July 27, 2016

Have You Looked Around Lately? Everyone is Scared.

Trump is Evil one side says. Hillary is Evil the other responds. Bombs exploding in coffee shops across the globe. People out dancing on a Saturday night suddenly find themselves in Satan's Playground. Bad guys. Badder corporations. Baddest governments. 24 hour news cycles showcasing fear and loathing and death every hour of every second of every day. Tweeting hate, "liking" hurt.

Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter or so we chant from different sides of the same street, while our actions prove no life matters unless it is our own. So, rather than love, we fight from behind monitors and walk away from friends and family because of words on the devices in our hands. My side wins. Your side loses. We shout into a vacuum wanting to be heard, seeking a place of safety but no one hears because they are shouting, too. They are looking for safety, too. But they can't find it, because we have run away. Or attacked them.

We know the answer. Yet we run away.

I look around at this world and its groaning and I can't help but wonder: When did we lay down our birthright and choose fear?

When did we take off the armor we were given to overcome this world and instead, choose to run from a defeated enemy? When did the church forget to love the oppressed, to mourn with the mourning, to give justice in a world of chosen sides and to speak kindness and gentleness and live out compassion in the lives of those broken and hurting that are all around us, right now?

When we speak of fear, or out of fear, we have forgotten who we are because we have forgotten who God is. When we ignore our brothers and sisters caught up in their fear, drowning in their pain, we ignore how fully we were loved in spite of who we are, because of who He is. When we refuse to give grace to those undeserving of grace we make a mockery of the undeserved grace we were given so freely. We fear speaking our hearts, acting our faith, living our joy because we fear the unknown, or some politician, government, or terrorist.

We Fear Because We Have Forgotten Who He Is

Who God promised to be. Who He promised and proved He is, again and again. We have forgotten He defeated the bear and the wolf. Forgotten He crushed the servants head. Forgotten he chose to love the man that denied Him three times, touched lepers, ate with prostitutes and cheats and overcame death just by showing up and saying the word "Rise!" We have forgotten He doesn't claim victory as we claim victory. Forgotten He walks around the walls of a city seven times, that He takes a couple of hundred men that drink from their hands a certain way into battle against hordes.

We have forgotten that when God is ready to change the world He always finds a David left out in a field, a Saul hiding in a baggage train, or a Paul on the road to murder Christians. We have forgotten that He wakes a young boy named Samuel three times, scares the crap out of clueless shepherds on a hill and finds Mary broken and frantically searching for Him in a grave he crushed under His feet.

Yet here we are, staring at our TV's in fear and worry, forgetting He invaded this planet as a baby in a manager instead of as a political rockstar cheered by the "right side." He destroyed death by dying. Yet we fear. We have forgotten.

Everything He has ever done fulfilled a promise. Every time. Then and now.

Next time you are overwhelmed by the TV or talk radio... Next time you want to say things from behind a computer screen using words that make a mockery of grace and mercy toward others, remember: that's fear talking. And it's a lie.

He told you, and me, not to fear. Why? Because the battle we are in today is already won. Quit living out the lies of a caged and annihilated lion. Choose to live out life, in abundance, grace and victory.

It is already yours, today!


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