This one is hard. I have realized in the past few months that I haven’t been listening to worship music, reading my Bible, or worshipping.
It’s hard to say that, but the hardest part has been to dig down and understand why. That requires being really honest with yourself. That requires being really honest about what is happening outside of you and how it’s affecting you.
I started with thinking about how much I love Jesus. I had to ask myself if that had changed. The answer was a resounding NO! I love Jesus. I see Jesus in the most real way. I see Him, body broken for me. I remember the holiest moment in my life when I laid down my burdens and arose as an heir to the thrown of Christ- a daughter of God the Father. Everything changed.
I will never forget the moment of being baptized in a mineral water pump in the middle of a farmer’s field in Mexico. I will never forget what it meant to lay down my life to pursue the heart of Christ. My answer to Him is still yes. He is my Savior and King who ransomed me.
This is where things became really hard. If I didn’t feel differently about Jesus, why couldn’t I be with Him and worship? I had to think about what was really going on in my heart. It’s easy to become numb in the days we are living in. I was numb.
Seeing everything that has been happening, numbed me bit by bit. I was numbed by anger and frustration. I was numbed by heartache and deep sorrow. The world has been turned upside down, but my world has been hit hard in the last few years. It’s been tsunami upon tsunami that have crashed on me over and over. They had broken me.
I feel those things in a deep place. My heart hurts when I see no justice where there should be. My heart hurts deeply when I see God’s children be abandoned to be led astray in a time when we need each other and the sustaining sufficiency of God.
Instead of that, the Bride has been given something completely different. We haven’t been protected by the calling out of lies and heresy and racism and white supremacy. The church as a whole did not take a position on the danger in what so many sheep are chasing.
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Romans 16:17-20
It’s right there. God knew the days would come when we would need these truths, and instead of embracing wisdom and sober judgement, the Church left the sheep to fend for themselves and chase down a rhetoric that is destroying the world on a global scale. People now feel entitled to their own facts, their own “truths.” Taking no position is taking a position.
Hear me now: I am not saying the church should endorse a political candidate or call for votes from the pulpit, but there should be a willingness to call out ideology and rhetoric that is contrary to the truth of the gospel- no matter who is saying it. That’s where I’ve been. That’s what I’ve been crushed by over and over and over the last few years.
The bride. My brothers and sisters in Christ aren’t seeing what their endorsements does to people who don’t look like them or live like them. They aren’t trying to feel the pain and grief others are feeling. Instead, they want to be comforted and told they are right. They want to live believing lies and not caring about the fact that everyone’s story isn’t their story. Instead, there are so many who have been hardened and have replaced evangelism of the gospel of Jesus for the gospel of nationalism.
The unwillingness of the church to condemn this rhetoric makes the church complicit. They are watching the wolves devour their sheep. Lie upon lie, people are choosing something else as their highest treasure. That treasure is not Jesus and does not reflect His character.
I volunteered with a ministry for years. There was a guest speaker who came in and shared things contrary to the gospel, and no one leading that ministry stopped it. I left. After, I talked to a leader who understood and saw the lies and misinformation in what were said, but their response was, “Well, we are just going to trust the Lord with that and let Him work it out.”
That was the last night I ever volunteered there because NO! That is not what you do when a wolf is in the midst of your sheep- teeth bared, lies on their tongue, ready to kill, steal, and destroy. You go to battle. You do what David did, and you kill the danger with your own hands. You don’t stand back and watch people and families get destroyed. You fight the fight for the truths of God and the gospel. The danger of the wolf in this rhetoric not being condemned because that sends a message too.
I wrote a post yesterday that was filled with things I needed lifted off me. I was able to listen to worship music for the first time after writing that. David Crowder. They were one of the first Christian bands I ever heard. I went back to those places where these feelings weren’t heavy on me. I sang and prayed and remembered. It cleansed something in me.
I needed to get it out of my heart. I’m hurting and discouraged, but I’m praying for the church today. I still love Jesus and all His people. I hope that something changes for all our sakes. It is destroying something in me to watch so many people I love and respected being devoured by what is happening and what they are choosing.
The bride is worth being protected. The body is worth being protected. I am worth being ministered to through the whole intention of God’s heart for me, and we should never have to grieve those losses of the dedication of God’s people to His truth and character.
I hope you’ll join me in praying for the church and each other. On the other side of this election and devastating year, we will still need each other.