Saturday, May 21, 2011

Love is the final fight.

Psalm 106  -- “They soon forgot what he had done, and did not wait for his counsel…they gave in to their craving… they exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.  They forgot the God who saved them,…they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise.  They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord… They yoked themselves to the Baal and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods; they provoked the Lord to anger… But Phinehas stood up and intervened…

Romans chapter one correlates to this so well.  We just keep making the same mistakes over and over – walking away, exchanging the truth for a lie.  It destroys us; it destroys our world.  You can see it everywhere.  But Phinehas stood up and intervened…

This guy is a Phinehas.  

Let me start by saying that I’m ashamed that, until last week,  I’d never even heard of him – or the impact he has had on changing our culture. He is a civil rights activist.  He loves Jesus – he loves the Church – he loves people.  And he has lived it his entire adult life.  The son of a sharecropper, at 17, he fled Mississippi after his brother was murdered by local law enforcement – vowing never to return.  But then God invaded his life, and he knew he had to go back.  He has lived his life on the front lines of this spiritual battle.  He is 81 years old and still lives the fact that God said we are here as His ambassadors – ministers of reconciliation.  Man to God; man to man.

One of the things he said that has stuck with me is that we tend to define success by overcoming the poverty or pain of our past and leaving it behind, never to return.  Success is truly found, when having been rescued and healed, we go back into it – back to bring the answer, to bring the source of healing and wholeness.  "Success is stepping into the deep pain of others and helping them find healing."

I want to be a Phinehas.  Numbers said he stepped in and intervened out of honor for his God and God saw it and turned from His anger.  The evil looks so overwhelming and so dark, so powerful.  I see time and again in scripture, God using one man, one woman, to change the course of generations.  We can do that, if we’ll just honor the name of our God – His righteousness.  

Our battle is no longer against people - flesh and blood.  It is against evil, against a spiritual enemy, but it is just as real.  And the battle must be fought... John Perkins says it will be fought with love, if we're to win.  Jesus said something like that too... They will know us by our love.  If we’ll stand in the face of unspeakable evil, God will win the battle for us.  

I guess as I continue in the search to see what brave thing God is calling me to, I want to keep looking at people who choose to live bravely - people who believe when it appears all the odds are against them - people who remember that when God is for us, it doesn't matter who is against us.  Oh, God, help my unbelief. 

Who inspires you to be brave?

“Love is the final fight.” ~ John Perkins

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