What Book are You Reading?

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” -James 4:17

I’ve been re-reading one of my old favorites lately: All Creatures Great and Small by beloved country vet James Herriot. It’s a welcome respite from the constant barrage of bad news; a delightful retreat into a simpler time..except now that I think about it, England was on the precipice of World War II at the time and Hitler was already Hitlering.

Sigh.

There is wisdom in not being bombarded with all the terrible going on in the world all the time. But there is also wisdom in knowing there is a very real war going on all around us. It is a war for our peace, for our children, for our nation, and, ultimately, for our souls.

The not-so-great divide, causing rifts in once-close relationships, is one evidence of this war. It’s not hard to understand why Christians and non-believers hold different viewpoints on the cause and solutions to today’s pain points: You can’t be on the same page if you’re not reading the same book.

For those of us who hold the Bible as the only trustworthy source of Truth, we see the “why” behind the “what” quite clearly.

The enemy advances.

Deception. Depravity. The insatiable lust for power over others. All symptoms of the disease within. And I’m not talking about Covid. We see the ramifications of this inner decay on grand display throughout the earth: sex trafficking, adultery, murder, rape, greed, etc.

Humans are great. Great sinners, that is. It comes naturally to us. All of us. And without the sacrifice of Christ standing between us and what we rightly deserve, each one of us is headed for eternal suffering as payment for our wickedness.

As Christians, it’s our job to collaborate with God and present the only alternative to a dying world: a life lived in joyful relationship and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Modern sensibilities recoil at the word submission, I know. But all of us will submit to God, one way or another, in the end. So much better to do it now, while grace is still very much available.

What does this have to do with all the garbage happening around us? Everything. I think an insidious sort of Christian fatalism has given false comfort to many these days. God is in control, we say, so we can just stop showing up for a season because life is scary.

Christian, do not lose sight of the fact that we’ve always lived in a terrifying world. We are the only ones without cause to be terrified. So, to the frontlines we must go.

That will look different for everyone. For some, it is raising children to love and fear the Lord; shielding and strengthening their young minds against the lies the world will throw at them. For others, it is speaking up when we see danger ahead, even when we know we will be mocked for it. For some, it will mean running for public office in order to temper the onslaught of ungodly influence in government and schools. For others, it’s meeting the needs of neighbors who can’t do for themselves right now. For all of us, it’s refusing to live in terror and acknowledging there’s no such thing as safety outside of Christ.

There’s a dying world who needs to see us living differently, together, as the church. We cannot walk this Christian life alone, or even online. Satan loves to isolate us and wreak havoc with our minds. If you can be in community with other believers, you absolutely should. If you are in danger of grave illness from Covid, be wise and serve God where you are or within a limited circle. Most of us, thankfully, are able to engage in person without fear for our lives.

I don’t know what it will look like for you, but what I do know is that if you’re reading the same book I’m reading, God has called you to be on mission with him and your local church. Now. Today. There is no pause button! Satan isn’t taking a day off, let alone a couple years, and we can’t, either.

The war rages all around us. We are called to fight back.

God has called us for such a time as this. Yes, this!!!

Fight.

Angela

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