Seldom do we live on purpose. It’s like we have gotten use to the idea of being receivers of whatever comes our way instead of initiators of our own lives. We see ourselves as always playing defense. We talk of playing offense, and maybe take an offensive position from time to time, but do we ever consider we do not have to be responders at all?
Of course, we respond to God. But in life we do not need to always be the one preparing to defend against or attack an opponent. While there is a time for each of these, a constant position of defense or attack will wear us out. Our job is to initiate the Kingdom from a place of victory. Consider Jesus.
The disciples were in a boat with Jesus. A storm raged with strong wind and waves assaulting their fishing boat. The waves were breaking over the boat. All the while, Jesus slept in the back of the boat. Afraid, the disciples woke Jesus and asked if he cared if they drowned. Rising, Jesus spoke to the wind and water, commanding them to be still. The storm abated at his words and he turned and asked the disciples why they were so afraid and questioned their continued lack of faith.
Jesus did not take a defensive or offensive posture against the storm until the disciples peace of mind necessitated his rebuking of the storm. He simply slept and let it rage. It was not going to hurt him or the boat. He was of a Kingdom that could not be shaken. No matter the natural assault brought by the storm, Jesus, and those with Him, were safe.
The disciples were with Jesus and yet somehow thought that a storm would be the end of all of them. The storm was not a threat to Jesus or to those with Him. The disciples could have slept safely alongside Jesus.
How often are we worrying about the storms of life while Jesus is looking for us to rest in Him? We want the storm to be calmed so that we can be calm. He wants us to be calm despite the storm. Jesus could bring peace to the storm because He already is Peace.
When we are tossed around by every piece of news and current events, we are like the disciples asking Jesus if He cares that we are being assaulted by so much turmoil. If we are being assaulted by the turmoil of the world we are wearing ourselves out fighting a storm that cannot harm us. We can choose weather the storm tosses our boat or if our boat will sail on in safety.
We have taken on the false idea that God needs to remove us from the dangerous darkness so that we can be safe. Instead, we are safe in the middle of darkness. We do not fend off darkness to protect ourselves. We are already protected. We are the ones that can invade the darkness and set the captives free.
We choose to let in what assails us. This is difficult to read because it removes all our excuses of powerlessness and our victim identities. We do not need the darkness to stop being so dark. We do not need society to start behaving like good Bible believing Christians should in order to be the salt and light in the earth. They can’t start behaving like Christians unless Christians start going into the dark places and loving the people they find there into the Kingdom.
We are afraid of those who practice evil. We think the darkness can overpower the light. There is no realm in heaven or on earth that the darkness can extinguish the light. Only the light can vanquish the darkness. But we do not do so by making people caught up in darkness our enemies, but by laying down our lives to serve the broken, rejected, and lost people.
Do you want to make a difference in your city? Bless and do not curse. Do good to those who wrong you. Be kind to atheists. Befriend a Muslim. Show the power of God’s love to the most difficult to love. Practice not being offended by sin. Love those who hate you. Bless those who persecute you. Consider it joy to serve those who want to take God out of school. Love those who want to remove Christian symbols from public buildings.
If you don’t know where to start, think of the people who are doing the things in this world that irritates you the most. Then find those people to serve. It will break the hold of darkness over them and you.
It does not matter what storms people create that swirl around us. We are of another world, another atmosphere altogether. Only when we live from the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven can we change the atmosphere of earth around us. When you have the peace that allows you to sleep in the midst of a storm, you have the peace that can calm the storm.
We can set the captives free in any area that we are not held captive. When we live in victory we can lead others to a place of victory. When we are impressed by the storms of life, we cannot free others who are trapped in them. But the choice is ours. God already set us free and empowered us to demonstrate His Kingdom in every place that we go.
He did this over 2000 years ago, what are we waiting for?