“If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here. If the flesh that I fight is at best only light and momentary, then of course I’ll feel nude when to where I’m destined I’m compared.” (C.S. Lewis Song by Brooke Frasier)
In many ways, I feel like an alien. The way I choose to live my life and even things I say are foreign to the world I live in. I am countercultural and politically incorrect, but that does not mean that I am destructive or that I degrade the country I live in. There was a time when being countercultural was destructive, but I now see that the counterculture that led to destruction was taking the logical direction of culture itself. True counterculture fights against the sin nature, injustice, and the prejudices that enslave bodies and souls. It is only natural to go with the downward spiral of society, but it takes true courage, and a touch of insanity, to go against the flow. Though I may be insane to the world, yet I am wise in Christ and to all those who believe on His name. (2 Cor. 5:13, 1 Cor. 2:14-16, 1 Cor. 3:18-20)
Today, everything I don’t want to be and everything I don’t want to do has become normal and accepted by the general populace, even by those “within the Church.” So, when I profess to follow Christ, I find that I face a game of Red-Rover, where the stakes are eternity; I must break the chain in order to bring friends back with me, but the arms I must run through are holding so fast that it scares me to even try. I stare at the line of faces across from me and am daunted by the sad reality that people could so passionately believe a lie. What could I possibly say or do to bring them to the light or break the chains that hold their hands together? And that is the truth of the matter, that it is not even their hands that are holding fast, but hands and chains that cannot be seen are forcing the line to abide in a lie and to fight and die for that same lie. They have no idea that they are slaves to death.
I stand hand in hand with my teammates, but this game must progress, and so it happens that those from the other side will come charging in to try to break us apart. The truth is that I hate the real game of Red-Rover, because it hurts to have people ram into your arms, and I am honestly no fan of pain. I would gladly sacrifice loss if it means that I save my arm. But in the eternal game of Red-Rover, I have no choice, I must grit my teeth and take the hit, because letting go would hurt far worse than holding on.
Sometimes, I forget that the pain I feel on earth is temporal and fleeting. My sorrow lasts only for a moment, but joy will come in the morning. But in those moments of sorrow and pain, I cry out to God in my anguish. I know He hears my cries, but seeing the wicked prosper makes me believe that He cannot… The reason that I hear no reply is not that God is deaf or dumb, but because He wishes for no man to perish and for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He bides His time that grace may abound throughout the world. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:7-8)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25)
The task before me is daunting and appears impossible, but the country I represent does not send out its ambassadors without support. I have the Holy Spirit within me and I have the very Word of my King written on my heart and mind; both serve to guide, strengthen, and encourage me daily. And though I feel alone at times, yet I know that I am not the only ambassador sent. God has called so many into His Kingdom work; some have already answered, but some stay silent, allowing worthless things to drown out the Voice calling their name.
Dear Jesus, may I not dream away Your calling on my life or drown out Your Voice with white noise. May I rest in this wilderness, in the quiet restlessness, and hear the still, small voice that draws me to Heaven. I am wandering, but I am not lost, because these steps of faith are carrying me to Your promised land. While I walk, please give me the courage to stand as an ambassador for You and the Good News that comes through You; and may I not grow jealous of those who call this dying world their home. Your love compels me to die to myself and live for You, but so many are living in death, serving darkness to the destruction of their souls. Please enable me to share the Good News with this world; the news that You have come, lived among us, given of Yourself, laid down Your life, and risen to give us life. In Your light, I am known, not for my sin or the deeds I have done, but for being Your daughter, cleansed by the blood of the Son. The price You paid for my life and breath is nothing I could ever repay, but the least I could give would be my joyful and devoted service to You. Abba, I am Yours, do with me as You will. Not my will, but Yours be done. Amen.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:11-12)
2 Corinthians 4 and 5
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not, but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, “I believed, and therefore have I spoken;” we also believe, and therefore speak; knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now He that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. (For we walk by faith, not by sight) Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that you may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh. Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be reconciled to God. For He has made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.