It has amazed me throughout this pandemic how loud the media has shouted and how quiet the church has remained.
It’s been eerily quiet, except for shouts, concerns and finger-points of who should do what, when and how.
It has amazed me how quickly the whole world has given up their freedom and personal rights, even here in America, under the guise of health, security and even “common decency.”
It has been eerily obvious, except for the shouts, concerns and warning signs thrown up by those who recognize this is not what the Constitution nor our Declaration of Independence provides.
Maybe you’ve not read that part recently.
Let me refresh your memory… (Declaration of Independence)
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”
Who gave you the right to remove my rights? Who gave you the approval to dictate to me where I can go, what I can buy, who I can see and where I can eat?
This happens in Communist countries day after day.
This happens in Socialist countries when a crisis arises.
Because the people are dependent upon a higher power to provide.
No matter your political persuasion, if you call yourself an American, don’t get mad and move on.
No matter your religious integration, if you call yourself a Christian, don’t get offended and scroll past.
Please, stay with me here.
It has amazed me how quickly businesses shut down, the economy faltered, and the wallets closed for trade all over the world.
It has been eerily hasty, except for the small businessman who just altered his delivery of food, except for the churches who simply worked a new vantage point to proclaim the gospel, except for the volunteers who said, “Not on my watch, will you struggle and falter alone.”
It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people shut their doors, curtained their windows, and shielded their mouths.
It was eerily fervent, except for those who cried out for mercy, except for those who swung wide the welcome for shelter, except those who ran to the needy to provide and proclaim a message of freedom.
It has amazed me how quickly many of God’s people walked in fear rather than faith, claiming to rely on the educated, the enlightened, those “in the know.”
It was eerily evident, except for those who called in God’s Name for deliverance, protection and wisdom, except for those who proclaimed His peace, His hope, His love, despite the storm or the outlook, except for those who stepped forward in cautious optimism to say, “He can save. Look up! The Best is yet to come!”
I write this today, not to stir debate, not to bring condemnation, and by no means to try to trivialize the sickness nor glorify a rebellion.
I only write to stir your heart to prayer, to bring conviction where there has been terror and to proclaim His victory over a he darkness.
If we call ourselves Americans, we should never relent our freedom so easily, no matter the declared crisis.
If we call ourselves Christians, we should never surrender our faith and our fight so easily, no matter the size of the giant.
To slay the giant, never proclaim the intricate details of your foe until you have proclaimed the meticulous victories, promises and testimonies of your God!!
2 Samual 17 … read it again, and become like David, not like the Israelites. Walk in courage rather than fear. Ask about the spoils for the triumph. Declare the victory is God’s not yours…nor theirs!
I saw this picture the other day, and it struck a chord in my soul. Sometimes, we work hard to hide the scars we’ve obtained through the valleys of life. Many times, a scar leaves us with the memory of what is broken and marred. Often times, we try to cover the scar with a smile, a laugh or a seeking to remain in the shadows, thinking somehow, if the scar is never seen, the wounds and the pain will magically disappear as well.
I have found this statement to be so very true. “Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.”
Growth, strength and healing is all in perspective. Let truth be your guide. Let love be your light, and let hope be your destiny despite the scars with which you travel.
Hold your head high and embrace those things that remind you of the struggle, of the wrestling for the next breath, and always remember, your scars don’t make you a victim, unless you choose for them to be.
When you take care of you, and you remove toxic, dangerous or destructive people from your life, it’s okay to burn a few bridges. It’s not mean. It’s not hateful. It’s not even a spiteful act on your part (granted, you don’t add a lot of hatefulness in words or actions😉). Just burn that bridge and move beyond.
That girlfriend who chased you down, and then, went a bit psycho when you needed some space… yeah, burn that number.
That boyfriend who beat you to a pulp, and then, said he was sorry, wouldn’t do it again… yep, need to light a little fuse.
That childhood friendship whose crises-to-crises living is sucking the life from your veins… yes, close that door, burn that rope.
That old flame who wanted you to cheat on your spouse just so he/she could “make you feel alive” one more time… yeah, you better take that lighter fluid and pour the whole can out.
I’d like to ask our modern culture and our “evolved” Christian believers, when did we get to the place where Truth cannot be spoken for fear of offenses and Sin cannot be confirmed for fear of judgement? If we are a follower of Christ, Truth is absolute and irrevocable, and sin is sin, not “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.” It just is, because God deems it so.
When did we get to the point where we care more that we not offend someone than we do about their very souls? When did we get to the point where we work so hard to preach grace that we forsake the reality of sin, hell and an eternal death? If we read the Bible, from the front cover to the very last page, God is so very clear.
We’ve come to the place where we’d rather argue, too often quite hatefully, with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the possible offenses taken or not taken over an issue rather than the merits of truth. We’d rather drum up dissension over the intentions of someone’s words rather than seek His Word for His truth on the subject at hand. We’d rather slash the hearts of our fellow kinsmen, and in turn, wound those who are listening and trying to find their own answers, rather than speak with love AND truth and let the Holy Spirit bring forth His conviction and mercy.
It sounds too much like the arguments of old when men and women would argue over the color of the pews and the length of the choir robes while their babies were battling issues of sex, drugs and rock and roll. It smells too much like the wayward youth of decades past who fought so hard for their independence and their owns rights that they forsook the ancient boundaries set before them to show them the only way. It looks too much like the sly dealings of darkness who always brings forth confusion, contention and chaos in order to distract, disengage and devour those who are most vulnerable and afraid.
Wake up, Church. Lift up your eyes. Look upon the One whom we have pierced! Gaze upon His torn flesh, His stripes, His pierced hands and feet. He was wounded for OUR transgressions! He was bruised for OUR iniquities! It was not for someone else. It was for our own prideful stance. It was for our own arrogant words. Not a one of us is not guilty. Not a one of us is worthy of the mercy and grace He gives.
It is time for us to stop claiming our own opinions and laments as Gospel. It is time we stop doing what is right in our own eyes. Lives are at stake. The innocent lie within the balance.
It is time we all repent. Moses stood between the children of Israel and God’s burning wrath. Moses stood between the children of Israel and the armies of Pharaoh. Moses cried out to God for their lives to be saved. Moses was their hero. Yet, he could never have brought them to freedom had they not listen, followed and obeyed him! He was not God, but He did show them God, and they chose to receive.
I was walking down the back staircase of a hospital when I saw this mural. My husband chuckled when I stopped my descent to take a pic, but when told him it would be for a blog, he totally got it, because he’s amazing like that.
To every challenge, every improvement, every healing, every victory, there has to be a process of steps to bring you to that positive outcome. Courage, strength, endurance, recovery and accomplishing goals don’t just happen miraculously or overnight. There are always steps involved, and sometimes, those necessary steps have to be taken meticulously and can even be excruciating.
However, if you are willing to put forth the time, effort and tenacity to take them, you can reach your goal, and you can shout your victory!