Last Sunday, I heard a sermon discussing the Twelve spies of Israel going into and returning from the promised land, Canaan. Ten came back with an “evil” report, two returned with a report of faith. In Numbers 13, Caleb stood up and told the crowd God said they could take the land promised them, but the Ten responded with fear, ridicule and faithlessness. Unfortunately, Israel believed the report of the scared and deceived and paid a heavy price because of it.
What we witness in this story are the perspectives of two differing mentalities: the mentality of Egypt and the mentality of Canaan. The Ten had the eyes of Egyptians, placing other idols above God and refusing to believe their Lord had given them the sworn victory. The eyes of the Two were those of the land of Canaan, seeing only the promises of God and paying no attention to the threats of man.
What we are observing today is a similar contradiction.
First off, I would like to say I do not discriminate against anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccine. It is an individual choice and one that must be respected.
Now, that being said, I am getting pretty annoyed with the MSM, celebrities, politicians, Christians, and complete strangers telling me I’m selfish, horrifying, and, my personal favorite, ungodly for not getting it.
I shouldn’t have to defend my reasoning for not receiving the shot.
There is no depth to the darkness, did you know that? The devil does not suddenly have an “end point” when it comes to the sickness and disease he desires to bring into the world, or the corruption he longs to place upon humanity, or the abuse, addiction, hurt and violence he aches to plague us with.
I have known this for some time, yet I am still shocked at just how deep into the depths of darkness the devil wants to take us.
Our world is under attack, there is no doubting that now. We are not only fighting an enemy from without, looking at places like North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and China and thinking about how bad it is over there, but rather, today, we are looking at our own society, our towns, communities, neighbors, offices and churches and realizing just how bad it has gotten here, in the land of the free and home of so many brave.
This morning, I read an incredible post by Mario Murillo about a BLM/Antifa protest in Portland where they began to burn a stack of bibles.
My bible is my life source. It is not just a book filled with random verses and passages, or a history lesson discussing where my heritage came from, or random stories discussing people I don’t know.
My bible is the guide to my eternal salvation, it is the doorway to me learning about peace, health, success, overcoming. It is Jesus’ voice here on earth, God’s testimony for my life, the Holy Spirit speaking to me through words written long ago yet still moving. It is joy in the midst of mourning, light when all I see is darkness, calm when I’m surrounded by chaos and peace in the middle of a battle. My bible is not just a book, my bible is my guide through life.
Because I work in the world of persecuted Christians, I witness bullying, ignorance, violence and hatred on a daily basis. I have always been thankful for my American heritage, having been raised by two red, white and blue patriots, but it wasn’t until the Lord took me into the world of persecution that I became extremely humbled by my American birthright.
I, we, can read the Word in public, can discuss Jesus at a restaurant, can sing praises to my God with the windows down in my car, can join with other believers on Sunday mornings to dive deeper into my relationship with the Lord. Once I began to see how rare these things are for millions of Christians around the world, I stopped taking it lightly. Our freedom to worship, to pray, to follow after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is a gift far too many of us take for granted.
We are not called to think like everyone else, act like everyone else, be like everyone else or do what everyone else does. We are called, created, to be individuals standing on one truth-the Word of God.
So, why are so many adopting a “group think” mentality and attempting to look like the masses in order to be accepted by the world?
The Word says we are, “not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world”. The very next thing Jesus says is, “therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).
The world hates light because light shines upon what the darkness wants to hide, yet it seems as if the church is doing everything it can to make the world love it by hiding its light and aligning itself with the ways of the world.
To preface this post, I would like to say that anyone who does not believe the Word is a living document and just as powerful today as it was when Jesus and the apostles walked the earth, will not agree, or understand, what I have to say.
Last week, while putting a mask on for the first time since the coronavirus fiasco began, I felt my stomach drop. To fly you now must wear a face covering, but that didn’t change my feelings of defeat when I positioned the mask over my mouth before boarding the plane.
When I placed the mask upon my face, I felt small, belittled, obedient to something other than my King.
God created me, us, to speak, to sing, to pray, so to mute and muddle that ability seems wrong, almost sinful.
I believe we are stepping into a new season with the Lord. Things we used to get away with will no longer be acceptable. Flippant words we speak without thinking will not be tolerated and saying you follow the Lord will no longer mean you actually know who He is and what He stands for.
I think we have been in a “safe zone” with God. By this I mean He tolerated so much simply because we, His children, didn’t know better. He tolerated our laziness, our unwillingness to submit to His authority. He tolerated our acceptance of “being a Christian” one day a week, of walking with Him a few hours a month and turning from Him far more than turning towards. He allowed us to make mistakes because we were in an innocent dwelling with Him, a place of learning and growing and finding Him in a world that has abandoned Him.
But, I no longer believe we are in the safe zone anymore. Like the Israelites at the outskirts of their land of milk and honey, we have approached new territory and now is the deciding moment where we either walk into the promised land or continue to wander.
Before I step onto my soapbox, I want to start this post with a couple statistics and thoughts before I begin my “rant”.
The original U.S. coronavirus death toll prediction was 2.2 million, that number later changed to 240,000 and is now around 70,000. During the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC, an estimated 80,000 people died.
I am not making light of death in any way. It is terrible so many died from the flu and it is terrible so many have died from the coronavirus, BUT, where was the mass hysteria during the 2017/2018 flu season? Why did politicians and medical experts not blanket the airways with panic, stating the CDC declared the 2017/2018 season as the, “first season to be classified as a high severity across all age groups”?
Why did we react so differently to that health threat then we have to COVID-19?
I’m now stepping onto my soapbox.
What we are witnessing in today’s society are the masses believing in and acting upon a lie.