"You are supposed to destroy the works of the devil and stomp on hell for a living. The cross is the revealing of your value. If you get who you are because of what he did, it doesn't matter what people have done to you." Todd White
Our world is in chaos. And many of us feel defenseless.
So many voices are shouting to be heard. Often their messages are different, outright contradictory, depending on their experiences.
How do I respond as a believer?
I honestly don't have all the answers. There are a few words that keep landing in my brain though, like the cotton from the trees that keep landing on my porch, clinging: listen, pray, serve. Fight for righteousness and the innocent. In other words, be more like Christ.
As these thoughts were circling in my head, I ran into a friend as I was driving out of my neighborhood. I rolled down the window to chat.
She told me she had spent the evening around a campfire with a Native American and an African American. She said there was much anger in the beginning of the night. "But by 3 in the morning there was so much peace and well-laid plans of how we could all work together to make positive changes in our community."
My heart swelled. I loved this. When I asked her how this happened, she responded: "I followed through with people God put in my path. And I listened."
Do I truly listen to others? And, how well do I listen to my Creator?
God still speaks to us today. In his Word, yes. From other believers, yes. But also directly to us by Holy Spirit. Are we listening?
When we listen well to Holy Spirit, my guess is we will respond to each person how God wants us to, better reflecting his heart for them.
In one of the books I'm reading, Do Greater Things, Robby Dawkins encourages us that one of the best ways we can love others is to pray with them. "Opportunities to pray for people are all around you. Some of those opportunities may be obvious… Sometimes, if we keep our ears open, God will reveal to us that a person has a specific need we are to pray for…Or just ask how you can pray for them."
We know that dark forces in the heavenly realm love chaos and that Christians not acting like the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father has played a part.
Lord, forgive our pride and selfish tendencies; grow our desire to know you better. When we know you rightly, we act rightly. May we saturate ourselves in you to the point our heart for others reflects yours. There is a hurting world waiting for us to bring your heavenly kingdom to earth.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10