Sunday, June 28, 2015

Take the Adventure God Has Appointed For You

The world is changing in ways we find unimaginable. Things seem out of control and beyond reason. And many Christians are very uncertain about what place we’re going to have in society as these changes develop.

Yet these words could have been written of almost any century in which the Church has existed. In fact, the Church has endured so many cultural shifts and waves of hostility over the years that we ought to look at the latest one as just another hurricane making landfall. God has given us an example of how to respond to this: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Russell Moore set a perfect example of this conviction and steadfastness on Friday in The Washington Post:

“Some Christians will be tempted to anger, lashing out at the world around us with a narrative of decline. That temptation is wrong. God decided when we would be born, and when we would be born again. We have the Spirit and the gospel. To think that we deserve to live in different times is to tell God that we deserve a better mission field than the one he has given us. Let’s joyfully march to Zion.

“The witness to marriage will be, like the pro-life movement, a long-term strategy that is multi-pronged. This is no time for fear or outrage or politicizing. We see that we are strangers and exiles in American culture. We are on the wrong side of history, just like we started. We should have been all along.

“Let’s seek the kingdom. Let’s stand with the gospel. Let’s fear our God. But let’s not fear our mission field.”

This is what the Lord has prepared us for. We didn’t expect it, but He did. Our mission is still the same. As C.S. Lewis wrote, we must take the adventure Aslan sends to us. (The Last Battle). When the path of the kingdom goes around twists and turns and even through impassable labyrinths of razor-sharp rocks, we don’t give up and turn back. If God is laying out the path, we have no excuse not to follow it.

Consider this: where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Yes, our society and culture are changing (and have been changing for some time) in ways that are unrecognizable. But something else is coming too. We are about to see God act in ways you have never seen Him act before. You have never seen a culture like this. But you have also never seen God acting in power in the midst of a culture like this. You’re about to see something new. We don’t welcome the sin just so we can see the displays of grace, but we are comforted and encouraged that when sin does come, the outpouring of grace is inevitable.

We have a choice about what kind of believers to be. We can spend our time sitting in dismay as we look helplessly at the things happening around us – which is nothing but a prescription for perpetual depression - or we can be eager to see what God is about to do and to play our parts in it. The idea that a cultural change like this can defeat the Lord’s gracious work of salvation is absurd. So don’t let it quietly creep around in your mind under the disguises of discouragement or helplessness. Take the adventure God is handing you today and watch to see what the Lord will do.

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