One of the hardest things is not knowing what comes next. Especially when threats reach our doorstep. Generally, lists have a way of herding our steps. Whether on paper or written in our heads, patterns and boundaries seem to drive the hours. Plans, reservations, appointments. What’s on the schedule? What’s not on the schedule?
Then suddenly the lights go out, and we’re feeling our way through the dark.
We’re inclined to think wars like this arrive without warning. Not so for those known by the All-Knowing. The ones living on words from God’s mouth. Sojourners and pilgrims, agents of another Kingdom.
Clearly, plans are a required part of an orderly life. There’s getting to work. Kids need to catch buses and finish English. Bills need paying, meals need making. Elderly parents need attention, grand kids want affection. And truly, all these bring Spring in daily living. My ruminating isn’t about those things, but operating, thinking, responding like the spirit-born beings Jesus raised us to be. Because once we were lost, and now, through Jesus, having turned death upside down, our spirit is alive and well.
We run on earth, but we’re fed from heaven. We sleep in our beds, but we rest on His promises. We keep laws of right and wrong, but Grace sets us free from lawless living.
THE WAR WE CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE
Organic has become a popular word. Food companies spend gobs to get that seven-letter stamp across their packaging. We’re picking more dairy and produce based on its purity (or impurity) from hormones and pesticides. Scanning labels for preservatives. Willing to determine what helps or hurts these expiring bodies. Googling longer, stronger, healthier schedules.
But what about our spirit—the core of who the born again are? Is there cause for organic here? Shouldn’t we feed and exercise a stronger spirit for when we’re reviled, hated, defamed for Goodness sake? Are we exercising the divine in our mind? Heeding the Spirit’s leading? Ready to obey when He changes course—because we never know from where He comes, or where He goes to change the direction of all our hearts.
This is what the Spirit says to this church (hand on my own heart): How will a poorly fed spirit endure when the world comes apart, ends draw near? Are you taking for granted I am in here? What exactly are you exposing your God-given, image bearing sensitivities and vulnerabilities too? Are you cultivating pure, mature fruit for when the relationship takes a hit, your church lets you down, you bury your best friend, parents pass away, the kids move away, your body falters without any answers? ‘Cause you’ve been warned, like a million times—nothing’s off limits to the evil one when it comes to the limits of your skin.
“Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves.” (James 4:1 MSG)
Here’s the war we cannot afford to lose: the fight inside between darkness and light. Where, by the Light, temptation cannot defeat us. Good speaks up and evil shuts up.
It’s high time to live a higher life—blameless and harmless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Because legs weren’t made for this. Our spirit was reborn for this. The Lord is winning the war for the world’s heart—beginning with ours. Not firing for territory and power, surrendering for God’s glory and honor.
“Let us sharpen our swords to-night, and pray the Holy Spirit to nerve our arms for the conflict. Never battle so important, never crown so glorious. Every man to his post, ye warriors of the cross, and may the Lord tread Satan under your feet shortly!”
– Charles Spurgeon
We don’t love hypocritically. We bless when cursed, forgive like we have been. We don’t judge by appearance. We don’t harbor revenge. We foster reconciliation—even when we don’t like it—because we love Him. We don’t spend on gods that fizzle out, we abound in the One who only pours out. We are the people of God, who owe no one anything but to love.
Wars are won when the Spirit of God is winning in us.