"Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man." Proverbs 3:3-4
There are moments when I find myself longing for simpler days.
When I was younger (and perhaps chose to be blind) and the world seemed less---whatever it is now. Not that I want to be a child or teenager again. I don't dismiss the lessons I've learned over the years through struggle and even pain.
God fashioned me into the woman I am today by guiding me through the desert, up the mountain, and into the valley. He is still doing so. Looking back now, I can even say I'm thankful for the experience.
No. What troubles me can be found in the ever expanding world of social media, online platforms, and a society which believes to know a person's heart is to view their activism, political leanings, or place of employment. Where to say you believe what the Bible teaches is anathema. A world through which the popular cultures' understanding of "tolerance" negates it's true meaning.
My husband asks "Why does this surprise you? The Bible tells us to expect it." This is true.
In John 15: 18-25 (NLT) JESUS says “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
There is no denying the truth of what the Lord said (obviously). But as I have watched the events of this week unfold, I cannot help but feel a burden for the church.
I must stop and pray for those who are spewing hatred against her. The vitriol being spoken to people face to face, written in blog posts, shared on social media outlets (on all sides) tears at me. My heart breaks over this world which needs to know the LOVE of our SAVIOR so desperately---but have they experienced it this week? Even as some have been undeservedly maligned or repudiated, has (or will) the response emulate peace-making from the whole?
"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians 3:12 (NLT)
The BRIDE is in danger of being influenced by the world on many fronts. Deceptive beliefs and false gospels have crept into the minds of those who teach within the church. Too few who follow Christ can say they read, know, or stand upon God's word. My soul is burdened with this reality.
Here is what I cannot help but wonder.
As we rally to the sound of the marshal's call, waging war on humanity's "social front", are we missing the true spiritual battle which wages beneath? My spirit says "yes". Our adversary has already breached "the battlements". How far do we let his forces go before we give up "the keep"?
But then the Holy Spirit reminds me of His truth upon which we (the church) must always stand---
"The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 (ESV)