what we can do

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I’ve waited to respond to the recent decision of the Supreme Court concerning gay marriage. First, I wanted to see what others in the Body of Christ are saying, while at the same time seek the voice of God on the issue. I know, I know. It should be obvious what God has said. He is very clear about both homosexuality and marriage. But I needed to hear His voice on more than that. I wanted Him to speak into how He wants us, the Church to respond. How He wants me to respond.  I knew we couldn’t change what had been done, but I also knew there must be something we can do. Something I can do.

It began a few nights ago as I fell asleep listening to a song by Chris McClarney called “On Earth As It Is In Heaven“, and I remembered. His Kingdom come, His will be done. Here, like it is there. And somewhere in the mix of the music and the memory, I heard God say come back to prayer.

And then last night I listened from the third row as Christine Caine preached. [Side note:  that woman doesn’t speak. She doesn’t teach. She preaches. Like a woman on fire.]  Anyway. In her anointed-by-the-Holy-Ghost-I’m-on-fire-get-out-of-my-way style, she reminded the Church that nothing is impossible for God.

And I heard God say rise up and believe Me.

Today I read this in Acts 1:7-8:

It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

And I heard God say nothing has changed. Do what I gave you power to do.

Our government has declared that gay marriages are legal. As I’ve listened and read, I’ve seen a variety of reactions from the Church, but topping the charts are fear and anger. I’ve got two cents burning a hole in my pocket, so here it is.

The shock and indignation we are showing is our own, not God’s. This did not surprise Him. Nor did it dethrone Him or mess up His plans. It also didn’t redefine marriage. Marriage is God’s creation, so it can only be defined by Him. Marriage remains a covenant between one man and one woman. The world can say what it will, do what it will, believe what it will, but the Church must stand on the Truth. And when we have done everything to stand, then we stand. We do not have to stand in anger at the government or the gay community, because they are not our enemy.  We can take the battle off of social media and fight where we are meant to fight.

We can stand, and we can pray. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can come boldly before the throne of grace and cry out to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We can come together in unity and against the schemes of the enemy against not just a nation, but its people. We can pray.

We can renounce fear. We fear God, not man. Not the supreme court. Not the president. Not a group of lost people who believe a lie and act on what they believe.  Lost people are acting like lost people. I am not sure why this surprises us, and I’m really not sure why it scares us. We know how this thing ends. 

We can believe that nothing is too difficult for God. Nothing. No supreme court decision, no government, no system, no earthly ruler can overpower Him, overrule Him or thwart His plans. He is still Lord of heaven and earth.

I know the decision feels earth shattering, and like in the blink of an eye everything changed. Many are bracing for the persecution that will likely come to the Church now. I don’t disagree on that issue. But I do remember that Jesus said the persecuted are blessed. And really, why should we be different from the rest of His Church suffering through persecution? In reality, the SCOTUS decision changed very little for the Church. We are still filled with the Holy Spirit, and our calling remains the same.

We can do what He told us to do. Go. Make disciples. Be His witnesses throughout all the earth. Be merciful. Be loving. Have compassion. Preach the good news to the poor. Feed the hungry. Heal the sick. Take authority over demons. Speak the truth in love.  All of the things that a supreme court decision didn’t change.

We can be the Church. Those who shine light into darkness and rescue those who want out. We can shout more about what God is doing and less about what the enemy is doing. We can fight back with weapons less carnal than our bitter, angry, outraged words. Weapons that are mighty for the pulling down of strongholds. The question is, do we believe it? Do we believe that prayer is a far greater weapon than a facebook post? Do we believe that what the enemy meant for destruction, God can use to bring about a revival that brings people into the Kingdom like a flood? Do we believe that if judgment is coming, it will come first to us?

 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? – 1Peter 4:17

So instead of wasting our time shouting at the darkness for being dark, we can pay attention to our own house. We can stop looking the other way at sexual immorality in the Body of Christ and start addressing it the way scripture instructs. We can stop acting like our sins are just things we “struggle with” when the truth is, many of us aren’t really struggling, if you know what I mean. We’re just sinning and calling it a struggle. We can start calling one another up higher, instead of looking the other way. The Church can start dealing with the sin in the Church and stop fixating on the sins of the world.

Having said all of that, let me say this:  I know it’s hard. I know sometimes it feels like darkness is winning and we worry about the world our grandchildren will inhabit.  And I know that this is not an uncomplicated time that we are living in. But I also know this…we, you and I, were born for such a time as this. We are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and with the same power that God used to resurrect Jesus from the grave! We can rise up with courage, say no to fear and anger, and be the salt and light of the world. We can know God and make Him known, we can love God and love others, we can let mercy triumph over judgment, we can stand for truth and have compassion at the same time. We can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens us. We can know that He is returning, that this isn’t home for us, and that this earthly life is not the end of the story. In the meantime, we can continue to follow Christ and be His Church.

We can’t change what the Supreme Court decided. But there is a lot we can do, as we wait for God to do what only He can do.

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