It’s 2:53am. I’ve been awake now for a little over an hour. Racing thoughts, my husband’s cough and a leaky Pull-Up have hi-jacked my sleep. Might as well be productive.
I’ve been thinking lots of thoughts this week and I really don’t like them. I prefer to live in a rose-colored bubble.
I’ve randomly chosen the book of Luke as my morning read the past couple of weeks. Something about Jesus’ voice in this book has caught my attention and this week, His words have burst my happy little bubble.
Well, Jesus’ words and all that’s going on in the world right now.
After seeing My Girl and Stevie-P off the other morning, I decided to turn on the news. (I’m currently reading The Third Target by Joel C. Rosenberg and somehow his novels always spark my interest in current world events.)
I rarely turn the channel from Disney Jr. or Nick Jr. because every time I do I just wanna curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth until Jesus returns.
Nonetheless, I changed the channel.
Seriously people, how do we all sleep at night?
After yet another satanic display at the Grammy’s, preceded by the comments President Obama made at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, coupled with the live burning of a Jordanian pilot and the cowardly and critical comments STILL being made about American Sniper and hero Chris Kyle, my heart is just raw. I can no longer ignore the unsettled feeling in my soul that everything is coming to a head.
I watched and read all I could stand, and then sent this text to Momma: I think I’ve figured it out. In order to function I just have to ignore what’s going on because if I don’t, all I want to do is sit and pray.
As I felt the urge to just turn it all off and retreat back inside my rose-colored bubble, I remembered a pledge I made as a young girl…
“To be ever alert to the conditions which exist throughout the world…”
Then, Jesus’ words in the chapters I’ve been reading began filling my mind.
“Anyone who is not for me is against me; if he isn’t helping me, he is hurting my cause.” ~ Luke 11:23
“For though you are careful to tithe even the smallest part of your income, you completely forget about justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave these other things undone.” ~ Luke 11:42
“Do you think I have come to give peace to the earth? No! Rather, strife and division!” Luke 12:51
Jesus? That seems a little harsh, don’t ya think?
But as I read His words again He asked…
Jessie, are you helping Me or hurting My cause?
Do you care about justice in the world and sharing the love of God?
Do you understand that all you’re seeing is the reality of a spiritual war?
Of course my defensive, knee-jerk answer was, “Well, I think I’m helping You? I try. I want to help. I want justice for the oppressed and for all to know Your love, and what’s happening in the world sickens me. But what more can I do?”
What more can I do…?
In that moment with Him, I felt so helpless. So unable to make a difference. So sad. Help me make sense of this, Jesus.
The truth is, I can’t and shouldn’t fight this feeling anymore. It is so tempting—no, it’s our way of life—to turn the channel and simply focus on the storms raging in our own hearts, the injustices felt within the four walls of our home and the tension between the lines of our bank statements.
When I think about it all, really think about it, I in fact cannot sleep at night.
My stomach turns at the thought of babies my kids’ ages being crucified or sold into sex slavery.
Even as I type these very words, tears fall as I realize how safe I am to sit here at my laptop and contemplate all this while my fellow sisters in Christ are literally staring evil in the eye, losing their children, their husbands, their homes—their lives.
I’m asking Jesus and myself, Is this where we as The Church stand today? Are we careful to tithe, to faithfully check off our Christian To Do List all the while turning a blind eye to the state of affairs around us?
Maybe it’s just my neck of the woods, but I’m just not hearing God’s people discuss these important matters.
Most people I talk to (not all, but most) really cannot articulate the details of the war going on in Syria, much less the persecution taking place in Iraq.
As a whole, are we clueless? Are we ignoring what’s going on because it’s just too much? Because it makes us feel inadequate or defeated?
We are quick to judge the President and his responses, but what about ourselves? What are we actually doing to make a difference?
The Holy Spirit scrolled my mind back to my text…You *should sit and pray.
“Father, may Your Name be honored for its holiness; send Your Kingdom soon. ” Luke 11:2
Jesus specifically told us what to pray. He said to seek The Father and honor Him and ask for His Kingdom to come, like now.
Because this world is not your Home.
How? How does Your Kingdom “come”?
My Kingdom comes through you, The Church.
“…Upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven…” ~ Matthew 16:18b-19a
One of my favorite worship songs our church sings says, “Build Your Kingdom here, let the darkness fear. Show Your mighty hand; heal our streets and land. Set Your Church on fire; win this nation back. Change the atmosphere; build Your Kingdom here, we pray.”
We are the ones who usher in The Kingdom because we are supposed to be praying for it to come!
We are the ones He wants to use to make the darkness fear! Instead, we sit around and contemplate the darkness and end up being the ones fearful.
He will heal our streets and land through our feet and hands. Us—The Church. Not the President or NATO or health care reform or the economy.
We are the ones who need to change first. We are the thermostat that adjusts the atmosphere.
Yes, I know there are believers not only praying but Doing The Work out of their immense love for Jesus. I realize the gates of Hell will not prevail against The Church and I am hopeful.
But inside my bubble I just don’t hear many of us praying for Israel, praying for an end to genocide or against evil.
We cannot change the channel if we claim to love Jesus. We need to know what’s going on for our prayers to be effective.
Jesus said we have the keys to The Kingdom. Notice that word, keys. It’s plural.
In order for the Kingdom of God to come, we must not only pray but we must share the Gospel.
Honestly, when is the last time we actually shared The Gospel? Not a story about how God came through for us in a tight spot. Not an encouraging scripture for a friend or coworker who’s down. I mean The Gospel.
The Good News that Jesus is The Way, The Truth and The Life and that He died to free us from sin.
Lest you think I’m pointing fingers, I am so guilty of this. I can write and talk all day about how good God is, how faithful He is, how amazing He is to me. But when it comes to straight up telling people Jesus is The ONLY way to The Father, that’s a bit tougher.
Like most people, I fear rejection. I’m afraid of offending someone or of being called “narrow minded.”
But I must share it. The information I have is truly a life and death matter.
“…Those who welcome you are welcoming Me. And those who reject you are rejecting Me. And those who reject Me are rejecting God who sent me.” ~Luke 10:16
If sharing The Gospel isn’t easy for you, either—good. It’s not supposed to be. If it were easy we could do it on our own, in our own power.
Instead, it is challenging, which causes us to lean on Him, dig into His word and watch for opportunities to share. It takes effort.
“Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations…” ~ Matthew 28:19a
Another part of my childhood club motto was“…to carry The Gospel to every corner of the world.”
While I know these words probably won’t reach every corner of the world, they have somehow reached your corner today.
And while I feel most readers of this blog are other Christian Mommas with snot on their shirt and ketchup on their pants like me, I want to obey.
Beyond anything else I may write, sharing The Gospel must be my main objective.
So here it is, The Gospel of Jesus Christ as I believe it and understand it.
- We’ve all sinned and will never be good enough for God. (Romans 3:23)
- God is holy and just and hates sin, but He is merciful and loves us. (Romans 6:23)
- God sent His Son, Jesus, to reconcile that difference. (John 3:16)
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. (1 John 1:9)
- If we believe in our hearts that Jesus IS Lord, we are saved. (Romans 10:9)
And that’s it. Nothing fancy or rocket-sciency. Just faith.
My heart’s desire is for you to know Him. Really know Him and trust Him. He is so much more than I can describe, more than any blog could contain.
I pray that if you’ve never believed in Him before today, that in this moment you Get It. Trusting Jesus is more than head-knowledge. It’s personal.
It’s like sitting in a chair you’ve never sat in before. The only way to know if it will hold you up is to sit in it. It may look sturdy and maybe you’ve seen other people sit in it, but until you sit down—until you make it personal—it’s just head knowledge. The only way to know is to sit in it yourself.
Sit in The Jesus Chair. Make Him your Rock and let Him redeem you; your past, your present, your future.
He may burst your bubble-world, too. But don’t worry, He has a better one in store.
Gracious Father, thank you for bursting my bubble with your Word this week. Thank you for the ways You’ve changed me and my little world, but mostly, thank you for your forgiveness of my sins. I ask that if anyone reading this has not trusted You, Jesus, as Savior and Lord of their life, that today, in this moment, they will call out to you. God, you are holy and righteous and we are so undeserving of Your love. Thank you for giving it anyway. In the name of Jesus alone I pray. Amen.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9
How do you stay tuned in to world events without feeling bombarded? What ideas, acronyms, etc. do you use for sharing The Gospel? I’d love to hear from you! Jessie