I must admit that I’m happy in what author Mark Sayers calls “Non-Places.”(1) These are places where I have access to my digital world of music downloads, podcast, and my favorite T.V. dramas. Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook (even though Facebook can be stressful!) are ways to escape the harsh realities of the real world. Just give me a good book and a coffee shop and I’m content. I like to escape reality and retreat to my comfortable world. While these things can be good in moderation, they can also dry out our souls and distract us from God. The early Christians had to face the stark reality of death daily. The early Church, for the most part, was fearless. While I’m in no hurry to die and leave all my comforts – they lived like pilgrims, just passing through.
The Church Father John Chrysostom said; “We are strangers and sojourners. Let us not grieve over any of the world’s painful things. For if you come from a renowned country and from illustrious ancestors, and find yourself in a distant land, known to no one, having neither servants nor wealth, and then someone insults you, would you grieve as though these things had taken place at home? The knowledge that you were in a strange and foreign land would persuade you to bear all easily, and to despise hunger, thirst, and any suffering. So consider that you are a stranger and a pilgrim, and do not let anything bother you in foreign territory. You have a city whose builder and creator is God, and the journey is but for a short and little time. Let whoever wishes strike, insult, revile. We are in foreign territory, and live there in difficulty.“(2)
So instead of losing ourselves in this digital utopia we have created – maybe we need to let go of it – just a little. It might be a good idea to consider ourselves as foreigners in a strange land. And just maybe seek God for a heavenly and eternal perspective on life.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” – Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)
(1) I recommend Mark Sayers book, Strange Days: Life In The Spirit In A Time Of Upheaval .
(2.) Learning Theology With The Church Fathers, Christopher A. Hall, page 198.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” – (Proverbs 9:10) ESV
Many evangelicals in America have never had a significant encounter with the Holy Spirit. Some of us seem to be content with accepting Jesus as Savior and avoiding hell, without a real emphasis on spiritual growth. I’m not saying that most Christian’s in the United States are not genuine believers. But, that we have embraced a form of godliness while neglecting the Holy Spirit’s transforming power. This has contributed to a carnal version of Christianity in our Country.
The removal of the supernatural element of our faith has produced many shallow and materialistic believers. And we have come to trust in and pursue political power over spiritual power.
“The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” – (Proverbs 29:25) ESV
We need to stop fearing the political left and rediscover the fear of the Lord. It’s not that we are to be afraid of God – but we must rediscover our awe and respect for him. We need to regain our trust and confidence in His sovereignty. I’m convinced there is no political solution to be found over this nations’ political divide. Christians must return to the spiritual roots of early Christianity, when believers joyfully served God in a hostile culture.
Sadly, some evangelicals in America are more influenced by a political spirit than by the Holy Spirit. Our nation may never return to the way that many of us would like it to be. But, if we embrace the Kingdom of God (God’s rule) – we can walk in peace amid the political chaos of our day.
Remember the Kingdom of God is within us. And we take King Jesus wherever we go. Peace.
” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. – Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” – Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV
We are living in very dark times in America today. Political division is causing great anxiety in this country. Many in the evangelical community have lost sight of the spiritual nature of this battle. Social media and the news media has been weaponized and used to divide our nation.
We are now deeply entrenched in a political civil war that is the result of cultural chaos. We could blame the Russians, the Chinese or middle eastern countries that hate us. While there are forces outside this country that want to bring us down; our biggest enemy is us.
We’ve allowed spiritual darkness into our Churches and our culture. In fact there is very little difference in the lifestyle choices of those of us who claim to follow Jesus and those who don’t. I could give multiple examples of this, but I won’t in this post.
The fact of the matter is we live in a materialistic culture that understands very little about supernatural cosmic beings. And the consequences of opening spiritual doors through rebellion to God’s revealed truth and authority. This has given dark powers greater access to the very soul of our nation.
Quite simply, much of the cultural and political chaos we are now experiencing is the result of a anti-supernatural worldview in the American church. Many of us have been more focused on the political landscape than what is going on in the spiritual realm.
A return to prayer is desperately needed. And following Jesus’ example of blessing and serving those who hate us. I’m not saying Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. But that we need to understand the ‘powers’ behind political ideologies on the right and the left. As followers of Jesus we must come to terms with what the Apostle Paul wrote, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood..”