There is a lot going on in the world right now.
Upheaval in the Middle East and Israel.
Staggering economic conditions in much of the world.
Fear-mongering and threats pouring from North Korea.
And here at home, of course, we have debates raging about gun control, same-sex marriage, and healthcare.
So which battles do we fight? What do we lock arms on? What do we post on social media and trumpet to friends and family, humming “Onward Christian Soldier” as we go?
I was thinking of this yesterday when, for a spell, I thought the pink equal sign many of my friends were changing their profile pictures to was some sort of united front against Sex Trafficking or another Breast Cancer Awareness stratagem. Turns out, it was a emblem for the cause of same-sex marriage. Though it was just an image plastered all over social media, the issue had hit home–People I know are posting it. What is my role in all this? What do I say about this? What is my stance? What is biblical?
I began scouring my Bible, as many of us have done in need of a “quick” answer. Just give me one memory verse that speaks exactly to this issue and I will puppet it to the masses and be done with it.
But it is seldom that easy, is it?
I mean, truth is black and white, clear as the crisp morning air. But when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of a situation–through conscience and the Word of God–how do I proclaim it in a given situation? What circumstances of the world am I to fight for? Where is my forum for debate and do I bring my own bullhorn or is one provided?
What happens pretty easily is that I let issues rule my heart. I am dismayed by the things going on the world because I have forgotten the battle belongs to the Lord. And the victory He claims is ultimate. He claims hearts and changes people from within. I try to change them from without and fail. Truly, this makes so much difference, and it defines our battlefield.
We are to take issues and circumstances captive to Christ and Scripture. We are to have a worldview that is not of this world. We are to be light and salt. And ultimately, what this means, is that we are to wage war on the Spiritual front. The Gospel is to be our cry, our defense, our hope in all things. Social changes come and go but salvation is forever. Our mission is to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, for in it lies power and authority; and not, as we so often dupe ourselves, in the power of our opinions, however “correct” they may be.
I guess a good test for your heart in how you deal with and involve yourself in issues of life and the world is to ask the simple question: “What is my motivation?” If your heart is bent on fighting for goodness as a means of pointing to Christ or if your motive comes from a place of love and kindness for your neighbors and enemies, it is very likely that you are infecting a secondary mission with the primary Gospel mission. This should be our aim in all things. Sadly, however, what often happens in my life is the propensity to care more for being “right” than being “righteous.” I don’t come at things out of love, but rather from a position of pride, finding my identity in my facts, knowledge, and passion instead of in Jesus.
So in these troubling times, before trying to change the behaviors of the world, let us pray for the status of the heart. Let us love one another, forsaking all things for Christ. Let us make a difference for the Kingdom and let us stand for what is right, but let us stand in grace and love and hope, knowing the battle belongs to the Lord in all things. And even now, when this shaking, groaning world is topsy-turvy, let us rejoice and be glad in Him and be about His business in our short little time here on this mortal coil.