The photo attached to this post gives a quick sense of what I want to say. Before us is something beautiful, wonderful and worth pursuing, but also significantly challenging. Should we look at what is ahead and think it is too difficult, and shrink back, or rather be encouraged at the grandeur that lies ahead and press on?
The calling of God is upon us, and those with us, to pursue Christ, and to share the apostolic message he commissioned in us. This is the message that changes hearts and churches, and brings God’s kingdom alive within people. This is the message that has changed us. Out there is a world full of perils. There are the oppositions to the gospel that all believers face, but there is also the false apostolic movement, with its external appearance that looks good, but doesn’t carry the heart of Christ. It is another hierarchical, systematic and institutional thing, which hinders the real apostolic. Thus as Paul observed, there are enemies within and without, although frequently the enemies within are our brothers and sisters in Christ, who are well meaning, but misinformed. There are also enemies within ourselves, such as apathy, tiredness, despair, and doubt. These are often spiritually induced, but we wrongly feel them, and think they are just us.
There is a fight for the establishing of the apostolic message, and this is a battle fought on our knees. Paul showed us in Ephesians chapter six that our wrestle isn’t with people, and our weapons are prayer, faith, patience, willingness, peace and the word of God.
As a new year lies before us, what we need isn’t new year resolutions about what we will do better or different, but resolve; resolve to do what Christ called us to do.
Nothing can be more certain than this, if we start towards that which God has placed before us, and if we have his help, we will arrive where God intends for us to arrive. And if this destination is the city of God, then we most certainly will give our efforts to that cause.
Resolve these things with me today:
- Resolve to pray for the establishing of the apostolic message in the nations.
- Resolve to listen and do what Christ is calling us to.
- Resolve to be a part of everything God is doing through Peace. (if you are a part of Peace)
- Resolve to love other Christians, especially those not of your own congregation. Leap at any opportunity to serve them, love them, and change their opinions about you.
This is a winnable war.