Thursday, 23 July 2015

Fight for your Life

All men die, but not all truly live. A paraphrase of William Wallace from Braveheart.

Time passes daily. I married at the age of 31. I'm now 43 and I don't know where the last decade went. We were so busy planning our future that we missed the present God gave us every day.
Life happens while you're planning it. Tragedy strikes at random. Illness. Infertility. Death. We cannot outrun these things for we are at war.

I'm an avid television watcher at the moment. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, a condition that limits my ability to concentrate and complete even basic tasks. Through therapy it's been shown it began as a form of coping with post traumatic stress when my brother died.
I don't have the concentration span to read any more. I used to be able to read a book in a day or two.

These days those same books take weeks, and life passes by.

I choose what I watch carefully. I have to. The SABC is underfunded and controlled by the national government in South Africa. With 11 official languages it becomes hard to find something without subtitles, so my family spend most of our time with what seems to be an ever increasing collection of DVDs.

Right now I exist. I only really come alive when I write. In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell is quoted as saying "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." I feel that way about my writing and speaking. It seems to be the only times when this affliction of ADD is forced aside and things simply flow in a natural order.

Everyone has that something. And we are at war to find it. Our enemy will do anything to prevent us from realising the potential we have. John Eldridge puts it in "Waking the Dead": "The story of your life is the story of a long and brutal attack on your heart by the one who knows what you can be and fears it". Satan fears us.

Take a moment to really take that thought in.

Satan is afraid of the believer because in our most God-empowered existence we have the authority through Christ to overturn his tables and utterly destroy his plans through God at work in us.
Satan fears us.

But to claim back what he has stolen before we come to a cogent recognition of the full power of God we are empowered to do in the power of His name is hard. We become entrenched in mental paradigms that become chains holding us in subjugation to an enemy who cannot lock those bonds without our permission.

If it seems this post is more of a warrior tone than some of my other writing, it's because I feel it's time for the Army of God to wake up, rise up and engage the enemy of the World as God would have it. False religions like Islam are reported to be growing faster than Christianity and I read somewhere that an estimate that Islam will surpass Christianity as the most populous religion on Earth within 20 years.

If that's not a call to battle I don't know what is.

I found myself watching "Kingdom of Heaven" yesterday. It's been a while since I watched it and I realised that arrogance and pride were what the crusaders took to Jerusalem, not the Gospel of Jesus.

Islam employs those same terror tactics now and it allows the "official" figures to show rapid growth, but how many simply give lip-service to save their life?

I might have been one of them not too long ago. Events in my life in the last few years that my Christian Faith has carried me through and I choose not to elaborate on here mean I know even if faced with death or torture I will never surrender to a demonic power.

My words may be inflammatory. Let them be. This is War we are fighting, and we need to be reminded of it. We can simply sit and plan and do nothing, procrastinating until death releases us or we can speak boldly. We may be rejected by friends - it's happened to me already.

We may be ridiculed.

Or threatened.

Or killed.

The threat is real. Jesus warned us in John 16:2 "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service." This is relevant to the murders of Christians by ISIS, Boko Haram and any number of other factions. Extremists of the 21st Century, no less fanatical than the crusades a thousand years ago, just with modern weapons.

Genocide still ensues.

And we - mostly - sit in our armchairs tut-tutting and saying "someone should stop them" but doing nothing. The only force more powerful than the hate being meted out by these people is Love. God's Love.

It may seem I've gone off topic a little, but it all comes down to the same thing.

Life is happening. Lives are ending. Men, women and children are being slaughtered indiscriminantly for refusing to convert to a false religion.

Let my words be inflammatory. Perhaps they can light a fire under those who claim to be Christians because they sit in a church once a week for an hour and put a dollar in the offering plate. They are unaware that their actions no more make them Christians than sitting in a garage makes them a Ferrari.

Don't let apathy win. As God's Church we need to rise against false religion spreading hate with the Love only Christ can give.

\Life passes us by. It's time we stop and fight to truly live each moment, hold it, drink it in for Christ and never, ever give it back.

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