Thursday, March 20, 2008
An Invincible Army
We live in a seemingly hopeless world. People absolutely everywhere I look seem wrapped up in the things of this world. Some are homeless, often chained to the results of bad earthly decisions. Some are going through life seemingly successful, but rooted in absolutely nothing that will survive the great shaking that is to come. Others profess to be Believers, yet have no clue what freedom and joy even are. Even a great majority are striving to be good Christians, pleasing God with their lips, duties and service, awaiting the return of Jesus or their own death, in order to provide them with escape. Friends, we must understand the greater purpose! There is meaning to this life! I get so uneasy when I hear Believers talk about how they can’t wait to be rescued from all of this. So many have a “I just hope I can survive all of this and get whisked away to Heaven” mentality. Don’t get me wrong, I too long to be with my Father, free of this flesh and the worlds wages of years in sin. But, just as Jesus in His days, I too can make a difference here. I can find joy here. I can be at peace here. In the midst of the chaos, sin and despair, I can walk in my purpose.
I’ve recently decided to daily proclaim that I, via the Risen One that indwells me, will be the one that dictates my surroundings. I will allow the Holy Spirit that lives within me to establish the atmosphere. I’m dead to this world and alive in Christ – an alien. Therefore I’m not subject to all the depression and hopelessness of this carnal world. I am now seated in heavenly places with my Jesus and every step that I take, He takes. This is not some Sunday School, “Jesus is in my heart” kind of fuzzy feeling either folks. This is power, this is authority, this is not an emotion! I’ve been finding over and over again in the Word that I am now with Christ. I’m not just in Him or around Him or in occasional interaction with Him. I am with Him and He is with me. Colossians 2 says that I was “buried with Him” and I was “made alive together with Him”. Chapter 3 states that I was “ raised up with Christ” and I am now “hidden with Christ in God”. Do you realize what this means? The Son of the Living God – the One who conquered death and the grave – the Beginning and the End – He has chosen to be with me and I am with Him.
Let me speak metaphorically for a moment in order to make this as clear as possible. Imagine that it’s midnight and you’re downtown in a large metro area that you’ve never been to before. It’s 2 AM and there’s no one in sight, just some papers quietly blowing across the streets in the wind. You’re alone. Out of the corner of your eye, you see movement in the shadows of an alley and you see emerging a handful of roughed up thugs who look pretty intimidating. They proceed to walk directly up to you and threaten to steal all of your belongings and then take your life. You’re alone, you’re helpless – you are completely subject to the evil desires of these men and you have no chance whatsoever.
Welcome to the majority of this world in which we live. Scared, alone and without hope of victory. They are surrounded by evil and feel that it’s just the way it is. They’re doing their best to cope with it and cannot. Daily, murder suicides are reported – why? They are scared, alone and feel that there is no escape.
Now let’s run the same scenario up to the point where I stated that you were alone. This time, you walk down the city streets surrounded by a vast army. They form walls around you that are so thick and tight that no one can even see you in the midst of them. If the thugs are actually ignorant enough to attack you, they will be apprehended and removed upon the orders of their Master. Most enemies will tremble and flee in fear, knowing that they have no chance to conquer you, this guarded one. This is what we have when we are with Jesus and He is with us. He is the army, He is the undefeatable, victorious, invincible One! Our enemies are His enemies. Our battles are His battles. He is the Victor – always. For the sake of making this as clear as possible, it’s like the Verizon Network commercials – when you get Jesus, you get all of the resources and armies of Heaven surrounding you at your disposal. The “competition” sees this great army and knows that they have no chance whatsoever – victory is sure.
The problem is, the majority of Believers today are too afraid to even let their kids play with “lost” kids - thinking that they will become infected or contaminated. We have “Christian” everything now - Christian basketball leagues, Christians-only parties, gatherings and celebrations. Christian candles, Christian lotions, Christian golf tees! I cannot explain to you how I tremble in my spirit when I think of God’s hatred for these things. I personally believe that He is not amused. We are not to be of the world, but folks, we are in it! We are not hidden with Christ to stay locked up in our Christian bubbles! We are hidden with Him in order to safely encounter this lost and dying world with His great love. I say WE MUST BE THE INFECTORS! WE MUST BE THE VICTORIOUS OVERCOMING ONES! WE MUST ESTABLISH THE ATMOSPHERE THAT IS AROUND US! WE MUST ABSOLUTELY DICTATE OUR SURROUNDINGS! We can no longer be spiritual pansies tip-toeing upon this earth, hoping no one causes us to backslide or fall into sin. (gasp!)
A dead man cannot be infected – I am dead. Dead to sin, alive in Christ. Though my flesh is dead, my spirit is alive and well. From that place, from my innermost being where the Holy Spirit resides, I can bring forth life. So, I end this with a question for you. Are you dead? I don’t care if you attend a church, I don’t care if you said a prayer once. I surely don’t care about how flashy your Christian rhetoric is. Are you daily dying to your carnal flesh and submitting everything to the Lord? True victory will never come if it’s rooted in our flesh, abilities or strengths. I must embrace the fact that I am now with Christ and He is with me. He is invincible, He has never known defeat, He has never been conquered. Even at what many deem as His “weakest moment”, He was a mighty warrior, willingly laying down His own life in order that you and I might live. That, my friend, is strength, that is power, most importantly, that was immeasurable love, worthy of my everything.
If you know Him and He knows you, stand up straight and strong today. It’s not about pride or being better than anyone else – it’s about realizing what a life with Jesus Christ is all about. Let’s lay aside our “well, we don’t want to offend anyone” or “I’m just doing the best that I can to be a good Christian” mentality and get busy being new creation Believers! I say, “Lord assemble a great army in these last days! I call forth laborers for the field – sons and daughters that see their value, their purpose and You, our hope of glory! You are a mighty King, a Warrior, seated in Heavenly places now interceding for me. Assemble an army Lord! Send us to the front lines to engage the enemy! We will no longer be found hiding wounded and fearful in the bushes, cowering in disbelief and doubt. Raise us up, enable us – we raise high Your banner and declare that You are Lord and we are, even now, with you here upon this earth!”