DayBreaks for 11/11/14 – Hunker Down?
This was in our worship bulletin this past Sunday, and I think it speaks loudly to what is going on in the world today and how we may feel and react to it:
“I recently read an email from a fellow Christian decrying certain things going on in our nation. The email concluded with ‘You should be very afraid,’ and frankly I was a little taken back by this, because the Scripture often encourages us to ‘fear not.’ Now perhaps, if the person would have used the word, ‘concerned,’ maybe I would have received the message a bit easier. To be ‘afraid’ or ‘fearful can easily produce, at least in me, withdrawal, the need to protect myself, the desire to ‘hunker down’. On the ‘fight of flight’ syndrome, if I feel threatened, I can easily move toward ‘flight’.
“When I read Matthew 16:18, ‘I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’, I am struck that the church is on the offensive, not the defense. Have you ever thought of the verse in that way? In essence, the church is on the move, which doesn’t strike at withdrawal of ‘flight’. No, the church is moving forward, walking by faith, even amidst fear or concern.
“Maybe certain members of the church (here in America_ want to withdraw out of fear and protect themselves. Maybe, they don’t want to get involved in challenges because it’s uncomfortable or hard. I get that. Yet, here is this verse in Matthew, suggesting the church is in ‘fight’, not ‘flight’ move, a ‘fight’ which is not an aggressive, in your face, confrontation approach. No, ironically ‘fight’ becomes about serving, giving and sacrifice. It becomes about ‘being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.’ (1 Peter 3:15) ‘Fight’ becomes about being ambassadors for Christ because His love compels us. (2 Cor. 5:14, 20)
“So, how do we do this? Well, Ephesians tells us to ‘put on the full armor of God,’ (Eph. 6:13) implying that we are in a battle, but also God has given us tools to combat the spiritual forces of darkness. This includes His Spirit at work within us, empowering us to be one of His witnesses.
“Maybe ‘messages’ from TV, radio, social media, or even other Christians, produce fear or concern in us. However we receive it, may it cause us to not permanently withdraw from our mission, ‘ut rather may it motivate us to g…go and make disciples of all nation.’ May we as a church not ‘hunker down’, but go in the power of the Spirit. The gates of hell will NOT prevail.”
PRAYER: Let us boldly be on the gentle offensive, filled with the certain knowledge that neither Satan nor all his demons will have the victory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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