battle strong

“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

I’ve tried staying out of it. Just stay low and go on with my life as though nothing was hitting the fan. Give no opinion, stay out of the ring, rise above. But between me and God there have been questions. Lots of them. Because oh, I have opinions. Big ones. I also have enough years on me to know that no matter how glassfirm my opinion, how right it seems, how important it feels…it isn’t. It is simply an opinion. One person’s answers to life based on seeing things through a glass darkly. So I began to ask God His opinion.

Which candidate am I supposed to support? Should I boycott Target? Where should people pee? How should I feel about the refugees? Let em’ in or keep em’ out? Ditto on illegal immigrants.

And I found that mostly, it all comes down to one question. Black or white, Christian or Muslim, straight or gay, right or left, and on and on it could go…

Who matters the most to God?

And my mind plays that familiar refrain. Everyone has value because we are all created in God’s image. But then I take a good hard look at the opinions I hold. And I look at the conversations I see played out online by believers, and I feel sad. Sad that much of the truth the Church is speaking is done with her outside voice, and sounds more hateful than loving. To be honest, while we profess to believe that everyone has value, we sometimes sound like we really believe that we have just-a-tiny-bit-more. It’s true. I know it’s hard for us to hear, but we need to hear it. And I use the word ‘we’ on purpose. Because I am not alone in this, but neither are you.

God hasn’t told me who to vote for or who to boycott. Instead, He led me to Paul’s words to a young pastor named Timothy. To the only piece of ground that isn’t crumbling in our world right now. To the firm, unshakable place of His Word, where really, the only opinion that matters is His.

“First of all, then,”

What’s about to come, comes first. Not second, and certainly not last. And the word ‘then’, means that what comes first, is connected to what was just said. At the end of chapter 1, Paul tells Timothy:

“Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, having faith and a good conscience.

spiritual warfare

Engage in battle, Church. Battle strong.

But follow instructions.

“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Can we just stop talking about Donald and Hillary like we know them? We don’t. We know about them. You know, it’s like when people talk about God and get it all wrong, because they know about Him, but they don’t know Him. So they totally miss His heart. It’s like that.

I don’t care how strong our prophetic gifting. I don’t care if our super power is x-ray vision. We still can’t see what God sees. Do you know who knows Donald and Hillary? God. He sees who they are when the cameras aren’t rolling and no one is watching. He sees when they cry. When they are shaking in fear. When they are wondering what they got themselves into. He knows all about their self-doubt, insecurities, and self-loathing. He knows who they really are, while we only know who they pretend to be. And as followers of Christ we are not called to tear them down. Period. That statement needs no further explanation. You and I both know it’s true.

We are commanded to pray for them. To intercede on their behalf to the One who knows them, loves them, and has a plan for their life that goes beyond the dark glass we’re looking through.

“This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

And there it is. The answer to who means the most to God. Everyone. The ones we shake our heads at. The ones we protest and boycott and shake our fists at. The ones who want to pee in our bathrooms. The ones who don’t look like us, talk like us, dress like us or believe like us. The conservative and the liberal. The ones we are afraid of.

Jesus-Cross

 

We all have the same value because we all have the same price tag. 

I am not a robot. I can, and do, have my opinions. But at the end of the day, those opinions must bow to the throne of God, and obey His call to battle for humanity in prayer. It does not mean I agree with what they do, what they say or what they believe. But the name calling has to stop. The arguing and debating has to stop. Protesting more than praying has to stop. For all of us who call ourselves followers of Christ, it just has to stop.

Because at the end of the age, all of this will fall away. All of our boycotting, protesting, and thinking we’re right. All of our offenses over, let’s be honest, way too much stupid stuff. And what will be left is everyone. Standing before God. Those who accepted the price that was paid for their sin will enter in to receive the promise of their faith. Those who rejected Him will be cast out to pay the wages of sin themselves.

Should we not feel the urgency of that day? Isn’t the impact of that truth far greater than the impact of who will be president? Over a nation that belongs to God (because they all do, you know)? Or who wants to pee in the Target bathrooms? Shouldn’t the vision of what that day will be like be enough to bring us to our knees to pray for the ones we are gnashing our teeth at? If not, then truly, God, have mercy. On. Your. Church.

God didn’t tell me what my opinion should be, no matter how many times I asked. Instead, He led me to His. I get to choose, and I choose to pray. I choose prayer over fear. Prayer over offense. Prayer over indignation. Prayer over boycotting and debates. I choose prayer.

I choose to battle strong.

 

{Wow, that was a long post! If you stuck with me to the end, bravo! And thanks!}

Let's talk about it...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s