Have you ever known someone who grew up in a war zone? They can probably tell you stories of falling asleep to the sound of crashing bombs. They know people who walk around with melded flesh under their shirts from getting to close to a grenade. More than likely they have friends or family who were kidnapped and are still missing. For years fear ruled their every step. People who grow up in the midst of war have an almost incurable sense of hopelessness. The only hope they have is to get out. To find a safe place.
Do you know anyone who has lived a life like this? I do. These stories are true and weigh on me in numerous ways. They should weigh on you as well, because we all know more about leaving in a war zone than we would like. It may not be like what is going on in the Middle East. But everyday people are deeply wounded by the enemy, their sins, and the sins of others. We are all in the same fight. The one for our souls. No where is immune from this war. The only place that is safe is with our saviour Jesus Christ.
Maybe "go to Jesus" sounds too "spiritual" for you, but it is true. For the majority of my life I grew up unable to believe in God, because I didn't believe that anything could be good. I had no hope. Jesus in His unimaginable grace saw me broken and alone left to die on the battlefield. He sent people to my side. By trusting in Him I woke up someone new, as someone with hope. That this war will end. Jesus has been carefully tending, and healing each of my wounds. Now I have a choice. I can hang back where it is safe, or I can go back out into the battle.
Christian do you ever think about the people who are still out there? The ones losing these fights against the flesh. These aren't just sins that put them on the nice or naughty list. They are sins that are taking them further away from the truth of Christ, and could cost them their eternal lives.
Would you leave the person you love the most in danger? I hope you wouldn't. If you could get to them to save them you would do everything you could, even if that meant your own life. That's what Jesus did for us. He gave up everything glorious, safe, and comfortable to come onto earth's battlefield and save as many people as would listen. Are we following His example? Not just for the ones we love, but the ones He loves. Today I am greatly convicted that I have been pushing away the knowledge of this ongoing war too long. Convincing myself that I have suffered enough and shouldn't have to go back out there. Reasoning that I don't need to pay attention to the grocery store clerk, hairdresser, single mom because someone else who is a better example of Christ will do it. What a selfish fool I have been.
In Romans 1 God calls us to make disciples. If we are saved in Christ we don't have a choice our life is not our own. It is His. We owe Him our lives. Today I am convicted of good friends that I have chosen to forget about. Thankfully the Lord hasn't forgotten them. He died for them. These friends are in dark places. So deep into the war zone they think that it is the only life there is, they are giving up. I know there is hope for them. With the armor of God I'm running to them hoping against hope that the Lord will prepare their hearts for the message of the gospel.
Let me be clear. I can't fix them. They don't need me. I'm no hero. Jesus is. The way we fight is by bringing truth. We can't change people's hearts. The gospel is what changes a man. However if we are not preaching it who will?
Jesus knew he would die when he came into earth's battle. To Him it was worth the cost. He came for me. He came for you. As Christians are we going to leave the ones He died for out suffering on the battefield? If we are Christs we know that we must go to them. Friends today is that day. Please pray with me for the ones who are still lost. Have faith for those people we have given up on. Let's hope, pray, and fast for them together. They can't get back to safety on their own. The only peace that they will ever know in this world is the peace of Christ. As long as we are on this earth let's make it a good fight.
This blog was inspired by this week's sermon by Mark Driscoll. Listen to it here.