By Jeff King
This world is messy, broken, and problematic. It does not look like how God originally designed it.
After years of examining the Persecuted Church and understanding how this special body of believers deals with persecution and pain, it brought a focus to my own life. In the face of insurmountable evil and suffering, their life comes down to two things: their relationship with God and their relationship with others.
Our internal wiring and sin nature points us to self-reliance and strength. But, the Lord teaches us that we are blind, wretched, and naked unless we are clothed in Him!
God will fill us and empower us to walk through life with His sight. And He will show us the next steps for our life.
Watch the video to find out more.
I have a gift for you today, and the gift is this: I want this to be your last day. Now, that probably doesn’t seem like much of a gift, I get it, but it is. I want to explain why.
In all my dealings with the persecuted and the persecuted church, and looking at the way they deal with suffering and pain, what I see is that it brings a focus to their life. It brings clarity and simplicity. They see that when they’re at the end of the rope and there is nothing else. What they see is that life really comes down to this: their relationship with God and their relationship with others.
There’s a simple visual, an old teaching, that sums it up. It’s a tool to help you remember that.
Think of the cross. It is made of a vertical and a horizontal piece. Obviously the vertical represents a relationship with God and the horizontal represents our relationship with people.
Our culture teaches us very clearly we’re rewarded for self-reliance. Our own internal wiring as human being teaches us and points us towards self-reliance and towards strength. We feel ashamed when we’re not strong, when we’re weak. But that’s a problem. In God’s economy, that’s a problem because the Lord teaches us that we are blind and wretched and naked unless we’re clothes in him.
So, if today is your last day then what should you do differently in this aspect of a relationship with God? Well, for me, the first thing I’d do, and this is every day, is I cry out to God (or at least I try to do this every day) and say “Lord, I am hopeless. I don’t have anything to offer. You have to flow through me. You have to bring me to life today.”
He wants to flow into you. If that happens, he can also get out of you. It happens usually when we’re broken through pain and suffering. Then we’re needy and call out to God and he fills us. Then he can get out around us. He wants to get to people around you. He wants to bring them to life.
You don’t do a very good job at that. I know I don’t. Most people don’t. But he does. This is his work. Everything he touches he brings to life and he heals. He does that by people usually, but he has to fill you and then it’ll spill over and from you, he will touch other people all around you.
You’ve been angry towards God, you’ve been wounded, and you need to let go and turn back to God. He’s not angry at you. He just loves you and wants to fix your heart. That pain is very real. This world is very broken and we’ve experienced a tremendous amount of pain. It’s not the way he designed it and if you get stuck on the “why,” you kind of never get off that merry-go-round. You need to return back to God.
So in regards to relationships, let’s look at the horizontal part of the cross. To start off, think about who you need to forgive. That’s an obvious one. Even more importantly, jump to this question: who do you need to go and ask forgiveness of?
I get emotional when I think about that because the Lord did a major work in my life years ago. He showed me I needed somebody so deeply, it broke his heart and that question really led to that person coming to life.
Politics cannot help us where we’re at. My personal view is we’re under judgement as a country. It’s going to get worse. What we really need is a revival. We need, in the words of the news boys, a revolution. We need a revolution of love and revival. We need God’s spirit to come in and heal us and to turn us back to him. This happens, it seems so far off it doesn’t even seem a possibility that we need to call out and to cry out to him for just that.
If it hasn’t happened in your life already, there’s going to come a time when there’s a great crisis and you’re going to come to the end of your rope when there’s nothing left. And that’s a gift. It’s not going to feel like a gift, but it’s a gift.
That’s when you’ll see that there’s really two great things in life: a relationship with God and a relationship with others. That’s the vertical and horizontal parts of the cross.
The reason the persecuted see this so clearly is because it’s scriptural. It comes from the heart of God. All the prophets, the law, and all the teachings of Jesus hang on the two great commandments. The first is love the Lord, your God, with everything you have. That’s the first and greatest commandment. And Secondly, love your neighbor as yourself.
So spend some time today asking yourself, “If today was my last day, what would I do differently?”