New Year's Blog
In this my New Years blog, I personally need to be reminded that I am not born to be passive, to sit back and watch the world around me go by and not enter into it. Possibly I am too tired, too worn out or too busy to care, I’m not sure, but I know it has to change.
Life is a battle, I am not sure if you have recognized that yet, perhaps if you are young this thought is beginning to dawn in your mind. If you are in the middle of life, you have surely seen a few battles and are possibly in the middle of one right now. If you are at the sun setting years of life, you have battle scars, you have large ones and small ones, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that life contains battles.
Oh life can contain joy, delight, humor and suspense, but life also contains battles. No one is immune.
A battle can beat you down or it can make you stronger. A quote I love is “God does not give his hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.”
I am a tough old bird, I am aging: grey hair, wrinkles, sags and bags where there were none. I have battle scars, lots of them and I am only now beginning to know that those scars are badges of confidence. I made it through! God was with me, never left me but I had to enter into the battle and wage my war, wield my sword and fight. I could have fallen down and stayed down, but I chose to get back up, take up my sword, put the armour back on and fight some more. Over and over and over. I imagine I will be fighting til the day I get taken to heaven.
As we enter into 2018, I am filled with excitement. Prophetically the year 2018 is called the year of “Now”. It is a new season, unprecedented before in history. God is upping His game, He is calling His army to come to attention. His army is His followers, His church.
I am not talking about “the church” as in a building or even the people in the building, I am talking about people who are invested in living their life the way God has told them to, the way Jesus did.
God is declaring Himself in new ways. We are being told to go out into the world, come alongside people and show them church. We are not to play church, we are to be the church.
A lot of people sitting in church pews are there because they want to be “safe”, they can sit comfortably and they are there because they feel they have to be. They believe that if you live a “Godly life” you will prosper and be safe and taken care of. They live by rules otherwise known as religion: that philosophy is found nowhere in the Bible.
Jesus was not a religious guy. As a matter of fact His strongest words were to the “church” the Jewish leaders and rabbis of His time, that is why those were the people who had Him killed. They found Jesus a threat to their doctrine and beliefs.
Jesus has not changed. He still hates religion, He hates rules.
Jesus is all about relationship. His chosen 12, the disciples were a raggedy bunch at best. They were not the elite, the well dressed, the rich or the smartest. He chose everyday people, fishermen, tax collectors, tent makers. When God wanted to announce Jesus’ birth to the world, He chose shepherds, not the church. The ordinary people, nothing much has changed.
And yet as we enter into 2018 everything has changed.
The country that we founded on Christian morals and principles, the country have counted on to have our backs as Christians is turning against us. Even though scripture is embedded into the walls of parliament and the Peace Tower, on national monuments – the Bible is being ignored, and God is being moved out of our country, nations and schools. Now it is not God’s fault but rather the blame lies with us His people.
God does not ignore this.
He is calling His army to rise, to have a voice. He is calling His church, His people to mount up in ways they have not before. To be the church by taking love, His love to the world. The world has not seen God’s love, they have heard about it, but it is truly not a well-known entity. The world instead knows our prejudices, our pride, our rules, our unforgiveness, our judgments and our differences. It is time to show them the difference. God promises that love wins – every time.
Love is an action word, it is not a "feeling"; love is a verb not a noun, it requires us to do something, not feel something. Sometimes it can be darn hard and sometimes it requires sacrifice and always love costs something - you see you have to give it away. Love often says "yes" but there are many times where love has to say a definite "no". For example I love my children and when they were little I stood my ground if they decided to go play out in the traffic. When we love, we do what is best for the other person and sometimes it is "no".
God is calling His army to advance and take back territory that belongs to God, which historically has been dedicated to God. Canada is a nation founded in prayer and it was given the physical and spiritual role of Peace Keeping and yet we often find we are fighting each other within our borders. He is calling His army to take back their families, their sons and daughters who have wandered off course, through prayer and love. He is looking for a people not afraid to fall on their knees and pray; to pray for their families and their enemies; to petition the gates of heaven on behalf of their countries and the nations.
His mandate is to be an Army of prayer and love, warriors who will not take no for an answer. People who will turn off the tv, turn off their phones and spend time with God and others. He wants to be represented by people who love Him and love others in radically and profound ways. He wants good Samaritans, people who are willing to cross the street to love their enemies.
He wants an army who look very much like Himself: selfless, determined, passionate, praying, believing, fearless and willing to die for His cause. He wants me and He wants you.