have grasped grace–and I mean, you’ve really grasped it and you really get it–honestly, you should probably stop reading right now. You should forget every one of those bullet points and go immerse yourself in the love of God. Stay there until you know that you know grace. Because if you don’t have a true revelation of grace, you’re likely to get everything I’m saying backwards. You’re likely to get it wrong. You’re likely to feel offended — or defensive — or condemned — rather than compelled. Even worse, you might start to make a “to-do” list, rather than a “get-to-do” list.
And the Church doesn’t need any more people with “to-do” lists.
But we do need people–lots of people–with indignant faith.
People with faith that won’t let go. People who will keep wrestling until he blesses us. People who’ve survived in the wilderness, but know there is still a promised land. People who are willing to sacrifice everything to get there and make a way for others. People who clearly see the giants in the land, but who see God’s power and promises even more clearly. People who are willing to get over themselves and are ready to grow up. People who will press in and press on until we fully lay hold of that for which Jesus laid hold of us.
People who’ve glimpsed the more and absolutely refuse to settle for less.
People who actually believe God is who he says he is and that he will do what he says he will do.
That should be a no-brainer in the Church. But it’s not. Not by a long shot. Instead we’ve made a theology out of our unbelief. We’ve created an entire culture that is absolutely immersed in unbelief. If we don’t see much of God’s power, we conclude he must have changed his mind. This just isn’t the season for miracles. It’s just not “his will.” It’s not his will to give sight to the blind, to heal the sick, to bring freedom to captives, to deliver the tormented, to bring justice to the oppressed, to feed the hungry, to cause the lame to walk …
To raise the dead.
Well … um… last I checked, my Bible said God doesn’t change. And he has already clearly declared his will in all those areas.
He’s declared his will to any and all with ears to hear.
The fact is, God doesn’t change–but we do. We’re fickle. We’re weak. We’re impatient. We get tired. We don’t see the reality of certain things spoken of in the Word of God and–instead of hanging on like a bulldog saying “Let God be true and every man a liar!”–we change the way we “interpret” the Word. When we don’t understand the way things turn out, we create doctrine to assuage our disappointment. We look for loopholes to excuse our failing faith.
We give in to unbelief.
And when that happens, we get exactly what we’ve got in the Western church–a culture of predominately self-focused people with a mostly intellectualized and mostly powerless faith. We’re walking in defeat, making excuses, struggling to keep our heads above water–and just trying to “hold on” until Jesus returns.
Where is the victory in that? Where is the abundant life in that?
Where’s the kingdom in that?
Where’s “On earth as it is in heaven” in that?
Church, we are already seated in heavenly realms with Christ–far above the fray of this world. We’re not fighting for victory–we’re fighting to appropriate the victory that has already been won. We’re fighting to lay hold of that which is already ours. We’re fighting for “his will to be done and his kingdom to come, on earth as it is in heaven.”
And the only way we’ll ever do that is with FAITH …
Taking God at his word isn’t for sissies. That’s why so few do. It costs everything. But who cares? In his upside-down kingdom, the only way to actually find your life …
Is to lose it.
So, who’s in? Who’s ready to take back what’s ours? Who’s ready to stand? Who’s ready to stand in agreement with God’s heart; in agreement with his desires? Who’s ready to stand in faith … real faith …
The world is waiting to see.