Left, Right, or Follower of Christ?

I’m sure at least some of you were aware of my absence over the past seven months–or I hope so, anyway. 😊 A lot of people take breaks from WordPress, and I’m a big advocate of sabbaticals. I’ve taken a few of those myself with this blog. But that is not the case with my last break. And, if you will indulge me, I would love to share my heart with you on the subject. But, where to start? How about post-election morning?

Don’t run away just yet. I promise this is not about politics!

I’m not what many would refer to as an Always Trumper, a Trumper, or even a Trump Republican. Though, I do think he did some good things while he was in office. Most notably in my mind was keeping at bay the takeover of those who would like to see our country fundamentally changed in ways that would further advance the powers of darkness. However, we as Christians should be aware that the Bible says these things are coming, and no mere man can hold them back. After all, “No one can shut what He opens. And no one can open what He shuts” Rev 3:7.

That said, I supported Trump as one who upheld the constitution and the rights of the people and seemed to have the best interest of our country at heart. Of course, the Bible tells us to honor and subject ourselves to the ruling authorities and to pray for them regularly–2 Timothy 2-14 & 1 Peter 2:13-17–whether they are good or evil. That’s not to say that we should robotically or blindly obey our rulers; we must, above all, obey God; and any demand put upon us that requires violation of our obedience to God, as revealed in the Bible, must be rejected. But I digress.

When I awoke post-election morning and heard the preliminary results, a deep dread came over me. I wanted to believe that Trump would prevail, but I instinctively knew that the results would not change. And perhaps, were inevitable in light of where we are as a nation and in the scope of prophetic events awaiting fulfillment. As this realization settled over me, and the election was eventually certified in Biden’s favor, I admittedly became fearful; and even a bit disheartened and withdrawn.

Left, Right, or Follower of Christ?

As time progressed, the Lord began laying certain verses on my heart to assure me that He was indeed present and active amidst the chaos. The first and most impactful being Matthew 26:52-54, where Jesus–upon His arrest in the garden–said to Peter after he struck the servant of the high priest with his sword, “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” Matthew 26:52-54 (NIV)

The Lord knew I needed to hear that because I was knee-deep in weighing my options to join the push back against the injustice of what was happening. When these words hit my heart, I was stopped dead in my tracks. From that day forward, God began to transform my outlook from one that differentiated between Red and Blue / Left and Right, to Follower of Christ.

Soldiers of Christ?

There are many today who would say it is our Christian duty to stand up against those who seem to have taken captive our nation and our way of life. After all (they say) we are soldiers of Christ, and as soldiers it is our duty to fight against anyone who would threaten our way of life, our rights, or the Christian freedoms that our Constitution affords.

First let me say, I get it. I spent eight years in the military and I took an oath (twice) to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So, when I see certain things taking place in our country it’s difficult for me. It goes against the grain of everything I’ve been taught and trained to believe in and defend.

But here’s the thing.. when I became a believer my citizenship changed. Though I am legally a citizen of the United States by birth, I am first and foremost now a citizen of heaven by re-birth (Php 3:20). And if you’re a Christian, this is true of you also. Although we live in this world, we are not of this world (John 15:19, John 17:14-16). In fact, 1 Peter 2:11 addresses us as sojourners and exiles. This may seem like mere rhetoric but I assure you, it’s not. It matters a great deal. In fact, it changes everything.


This may seem like mere rhetoric but I assure you, it’s not. It matters a great deal. In fact, it changes everything.


Think about it this way. During my enlistment, I was clothed in a uniform representing the United States. And for those eight years, my single-minded mission was to obey, protect, and serve the United States’ interest, regardless of personal cost or sacrifice. At no time did I ever align myself with another nation in purpose or mission. Why? Because I was soldier in the United States Army, therefore my allegiance was to the United States.

In the same way, those who call themselves Soldiers for Christ ought to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness, with a single-minded mission to obey and serve Christ’s interests; regardless of personal cost or sacrifice. And we should never align ourselves with another in purpose or mission. Those who say they are soldiers for Christ and use this distinction to further their own agenda in this world, have forgotten their place. They disregard numerous Scriptures in their attempt to justify their behavior. Scriptures, such as:

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:1-3 (ESV)

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  Romans 13:1-2 (NIV)

Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way? Matthew 26:52-54 (NIV)

Conclusion

God is not taken off guard by what is happening in our world. And if He were inclined, He could redirect or put an end to everything that’s taking place. But all of these things were foretold in the Scriptures long ago and they will play out exactly as written. Jesus said, “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me (Matthew 12:30, NLT). As Christians we are called to align ourselves with Him and His purposes for mankind. When we attempt to oppose Him, we bring judgment upon ourselves.

If you are a Christian with discernment, take note that these self-proclaimed soldiers of Christ who are attempting to incite political and national rebellion and violence, consistently use as their justification quotes from our founding fathers, the constitution, and other worldly resources. Never do they accurately quote God’s word to justify such action. And for good reason–there is no justification given in God’s word for rebellion against the governing authorities. Quite simply, we are told to submit. So I ask you, does our submission make us pacifists? Quite the opposite, it makes us single-minded Soldiers of Christ.

“The Bible is clear that the Christian life is not a playground, but a battleground. God has not saved us so that we can live comfortably, happily, and self-centeredly in suburbia. He has conscripted us into His army. We have a mission given to us by our Commander-in-Chief, to take the message of His salvation and Lordship into enemy territory, to win captives from the forces of darkness. As in every war, our mission requires combat and struggle. If we forget our mission and get caught up with our own comfort, we will be quick to desert the cause when the enemy attacks.”

Steven J. Cole: The Christian Mission and How to Fulfill It

Sealed in Christ, Copyright © 2021 by Sixth Seal Ministries

33 thoughts on “Left, Right, or Follower of Christ?

  1. Love this post, Dee! This is absolutely where I am at in life too! While I never served I am married to someone who is retired military. I try to lovingly remind Nathan that we are citizens of Heaven first and foremost and we are to advance His Kingdom. I am glad to be on this journey with you, Dee! Love, hugs and blessings!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Dee. I read entirely your blog. I did not follow all you were trying to say. Was there a paragraph on the January attack on the Capitol? I wasn’t sure who the “self-proclaimed soldiers of Christ” were. Well, anyway, your blog allowed you to get a lot of things off your chest. And that was a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sister Fowler! So good to hear from you. 🙂 Thank you for your comments. No, this is not directly about the attack on the Capitol. There is a movement forming amongst some– which includes many Christians–to rebel against the government and (if necessary, they say), to do so with violence and force. Some have even said things like “we don’t want to kill anyone, but are prepared to if necessary.” This post is partly in response to that. But mostly, I wanted to share what God has been showing me in my time away. And that is, that we as Christians have a mission in these difficult days. And how imperative it is to keep our eyes on Him and not be swayed to the left or right, but to stand firm with our eyes fixed on Him – our Commander-in-Chief – for direction and instruction.

      Blessings to you, dear Sister. ❤
      P.S. I will be responding to the rest of your message privately.

      Like

  3. We are indeed told to obey the governing authorities. We are also told that the apostles, when ordered not to preach the gospel any more, said “Judge for yourselves whether it is right to obey God or man.” I believe we will reach a point at which we cannot obey without violating our conscience, and at that point we resist – with as much respect as we can show.
    I have never seen anything about America in Scripture, and although it grieves me to think of my country’s demise, I know that God’s kingdom is forever, and when Jesus returns, we are to be remaining faithful, whether America is still here or not. The greatest danger to me right now is keeping my eyes on Him and not getting entangled in arguments over lesser things. I hear I might be paid a visit by someone who wants me to get some shots. If someone comes to my door, I plan to talk to them about the fact that we will both die – maybe soon, maybe later – but then what? Our job now is to spread the gospel to as many as possible before it’s too late, and I will try my best to do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All so very true, Ann. As much as I would like to think these things will happen in the distant future, I am convinced we will be faced with hard choices in the very near future. I’ve spent the past 33 years studying the Bible and anticipating the time when my faith would become sight. And I believe that this is the time when our faith will be tested and made pure as gold. I believe we will see and experience some amazing things during this time and in some small way, our faith will become sight as we rely on Him and see His provisions.

      As for me, I am living each day as it comes. I’ve long felt that America would cease to be the power that it is in the world, simply due to our downward moral spiral which seems resistant to God’s warnings of repentance. And history is full of the rise and fall of nations and kingdoms for this same reason. I have been very distraught over this and spent the past many months grieving for the country and the life that I love. But I believe God is bringing me out the other side and my resolve now is firmer than it was before.

      We have to face the reality that the time we all knew was coming is here. It’s time to suit up in faith and enter the spiritual battle that’s facing us; armed only with faith, courage, and single-minded resolve to stay committed to the mission God has put before us. And in the end, we will either see Him coming in the clouds or we will rise to meet Him in death. Either way, He will give us the grace to overcome exactly when and how we need it.

      Blessings to you, dear Sister. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You have described the “sweet spot” as a believer Dee. our citizenship is in heaven. We take our marching orders from God and his kingdom is what we seek first. I still work at my job and am a USA citizen with all my might as God directs my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “But here’s the thing.. when I became a believer my citizenship changed. Though I am legally a citizen of the United States by birth, I am first and foremost now a citizen of heaven by re-birth (Php 3:20). And if you’re a Christian, this is true of you also. Although we live in this world, we are not of this world (John 15:19, John 17:14-16). In fact, 1 Peter 2:11 addresses us as sojourners and exiles. This may seem like mere rhetoric but I assure you, it’s not. It matters a great deal. In fact, it changes everything.”

    Amen! Dee, thank you for sharing this. It encouraged my heart today. I am going through a minor trial, by some estimations, but not minor to me. I may end up writing about it. I keep having to remind myself daily that God is in control, that he is sovereign over all things, and that he doesn’t promise us that we won’t have to go through trials. He promises us that we will, but that he will be with us in the trial, and that he will carry us through it. So, your post today was just another encouragement in that area. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue! So good to hear from you. I’m thankful you were encouraged by this post. Honestly, I don’t know how people navigate through this world without God. It’s difficult enough even with Him. But it’s such a comfort to know that as His children He is not just with us in all our trials, He is 100% sovereign over those trials.

      There’s a little booklet that my mom gave me years ago when I was going through a very, very difficult and major trial that helped me beyond measure. It’s called Comfort for Troubled Christians, by J. C. Brumfield. I can’t overemphasize how much I was helped by this little booklet in understanding God’s role in everything that touches my life. I highly recommend it. Here are a couple quotes:

      “The refiner has a purpose–it is not to destroy his precious gold and silver, but to consume the “dross” and bring out the beauty and purity of the gold.”

      “The refiner never leaves his precious metal, but he sits by the fire and watches closely. He watches for that moment when the heat is sufficient to burn the dross and to leave the metal perfect. He knows the right amount of heat to apply, and he applies it just the right length of time.”

      I don’t know about you, but when I’m struggling through trials I always question what if anything I should be doing to get through in a way that will bring resolution, growth in my life, and glory to God. But I’m realizing that my role is really just to submit and allow Him to work and direct as He sees fit.

      Blessings to you, dear Sister. I will be praying for you as you go through this difficult time.
      P.S. Thank you for your insight and wisdom through your blog posts. I’m a big fan. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dee, thank you. All glory to God! Yes, I don’t think I could make it without the Lord. I wouldn’t want to make it without the Lord. When I go through trials I usually ask the Lord if there is something he wants to teach me through it or if there is a lesson in it he would want me to share with others. And then I have to keep giving it over to him, trusting him to work it all out for my good, but also praying for wisdom to do whatever it is he would want me to do in the situation, too. He does give us counsel, not just in spiritual matters, but in our every day decisions, too. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words of encouragement. They mean much!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, amen! Our trials are never meaningless or action-less. It’s wise to seek His counsel anytime we go through trials and, as you pointed out, in every situation whether spiritual or day to day decisions and actions. We may not understand why we are in a trial, but two things we can know for sure: 1) The Bible says we are comforted in our troubles that we might comfort others. 2) Suffering, trials, difficulties, etc. are the proving grounds upon which godly character and faith are perfected. These things are true even if or when we cause the trial. God is so faithful and loving that He longs to redeem even the messes we make through our own sin and disobedience when we turn back and submit ourselves to Him! Love and hugs! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you very much for the blessed post.Yes,when we fight for the freedom of our country we suffer a lot and similarly when we fight against the evil one we ought to be prepared to accept hardships for the Kingdom of God. God bless.🙏😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So agree with you Dee. I am disheartened to by the course our country is going but I cannot put my mind on the political. It can change at a moment’s notice. I must focus on Christ and know that no matter what may occur politically, I serve another King and am part of a different Kingdom. So glad you’re back!

    Liked by 1 person

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