Sunday, November 22, 2009

African Update # 9 2009


                            The Call to Fight

I guess all of you that read Amma’s and Joel’s blog know about George’s jailhouse blues. It was quite an experience. That poor meter maid must have had a bad day or was looking for a little extra cash from George that day. The justice system herein Nakuru is just a tad different than back in the states. A meter maid can haul you to jail for asking the wrong question, and he was facing 2 days in jail for... we still don’t know what.

If George would have had to stay overnight, he would have slept on a concrete floor amid drunks and other “seedy” individuals. Although it was wonderful experience, for the young people and I, to grab hands, outside the police station, pray for George's release, then see George’s big smile coming out of the police station seconds later. I really wasn’t looking forward to doing Sunday morning without him. God is so good.

The incident served as a small example of what I wanted to teach at the Gathering, and can serve as a reminder to our folks back home, of a very consequential, neglected truth. We are at war. There are many days that don’t seem that way, but those days can be among the most dangerous. It is not hard for our Kenyan family to picture a warlike condition existing in their neighborhood, because of the post election violence that killed hundreds of people, here in Nakuru, only 2 years ago. I asked them how dangerous it would have been, during those days, for someone to walk out of their house for a stroll in the park, having forgotten the violence that was happening around them. They replied; they could have been killed. Yet isn’t that how some of us are presently walking around, sort of in a daze, not realizing the terrible unseen war going on around us? I know there are natural causes for maladies in our everyday lives; but I also am aware, that some incidents, happening everyday to us and the ones we love, are not so natural.

We are not the only ones in this war using spiritual weapons. Sicknesses, depressions, sudden outburst of anger, hopelessness, confusion and a host of other things, we think are just natural problems, can come from a very abnormal, dedicated enemy. When a brother, sister, or young person is struggling, do we just automatically think its normal? Do we always think the struggle our young people are having is just “part of growing up”? That is a good way to lose fellow soldiers and trainees. We had better wake up to the very real war that is raging around us.

Christ is our “Prince of Peace”, and at the same time, He is our Warrior King. Though He sits with God in the Heavens, at the very same time, He wars with us, here in the earth. If we are not presently being trained as warriors, we will suffer much unnecessary loss. Here is a short section of what I taught at the Gathering…

                                      The Warrior King

Christ our Warrior King is fighting at this present moment, and to experience His true Eternal Life we must enter that fight.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1Timothy 6:12

True Christianity is a good fight, and one that we need to enter. One in which all participants on the side of our God can feel and experience the Eternal Life He has given them. Perhaps the reason so many Christians are barely aware of the incredible, abundant Life from heaven, is they are not in the fight; so they never “lay hold of it”. The absence of the battle is the evidence of a false faith. Christ is fighting even now; so if we don’t experience the fight we will not experience His Life. There are many who claim to be filled with His Life, and never experience the fight. People, who will join a church, (or live in a Christian community)be baptized into that church, attend that church regularly, have a “Christian” marriage in that church, teach in that church, and when they die will have a Christian funeral in that church and never experience the terrible conflict of this war. That is not biblical Christianity. We are commanded to fight the good fight.

Amy Carmichael was a valiant warrior from Scotland, giving her whole life to the fight in southern India, for the souls of young girls. During that fight she penned a poem called; “Hath thou no scars”? The stanzas of the poem ask how anyone can fight a war without scars. How shall we call ourselves followers of our Warrior King who bears so many scars from His battles, and we ourselves “have no scars” ? Our King is a warrior King whose scars are the proof of His love for us…. Where is the “proof” of our love for Him or His children? Where are our scars?

                      The War and the Enemy

The place of this war is not heaven or hell. It is fought on the earth in the hearts and minds of every human. God our Father is not battling evil in heaven. There was a brief rebellion in Heaven, but it was stopped as soon as it started and all the opposing entities were thrown out of the dwelling place of God.

They, the powers and principalities of darkness, have brought that war to earth. Every human being is part of this war, whether they are conscious of it or not. Every person is a player.
                                   Who is the Enemy and Who is on the Lord’s side?
We are told that our enemy is not flesh and blood; that they are evil spirits waging war against us, attacking our bodies, minds and sometimes even out spirits. Do we really believe that?

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Our enemies are not each other, other Christians, nor even the evil governments of this world. All of our fighting with each other, arguing with other Christians, and entering into the conflicts of nations must give way to the real fight to which we have been called. Our real fight is with this present darkness itself and our mission is to destroy, on earth, the works of God’s enemies. The enemy can be found in 3 distinct places; in our selfish, sinful desires, in the worldly secular influences that are all around us, and especially in the one called; the Accuser of the brethren.

You cannot be neutral in this fight. If you choose to remain selfish in your thoughts and actions, you will become God’s enemy. If you choose not to be trained as a soldier of Christ or to continue in your friendship with this world and its pleasures, it will result in you being recruited by the other side, to fight against your own fellow soldiers.

“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor can it be.”(Romans 8:6, 7)

Where do battles and fights come from among you? Did not they come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world (to fulfill his pleasures or pursue worldly goals) makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4)

We are so grateful to be active soldiers, fighting with a real visible army of Saints, in this very ancient war, which our Warrior King will soon bring to a close. We are raising up new recruits each week. It seems as though there are new people coming each week to “sign up”. As we lift Him up, he is drawing men and women to Himself. Just He watched over us in Tennessee, God is showing His favor to the Lakeview Village Church, here in Nakuru, Kenya. He is letting people in Lakeview know that God is with His gathered people.

We met with the young people again and they are beginning to get excited. They are planning a Christmas celebration, complete a feast, skits and dancing. Pray for our Christmas celebration that it would inspire and bless all who come.

We want to bless all in the Village who have been faithful to pray and serve the Lord on our behalf. We are so encouraged how people have risen up and stood their ground. We also want to say how proud we are of the Memphis Gatehouse, for the wonderful reports of you "fighting the good fight". News of your zeal and exploits are giving us strength. Keep up the good fight. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving ....we have a lot to be thankful for.

We love you and miss you ….your fellow soldiers on the African front.

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