I’m Missing It
It’s already weighing heavily on the decisions that I make. It’s already molding my joy. It’s already helping me see Jesus more clearly.
It’s the question, what is to happen when Isis or the like is reigning in the context that I am currently dwelling? I’m not a fear monger by any means, but I do think that God sets things in motion because He’s after one thing – a sanctified Bride.
Without question, as the Bride of Christ in certain parts of the world are facing extreme persecution right now, I HAVE to in some way identify with them, because WE identify with Jesus.
Is my heart ready to embrace a reality that is already prominent throughout the world? I can’t help but feel that I am currently not embracing the realest reality. To me this exposes perhaps a more dangerous reality: I don’t live a wartime lifestyle. I haven’t left all that I have to follow Jesus. People are definitely on their way to hell, but I don’t feel the weight of it, because I’m not surrounded by fatality. I know that I want to follow Jesus, but the margin to be American often smothers that desire. And when desire for Jesus is smothered, Jesus-like action is quenched. I don’t empathize, or intercede, because I don’t treasure Jesus like I ought, and I’m not under the same weight as those presently suffering.
The deepest part of me wishes that the realest reality could be present now, so that I would be forced to cut the excess of life that steals my attention from Jesus and focus on Jesus. There’s only one problem with that – If I’m not living for Jesus now, then when persecution comes I won’t have clarity to live for Jesus then.
Only gold is refined in the fire. Only focus on Jesus endures through the greatest tribulations. It would be a mistake for me to forecast that my faith will match the intensity of the moment. It won’t. I need a joy set before me now. I need all of Jesus now. I need to seek His face now. I need to treasure Him now. I need His word inside of me now. I need to tend to my brothers and sisters now!
Don’t Confuse Christianity with American Patriotism
To clarify, here’s how a Christian does not prepare for future suffering and sanctification:
- Watching fox news all day.
- Posting on facebook what they watched on Fox news all day
- Criticize the government
- Run from adversity
- Watch passively as lovers of Jesus are martyred
- The list goes on.
Here’s what Christians do:
- Focus intently on Jesus
- Grow in treasuring Jesus
- Herald the truth, with urgency, that Jesus is supreme treasure, and rescuer.
- Herald the truth that this life is temporary and we are to count our lives as nothing, but to give them for the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus.
- Pray, that Jesus would strengthen the focus and affections of His Bride.
- Pray that He would return
- Pray that we would remain faithful
- Pray that God would produce joy in us in the midst of suffering
- Embrace community; lifting up one another, and strengthening each other in the grace of Jesus.
- Loving our neighbors and pleading with God for their salvation.
- Understanding that we aren’t in a political battle, we’re in a spiritual one. And it’s a redemptive one, because it is preparing the Bride for the return of Jesus.
Friends, let us not be known as American republicans in this time. That will most likely keep us from our true identity. Let us be known as the people that treasure Jesus, yielding the fruit of counting our lives as nothing, evidenced in flinging our lives into service that others might treasure Jesus and have a joy set before them.
This time in History is all about Jesus being made known; His authority, His sovereignty, His love, His justice, His plan, His sanctifying of His Bride, His words fulfilled, His return to humanity.
Let us not be saying with our lives in this time that we have a greater treasure than He. Your identity is hidden in Him, and He is the only one to fear.
May Jesus become more clearly seen and treasured amongst His Bride.
For the joysetbeforeme,