We were never created to play defense. We were intended to be advancing, not retreating. Advancing prevents the retreat into our judgmental, critical and alienating relationship with the rest of the world. If we act like we were intended to act, we would be too busy moving forward to sit back and feel alienated.
The Holy huddle of declaration that we “used to be a Christian nation” and other such complaints is getting old and getting us nowhere. We are absolutely a nation; “a peculiar people, a royal priesthood a holy nation” according to 1 Peter 2:9. The difference between that passage and the Declaration of Independence is that one of them is Eternal and the other is just a good attempt.
I’m not criticizing patriotism; I’m encouraging it. Let’s get the allegiance in appropriate order and the rest will fall into place (See first the Kingdom . . . “). If we are aligned with the King and advancing His purposes, our American nation will benefit.
That means that church is an active, assertive engagement with the world around us to show them the love of Jesus. Those that are hungry need to be fed, the thirsty need a drink and those in prison are waiting on a visit. The love of the One who we claim as God will move us to love in a way reflective of His transformation within us. The advance is on.
All too often, the reality is we gather in our insulated clubs known as churches. We meet to affirm our relative goodness (as far as we can tell) and fail to really consider those outside of the club for longer than a short prayer, if that. We defend our beliefs and way of life on Facebook and in our choice of who we’ll associate with. We believe we are defending God, as if He needs our help.
Run! It’s time to go deep. It’s time to let the offense loose and take the fight to the enemy. The enemy is not impressed by our rhetoric or impressed with our Sunday attendance. He quakes at the thought of our active engagement, though. The threat of carrying Jesus within us to those who are desperate for Hope shakes the foundations of hell as the Body of Christ aligns with the Head of His Body with oneness of purpose.
That’s a lifestyle where others are first. That’s listening to the Whisper and obediently stepping into the invitation which not only leads us to our individual destiny, but can actually save the way of life we seek to defend.