by Mike Genung
We are a church at war.
There are times when I wonder if we act like it. Are we training believers to be Biblical warriors? Or is church about making everyone feel good? Just looking at the problem of porn alone where two thirds of Christian men (along with pastors) are viewing it, and many churches are afraid to confront the problem, I don’t see how we can.
“Keep it positive and encouraging” is our motto of today. Don’t challenge anyone or say anything that will puncture their comfort zone or make them squirm. Let me ask, when is the last time you left church so undone, so convicted over sin, that you were compelled to make a change?
Jesus called the church “a house of prayer.” Is the American church of 2016 a house of prayer? In many churches the Wednesday prayer meeting is extinct. Sunday mornings we fire off a “Lord bless our service,” but that’s about it. I believe prayer is the most powerful weapon in our spiritual armory, yet many Christians have little to no prayer life. We’re too busy. When is the last time you went alone to a retreat to spend 24 focused hours with God? Have you ever?
I want all of God’s truth. I don’t just want the parts I like. When it’s needed, I want the Lord to convict me. (I invite Him to do so occasionally, with trepidation). I want Him to hold up a mirror to my heart and show me the parts that need work so I can have more of Him and less of me. Some times this means pain or having to confess sin, but I’d rather have it that way that risk a hardened heart.
Being a warrior isn’t posting a meme on Facebook or quoting verses. Even Satan quotes verses. It’s not learning theology or doctrine and going off on a crusade to prove you’re right. Being a warrior involves being fully convinced that you’ve been given every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1) and are assigned Christ’s authority, understanding the weapons at your disposal and how to use them (many Christians are blind to this, especially when it comes to prayer) saying “Hear am I, send me” as Isaiah did in Isaiah 6, and then going where He sends you. It’s never about taking a hill “for God” in your own strength or doing ministry in the flesh.
In days like these where our country has gone Sodom, warriors don’t retire. They don’t let up. They want to get in the game and fight for others. They train others to be warriors and they disciple them. They speak the truth boldly, in love. They may feel afraid, weak, or unworthy at times, and they make mistakes and stumble, or they may take some hits, but they keep going and pressing forward. They also understand that they do their best fighting on their knees.
We’ve traded “Onward Christian Soldiers” for “Keep it positive and encouraging; don’t offend anyone.” Yuck. Some of us need healing, others need to go to basic training, and there are those who have more training and knowledge than good sense and are rotting on the sidelines.
Then there are the warriors; the men and women I want to emulate and learn from.