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Posts Tagged ‘nationalism’

I want to share a dream a very close friend of mine had a few weeks ago. I believe that as we settle down from the holiday food, fireworks, and parades – the message of this dream is so relevant to believers in the United States – or any country that has a strong sense of nationalism, and consequently the mindsets that develop as we endeavor to protect our way of life from foreign and domestic threats.

We are deeply divided against each other and view many other people groups as a whole, as evil. People have been easily herded into passionate crusades of one kind or another since civilization has existed. There is always someone screaming for your undivided loyalty.

The message of this dream conveys so beautifully the truths I have come to understand in the last few years.

I dreamed our family lived in a hotel. But it wasn’t unusual, because the whole world, or at least our country, lived in this hotel. Our government, the Church – everything was in this hotel. And it seemed that everything was in chaos. Terrible chaos. Terrorists everywhere. Government officials were urgently walking into and out of meeting rooms, giving speeches, suggesting one thing after another.

community-300x201But permeating the chaos and terror, and with supernatural power, was a group of young people on whom the Spirit of the Living God rested for just such a time as this. They had no weapons at all, but they were a choir. A choir with the sweetest music imaginable. Music that I couldn’t describe as I told Wes about the dream the next day. Music that made the things of life fade into the background and God into clear focus. They were singing, “Jesus Saves” but it was nothing like the song we know. Infinitely more beautiful.

And these young people were being killed by the dozens. But not retaliating, just ministering the Spirit to all. Gladly giving their lives that others might see and live.

I woke up with such a clear view of the Kingdom of Heaven being around us and in us.

I don’t want to muddy the water here with many of my words, but a few things stood out to me as significant.  The hotel setting shows we are in a temporary situation here.  We invest so much energy into the crises of these times in worry, fear, and anger.  We set up idols of ideologies, and look to human constructs for peace and safety.

But those who recognize the Supernatural walk in the opposite realm of love and living sacrifice.  They realize that retaliation and revenge perpetuate the darkness.  They would rather suffer their own demise as a witness to love than to hate and kill in return.

The song “Jesus Saves” is more beautiful than anything heard before because it’s the music of heaven being played out in their lives – not just a song on their lips.  The message Jesus Saves has been abused and misused for centuries in horror and violence, against Jews, Muslims, Native cultures worldwide, and even between Christian sects.  This was not His way.  This new song sings and walks in the truth.

I see many people caught up and carried away in the currents of world events and choosing sides.  But I also see many, often a younger generation, who are willing to walk the Jesus Road.  Big changes are coming.  Of which Kingdom do we belong?

See also a more urgent plea: Babylon is in Your Hearts

 

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I may have only minutes before the many people who live in my house wake up.  This is an experiment to see if I can write a post that makes any sense in this small window of opportunity.  The other day I ran across a picture which perfectly describes the fantasy of an introvert writer who lives in a small space with many other people.

jumping bowlI can dream can’t I?  I do love all the people in my house so very much.  But I also love silence and solitude.  Even Jesus had to get away by Himself with His Father.  I have yet to pray all night however!

Yesterday I spent  several hours working in our backyard (a.k.a. neglected jungle) and barely made a dent in what needs to be done.  The previous occupants of the house let things overgrow for years. They also left their own piles of debris which we are still gradually eliminating, and finding interesting uses for.  In addition to rocks, metal, leaves and sticks, the other big challenge to clean out is the Mondo grass that has been allowed to take over large portions of the lawn, as well as the vines and shrubs attacking the fence line.  So while all this wild plant life grows so vigorously, the edible vegetation I am actually trying to grow barely makes any progress.  They sprouted, but haven’t grown.  Squirrels keep digging holes in the bed.  If a Scripture has come to your mind by now, I’m sure it’s the same one that I began to hear in mine.  The Apostle Paul lamented about how easy it was for him to do what he didn’t want to do, and the thing that he wanted to do – he didn’t do.  It never ceases to amaze me the reflections of spiritual truth contained in the Creation.  Jesus also loved to draw lessons from what He made, and I am thankful HE is the gardener of my soul.  His green thumb is so much better than mine.  Paul concludes his dilemma with thanks to Jesus for deliverance from this “body of death.”  (Romans 7)

535454_560529423967130_2035587773_nBut here is a paradox.  In nature we see a life force that is overwhelmingly strong and finds a way to survive when it seems there should be no way.  In extreme conditions and against all obstacles, life finds away.  But left unchecked, this life can cause the death of other things.  It takes over.

As I worked yesterday, the beauty of the blue sky behind a few low-hanging clouds quickly drifting by refreshed my weary soul.  Two Cedar Waxwings courted each other in a tree overhead, and another tiny, adorable bird was cracking a pecan that never let go of the tree.  I looked up the hill behind our house, where the most noteworthy and wealthy families in the city live.  I can see some of the buildings on the property of a well-known man who just passed away this week.  In the same year, he and my son both became ill with cancer.  This disease doesn’t care if you live at the top or the bottom of the hill.  At cancer centers you find people of all races and religions in a somber fight to live against that which refuses to die.

As I learned how cancer develops and grows, I also saw amazing spiritual parallels.  Cancer represents an attempt at immortality, gathering resources for its own growth and survival, even at the expense of the host.  Self-destruction eventually comes either through a barbaric onslaught of chemicals and radiation, or in the end – its own “victory”.  The mechanisms by which it achieves its goals are incredibly diverse and complex, and the more I studied it, the more I began to see a sinister war, not a disease.  Cancer takes what the body uses to defend itself and appropriates it for its own use.  It establishes a control center, then outposts , supply lines, and lines of protection.

For most of human history, this has been the way of expanding earthly kingdoms as well.  The way of fallen nature seeks to establish its own security at the expense of everything and everyone around it.  Not all kingdoms are content within their own borders, just as some human cells decide they don’t want to ever die.  Some people live their lives this way on a personal level.  Jesus came to show another Way.  Dying brings life, not killing and taking.  It’s so foreign to our “natural” way we often believe we can follow Jesus and still cling to what feels so obviously natural to us.  Jesus said, he who loses is life will save it, and he who seeks to save his life will lose it.  In this very simple statement we see the cause and cure of our own spiritual cancer.

I eagerly wait for a real, humane cure to the physical examples of cancer.  Nearly every day I hear of someone else entering this war, and we have lost far too many friends and family to it.  And I am in NO way suggesting that those who carry the physical disease do so because they have succumbed spiritually.  But the spiritual form grieves me maybe even more so.  When I hear attitudes and convictions of people who take up a side against other human beings for their own elevation, either nationally or personally, I believe we are promoting spiritual cancer.  It now smells like death to me, even though I have been guilty of it many times.  Compassion means to suffer with, not blame, judge, condemn, or feel no grief over the deaths of perceived enemies, as if they were dogs.  No, we care more for dogs come to think of it.  And may I continue to see where I may apply the Cure.  I agree with Paul, “Thanks be to God in Jesus Christ!” for this deliverance which continues.   But we must see ourselves as we truly are, and Him as He is, not as we wish Him to be.

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