Burn Those Boxes

My experience of following Jesus started with the demonic. It was a black night terror sort of feeling and yet a strong powerful buzz that rushed through every single one of my cells.

God showed me the true darkness that lies beneath the shiny facade of this world. I didn’t know why until I had time to think and pray on it:

  1. I would never have become a Christian unless something drastic occurred (check).
  2. He wanted me to understand the power Satan can have over people (check check).

It’s easy to turn on the television and see skin and flesh and hate it with all your might. And if we go that route, that’s exactly the sort of thing the enemy will enjoy, sitting back to slow clap.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

A lot of you are trying to make sense of all these things and jam them tight into poorly made boxes. It’s a waste of perfectly good energy, friend.

And then, on top of that, once the boxes are crammed and the seams are spent and broken open, we like to go online and talk about what we’ve just done. How we’re right, everyone else is wrong, and ultimately we’ve solved the problem.

No. We are all wrong. Jesus is right. And he already solved the problem by dying on the cross.

You feel itchy, no doubt. Your hands want to do something, your mouth wants to say something. Well, here’s the good news: you’ve already been given a directive and here’s how that plays out:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22: 37-39

Oh and one more:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

There are no sides. There are just people. As Christians – let me rephrase that – As TRUE believers (because not everyone who calls themself a Christian actually is), we’re to be medics and help any and everyone who needs our help. We’re to humble ourselves to Jesus and follow His command.

We are not to dole out personal judgment.

Does that mean we agree with the state of the world? No. But the world is the devil’s playground, a mere carbon copy of what it was originally meant to be. The boxes here are warped and won’t carry a darn thing.

So leave them. Walk away. Look at the world with fresh eyes and look at the people as flesh and blood and hurting hearts. We’re here to heal them, not break them. Something to never forget.

Above the Burning Streets

“This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.

Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.” 2 Peter 2:10-13

It’s too easy to be afraid of people.

Sure, people damage the whole world when it’s left unchecked in their hands. Specifically, people with broken hearts who have yet to surrender them to Christ.

But I like to think of the world as if I’m watching it from a crater in the moon. Little ants, all of us. A world of tiny beings, walking with our chests puffed out and our minds in the dark.

You have to realize what this looks like to an infinite God.

Laughable.

I think on a few things: how some people speculate that Adam was at least fifteen feet tall. How some even think him to have been much taller. How man can kill your body and not your soul.

That last one is comforting, even if it takes a minute to sink in.

Man wants so much to play God. To hold you hostage and take your rights and dominate in the name of peace although peace is truly the furthest thing from his mind.

But are you truly a captive if you don’t allow yourself to be? Because it’s not your body in need of freedom. It’s your mind, and your heart, and your soul.

You have the choice of in whom you entrust those things.

So there’s nothing powerless about the tiny beings who walk this planet.

But there’s nothing more powerful than an all powerful God.

So take a moment. Think about it. Will you align yourself with the ants that march mindlessly in a burning pocket of their own desires?

Or will you stand as tall as Adam and rise above the burning streets to hold the hand of God?

It’s All Been Done Before

I’ve always been a huge Bare Naked Ladies fan.

The band, I mean. Let’s just make that clear up front.

There’s a song called It’s All Been Done Before, and it reminds me of right now.

And every “right now” for that matter.

I think it’s pretty easy to label the darkness in this world as “new.”

It never was and never will be.

Satan has been playing this game for a long, long time, friend. (1 John 5:19)

So I suppose my issue isn’t that there’s evil in the world.

My issues is when I scan the faces of other believers, and all I see is a cloud of anger and resentment.

Yes, it’s heartbreaking there’s a strong current turning against our children.

But maybe it’s more like this: there is a strong current turning against God’s children.

We are merely the ones designed to raise them. An unfathomable honor in a sea of chaos.

Righteous anger is a very real and appropriate reaction. But we can’t let the darkness turn the current in our own hearts.

It’s too easy to create an us versus them divide.

We are to be Jesus, extending a hand to the hurt and broken souls that take what we mistakenly believe to be ours.

There is no “mine” in this game.

There is only God’s. And to Him goes ALL the glory.

He sees what’s being done. He knows.

So let the bitter taste curdle. Take a strong drink of fresh water. Ask the Holy Spirit to turn the raging tide inside into love. So you can hold your children close and teach them the one thing that’s chafing at your skin: love your enemy.

Because if we don’t, no one will.

The Winning Team

I am not a very political person. I barely survived Team Britney versus Team Christina and really dread experiencing that kind of heartache again.

And Team Britney. Duh.

A friend and I were discussing the current political climate and the recent phenomenon of human beings everywhere vomiting their staunch beliefs all over their keyboards.

It is, beyond a doubt, a horrifying scene to witness.

My takeaway? I’m not going to so tightly interweave myself with any form of thought that could possibly lead another human being away from Jesus.

And this most definitely applies to both sides of the issue.

People are talking about politically homeless Christians right now. If you can’t even remotely relate to that, then I implore you to assess your heart once more.

There is a common understanding of what we as Christians need to vote for: the right to life for all people, honoring the Lord through our government policies, protecting our freedoms because once freedom is lost, man, well let’s just say you’ll have a little more to worry about than how to get your kid to sit still during a Zoom call.

We vote for principles, not people. That’s the only option we have at this point. But the process in that should be a respectful one.

We can have thoughts. We can have opinions. But they should never rise above our hope in Jesus Christ and our duty in preserving the heart of our fellow man.

We have to die to ourselves.

So why waste time painting pictures of ourselves in memes and one ups and adorable eye-rolling quips?

Why not lay it all down? Why not stop wasting the time and save it in bucketfuls instead for the friends and family and strangers we want to save from the enemy before we look in the mirror and start seeing him before our very eyes?