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the election was eventually certified in Biden’s favor, I admittedly became fearful; and even a bit disheartened and withdrawn.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)
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
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