It seems like great men fall a lot these days.
We anticipate it – because it’s just a matter of time.
It’s what has fed our skepticism for televangelists, organizations helping kids in 3rd world countries, and pastors in churches.
Prejudice with cause.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Unfortunately that also means that everyone scatters to avoid being squished on impact.
The truth is – somewhere along the way. Someone used us and abused us. Maybe intentionally, maybe not. But it always stings just a little bit more from the shepherds and spiritual siblings that were supposed to have our back.
Forgiving them always seems so much harder somehow.
Because they were supposed to know better.
We end up bearing the brunt of their mistakes and we are left reeling in the wake of their errors.
But the true assault is not to bring down one man or one organization. It’s to create distrust and disunity in the brothers and sisters in Christ.
And it is such a hard fight, not impossible, but hard because it is difficult to detect. Because we get so caught up in fighting the issues of right and wrong that we step over one another to make a point.
Divide and conquer.
It’s always been Satan’s plan for the church.
God wants us to be a “body”, his body. Working together, feeling one another’s pain and success, sacrificing for one another – true love in action.
And that’s God’s plan for the church.
But it only works in unity, love, and holiness.
God has been speaking lately about the division trying to creep into the church. We’ve seen successes lately and we’ve laid down our lives in the forms of our agendas and preferences for the sake of one another.
And God has been standing and applauding us, but he isn’t the only one who has noticed that the church is finally gaining momentum.
We have a mutt of an enemy who has noticed as well and has begun to whisper lies into our ears about one another, trying to plant seeds of mistrust, blame, and accusation.
Sounds scary to fight an unseen enemy, but the truth is – it really doesn’t have to be and God tells us over and over again to not be afraid. So the best plan of attack against this, is simple:
1. Take the thoughts that the enemy has used to get you to turn against the people around you and use it against him. How? I say something like this, “Booya! Thanks for the reminder,” and then I begin to pray and bless that same person that I had those negative thoughts about. You’ll give the enemy whiplash and send him into a tailspin of confusion.
2. Find tangible ways to bless that person. Send ’em an encouraging text message, give ’em a hug, go out for coffee, etc.
And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.
Ephesians 4:2-6 (The Message)
Sounds intense. But I promise, God’s not asking you to drink the kool-aid.
It’s actually more along the lines of drinking the grape juice at communion.
It all comes back to laying down our selfishness for one another.
I know, I’m with you in the chorus of “but God, it’s sooooo hard!”
We don’t get it because we don’t take the time to truly “see” one another. We talk about loving God and go about our Christian lives saying that we are dead to our selfish ways but if we don’t take a good look at one another, to help one another, to encourage one another then we are just pretending at true Christianity, and by proxy asking God for a spanking.
Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.
1 Corinthians 11:28-31 (NIV)
I thought about apologizing for the redundancy of forgiveness and love that I keep writing about lately but that would be wrong. God is speaking to us because he loves us and doesn’t want us to miss out on what he has for us.
He wants us to succeed in life.
So in his fatherly way – he keeps repeating himself until we get it.
I’m extra special, in the sense that God really has to put together nothing short of a theatrical production for me to really understand what he’s trying to teach me (now, now, don’t judge, I grew up on musicals and Disney movies!) So to really drive this point home to me the Holy Spirit gave me a picture of 5 hobbit type doors as a group of women at a Bible study were praying for me. The middle door had been opened and I could see that there was nothing inside that room anymore. I felt the Holy Spirit say, “you and Jason have accessed all that you can in this area of your life for now”. And as I watched this mini-motion picture in my mind, the women at the table, one by one began to pray for me. And as each one did, I saw a hobbit door open and gold coins begin to pour out of each door. The Holy Spirit spoke again and said, “I have things for you that only other people can access on your behalf”.
That was pretty sobering for someone like me who used to view my Christian walk as a lone wolf experience.
I think we will all see less of men falling and more succeeding if we can stand together.