IN ALL ERNESTNESS


Violence and The Kingdom…
February 12, 2008, 10:47 am
Filed under: life, ministry, people, religion, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

I was reading this blog post from Seth Barnes, President and founder of AIM, and I thought it was good. He was going over how the enemy has really attacked different people recently and referred to the verse, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” -Matthew 11:12

It fired me up a little bit and I wanted to share an excerpt with you…

The good news is, we don’t have to go whimpering into the night. We are more than conquerors. Somehow, in God’s economy, we’re called to resist the enemy of our souls and fight back – to get some violence in our spirit.

My mentor Andrew Shearman calls it “getting a spirit of violence.” We need to get angry and shout a bit at the forces of hell. Do a gut check and if you have difficulty fighting the accuser of the brethren, this would probably be a good day to make the following declaration, serving notice to the one who wants to wreck your life:

“Look, hell, you may have taken my loved one away. You may have robbed me of something I held dear. You may have marked me for destruction, but I sure as heck (go ahead and say “hell” if you’re feeling particularly righteous) am not going to sit here and take it! I am going to fight you for what God has given me. Society may place a premium on being nice and looking proper, but I don’t have any more room in my life for nice! I will fight you tooth and nail for what is mine, and furthermore, now that you’ve riled me up, I will exact a price for this. Where I’ve been complacent, I will start putting on the Ephesians 6 armor. Where I’ve been passive, I will start praying warfare prayers. Instead of sleeping in, I’m going to start getting up early and praising God. I’ve had it – I’m not going to sit still any longer! I know there’s a warrior’s spirit in me somewhere, and I intend to summon it up!”

This is not a prayer so much as it is a jolt of spiritual caffeine for your sleepy spiritual self that needs to slapped into a state wakefulness. And when you’re awake, start living in a way that truly does violence to the enemy camp. This is not weird or overly dramatic behavior – this is you waking up to your identity and to spiritual reality. It’s what normal Jesus followers struggling to navigate in this cynical world do.

And after you’re done declaring and praying and snorting or whatever, here’s how you continue the fight: Apologize to a few people you’ve offended. Hold an orphan, or sponsor one at least. Go visit some widows in a senior citizen’s home. Write a blog that tries to rile people up like this one. Turn off the TV. For God’s sake and for your own, do something!

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