Are You Asleep or Awake?

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Are you aware that today’s politics are not like your grandpa’s politics? Gone are the days when collegiality, bipartisanship and a mutual appreciation of the “loyal opposition” allowed our representatives in Congress to reach across the aisle with their political opponents. In those days, everyone loved America, was a proud patriot, and wanted to preserve our nation.

Those days are over. There is a spiritual war raging all around us, and now, for the first time in our lifetime, our very way of life, presently, right here in America, is threatened. Back in the day, the Constitution was sworn to be protected and upheld by both Democrat and Republican officeholders. But it is now no longer seen as the permanent, unchangeable foundation upon which we can all agree. 

This is, without any doubt, a spiritual war. Our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness,” stated in  the  Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitution, are now under attack. Socialism (Cultural Marxism) is now the goal of the leadership of the Democratic Party. Those Constitutionally-guaranteed personal freedoms originate and come to us directly from the victory Jesus won over Satan at the cross. A war against them is a war against God Himself. 

As Jill and I discuss this over our morning coffee, we have wrestled with the question, “What do we, the octogenarian Andrews, do personally?” That is the question Christians, indeed all Americans, knowingly or unknowingly, face as 2020 draws to a close. There are several paths Christians may travel in 2021:

The first path – They are unaware of the war or have determined not to be involved in the battle. They seldom hear, if ever, about their eternal purpose, the very reason they were created and clearly enunciated in Genesis 1:26—to be, in this life, the divine-image bearing vehicles God uses to extend His righteous rule over the earth. Those on this first path have learned that God’s kingdom not only originates within them, but remains there exclusively. God has written off the world as a lost cause. Satan remains in complete control here, and they see their job as to drop out and take as many others as possible with them to Heaven. They are completely unaware that they are abdicating their calling from God.

The second path – These Christians know we are at war and understand their responsibility to vote, and will do so, but only surreptitiously.  They know that there are many Christians who would violently disagree with their vote, and their ensuing disapproval is too unpleasant to endure. They decide to keep quiet and let others do the actual combat in the battle.

The third path – Those on this path realize we are at war, and know, maybe unconsciously, that they must fight to preserve what God has given America, if for no other reason, the sake of their posterity. They may not understand intellectually the theological foundation for fighting, and they may not know what to do or how to do it, but, experientially, they are ready, willing, and eager to publicly join the battle.

No matter which path, or combination thereof, you are on, you cannot evade the battle in the political arena in the long run. You will eventually be made to care, just like all Germans in the late 1930s, whether they previously cared about politics or not. The issue is, will you join that battle now, voluntarily, or then, when you have no choice. 

In this posting, we are discussing “what is beneath us,” the responsibilities God has given us on the earth—the civil government aspect of the kingdom of God. However, we will never be successful in this spiritual battle until we are rightly aligned with the God “who is above us.” Recognizing the real, daily wickedness of our own hearts, and then experiencing His unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness that does away with that sin, prepare us personally for battle. 

Half of these blog postings deal with this battle-essential way of life—”walking by faith.” When we “see” this truth that is “above us,” and begin to attempt to walk in it daily in the world “beneath us,” we are ready for battle. Since we are walking by faith alone, any “progress” in our own lives is irrelevant because that is God’s job alone!

So, what do we do? I believe God is calling us all, when we are ready and experiencing a measure of this life of faith, to join the battle by doing two things: 

#1. To stand for the truth of God – “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). In every area of life, God has a distinct, unique plan for how His rule will be expressed, and Satan is attacking them all. God designed the family, the church, and the civil government each to function in a certain manner and He has carefully explained that way to us in the Scriptures. There he instructs us how to function as husbands and wives, raise children, have church, and run the civil government. He also gives us principles to apply to business, and every entity where there is an authority structure. When we do so, His kingdom comes to that place, and the spread of His rule increases.

Our job is to stand for those biblical principles, without yielding. For example, the Bible is clear about God’s view of homosexuality. It is grievous sin, worthy of death. We stand for that truth, never yielding to the cry for acceptance and legalization of homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption of children, and all the other “freedoms” that homosexuals demand. We do not condemn them, hate them, or isolate them, because we know our sin is just as grievous to God. We love them, but we will not agree that what they are doing is not sin. The way of the kingdom is both firmness (never yielding to another way but the law of God) and compassion (loving the lawbreaker with the love of God!).

#2 To proclaim God’s truth naturally and spontaneously – “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Peter says it perfectly; we are not pushy or aggressive because we don’t have to be. We are different. We have an odor about us (2 Corinthians 2:16). The aroma that emanates from one who is walking by faith permeates the surroundings all around us. We bring the kingdom of God with us wherever we go. Then, when we stand for the truth of God with love and firmness, people will begin to ask, just as Peter in the verse above says they will, “What gives with you?” His kingdom comes to that place, and the spread of His kingdom increases.

“Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14).  May the church awaken from its slumber, recognize the battle in the civil government and take up arms—by standing and proclaiming the eternal truth of God. Jesus and His law rule over the nations!

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