My department has been having a fun competition this week at work, playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, to determine the champion among our coworkers for the next year.
If only battles could be fought and won with such simple terms.
My best friend called yesterday and shared some tender and powerful thoughts about The Church and the current victim mentality flooding society. As we spoke, we found we were on the same page, there is a time for grieving and repentance and there is a time to move on.
We spoke of those who want to leave the church when it does not measure up to whatever standard they might have set. Fingers are pointed, names are called, people, including pastors, are called out for their fallible behaviors. What my best friend and I have noticed in the exodus is too few seem to remain to fight for the Church. I don’t mean the little white chapel in town, I mean The Church, the Bride of Christ.
Brothers and Sisters, I cannot say this strongly enough. It is time to move. It is time to rise. Time to cast off the role of victim and time to put on the robe of victor. We are victorious today because of Christ. We are not called to timidity, groveling, or even staying in the muck.
Jesus was never described as “nice” in the Bible. In fact, there are no passages anywhere that use that adjective for those who believe in Christ. We are called to humility, living for Christ, not for our own purposes. We are called to live in the victory of the Cross.
Hebrews 13:20-21 (ESV) says, Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything goOd that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
We are soldiers in God’s army, we are in a battle, it may have been won by Christ, but we are still participating in it. Too many people want to wear the victim mantle. Get up, brothers Get up sisters. Shake it off, this should not be where you lay down. There is still breath in your lungs, there is still strength in your muscles. If you are still sucking air there is still work to do, as an old pastor of mine used to say.
It is time to dust off the armor we are given to wear, belts of Truth, breastplates of Righteousness, helmets of Salvation. It is time to draw our swords and step on the battlefield.
In 2 Samuel 23, starting at verse 8, we are introduced to three men, mighty men who served under David. Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar, and Shammah. Shammah stood his ground in a field of lentils and fought off the Philistines when all the other Israelites ran away. He knew he had to stand, had to stay, had to fight. He didn’t leave the field because others had. He didn’t leave because the Philistines had a reputation for being brutal in battle. He stayed because it was his job.
Did he feel fear, probably. Was he exhausted before it was over, certainly. But he remained. He didn’t whine that he didn’t like what was going on. He took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the LORD worked a great victory (2 Samuel 23:12 ESV).
Women, it is time to step out onto the field and defend it. Whether it is our family, our home, our faith. It may be time to come alongside the hurting and broken and help them toward healing.
Men. For far too long society has inferred you cannot handle the job. Maybe for some, you’ve started to believe it. DON’T. It’s a lie from the pit of hell itself. You are needed. You are called to a role we cannot and should not try to fill. Men, it’s time. Stand up. Take up your sword. Step onto the battlefield.
Men and women are to stand together and fight together for the Faith.
Take up your armor (Ephesians 6) and dig into the Word of God again. Study men and women who are held up for their strength in the LORD.
It is time to rumble. Are you ready?