Friday, July 17, 2015

The War We'll Never Win

A court announces a decision.  Many in this nation erupt in celebration.  For many in this nation:  dysphoria.  Debate ensues. Many are relieved - finally discrimination is diminished. Many are discouraged - there seems no climbing back from the moral precipice that we've cast ourselves.  Morality and righteousness are focal points for some. Liberties, and freedoms are of central concern to others. A nation is fraught with tension as political parties can agree on virtually nothing and stalemate has become the norm on issues of policy throughout the land.

Outside of our borders wars are erupting in distant lands. Those who seek our nation's downfall are empowered and emboldened.  Diseases ravage entire nations.  Children and entire families are kidnapped, massacred or worse in the name of religion. With a divided land we continue to seemingly decline in the world around us and this has many worried or at least concerned about the state of global affairs as the Enemy moves, apparently unfettered, in hearts and minds. Pray harder, work harder, strategize more to stop him. "Sweet Jesus come soon!"

For many of who call on the name of Christ, the pressure is escalating even in the day to day.  Perhaps the work environment is filled with those who are just a bit more vocal in their disdain for the "Christians" of this land.  Plenty of examples of detestable behavior exist and if need be the dirty word "televangelist" automatically conjures the failings of decades past and drags them forward to the modern believer's feet for immediate association with any who would dare utter the words "do you know Jesus?"

We huddle under the umbrella of church and small group, hedging out societal evils with prayers of repentance for our nation and ourselves.  Justly so.  We become emboldened with the might and power of the very Word of the ages, given to us for life and salvation.  Take up the helmet of salvation, and the shield of faith.  Put on the belt of truth.  Shod your feet with the gospel.  Sharpen the sword.  Onward Christian Soldier.  Absolutely!

We carry this forward.  We offer our prayers to hold at bay what seems a tsunami of the demonic knowing that our God is capable of miracles in the midst of insurmountable odds.  The existence of a minuscule nation surrounded by innumerable enemies called Israel is proof positive.  We carry this into our worlds, ready to engage when necessary, battle when required, fight for the Godly cause and ready to stand firm to help restore this nation to its God-fearing glory.  But there is a question that does not enter our minds and perhaps it should.  What if we're not supposed to win?  What if we're not supposed to succeed against what could only be described as a global unleashing of Hell upon this globe?  Mighty as the armed Christian is; powerful as the faith filled believer is promised to be, what if victory isn't in the cards and never was?

A marine was interviewed in the recent past when city after city began to succumb and fall under control of ISIS forces in Iraq.  This Marine had fought in several of those locations.  He had helped to liberate some of those places and lost brothers in arms in the process.  Blood was spilled and a steep price was paid.  The interviewer, playing on the Marine's past and attempting to lead the marine to say something provocative regarding the current administration's handling of the unfolding crisis asked "How do we win this war?"  The Marine answered "I have no idea - I was never trained to win wars.  That took place far above me.  I was trained to win battles.  If you want to ask me how to take a hill, an area, or a neighborhood - I can help you.  But winning wars is above my pay grade."

So often we are grieved by the news we watch and the desperation we witness on a global scale.  I am thankful that God is opening hearts to compassion - the suffering with others.  Too often too many turn a numb face from the realities of the tragedies that are moment by moment occurring around this sphere, occurring even within miles or blocks of their home.  I firmly know the admonition of James 1:27 and what "true religion" looks like to Him, the one who rebuffed the "religious" and their misguided notions.  But I don't ever recall a passage in his Word where I'm called to be worried or anxious about how we get from Alpha to Omega, from Genesis to Revelations.  I never read that it is on us to usher in His reign on this earth.  In fact I remember where I am specifically instructed to not be anxious in Philippians 4:6

What if Christians remembered that we're not commanded to win the war at all. It's already been won. We're called to win the battles within our own dermis, the ongoing war that rages within.  Beyond this, we're commissioned to engage in the day to day encounters of compassion, battles against poverty, abuse, brutality, battles of grace and love in the midst of judgement and condemnation.  Those are the footsteps of my Savior.  When he trod this earth, he didn't overwhelm a pagan empire or overthrow a corrupted theocracy, though this is what the twelve men who traveled with him fully expected,  Rather he intersected lives, one at a time, footstep by footstep, touch by touch.

Winning the morality war is ultimately a losing war in our hands - it has to be in order for the last entries of the book we claim as His Word to be accurate. It is above our pay grade; but locking arms and facing our own battles and supporting others as they face theirs is fully within our mandate.  To do so requires true acceptance, forgiveness, and love.

The continued darkening of this temporal globe is a war that we'll never win...
In order to bring about the eternity that He's already won

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