When the dark is deep

purposeI cannot even imagine the terror to be felt by those who were standing in the open at a concert, coming to the realization that bullets were raining down from a hotel window, seeing people fall – and knowing there is no safe place to hide!  In these days following the shooting in Las Vegas we have all wondered, ‘why?’  If we know something of the why, then perhaps we can know what to do.

Can any explanation actually work for such an act?   For me, there is a basic understanding. This is yet another evidence of the evil that is at work everywhere, all of the time, that springs up every now and then to capture headlines with a truly horrific act. It shows up in the callous disregard for others that ranges from disrespect to murder!
That child who lives with a parent who ignores her basic need for love experiences evil.
The spouse who is emotionally battered by the one who is supposed to protect their heart experiences evil.
The person with dark skin who is demeaned with words of prejudice experiences evil.
The employee who faces a tyrant at work every day experiences evil.

Knowing this, what can we do?
Must we just ‘grin and bear it?’ Is the best we can do is hang on, hoping for Heaven?  No, Christian, no!

Our magnificent purpose is engagement and transformation.

Jesus explains the conflict this way: “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, NIV)  Understanding this cosmic conflict, we are not cowering victims. He invites us, by His grace, into the Kingdom (the rule) of God in our lives. When we respond in faith to His invitation, kneel humbly to confess our sin and accept His salvation, we enter a new way.

The Spirit takes up residence in us, breaking sins hold on us, and we become people that bring life to a dying world, light to a dark world! When  Jesus commissioned His disciples, He did not say, “Go tell people that they can now go to Heaven!” although that is true. He told them “to preach the news of God’s kingdom and heal the sick.” (Luke 9:2, The Message)

I am well aware that some Christians see Jesus’ words and take off – to attempt silly things in the Name of the King! Like the first disciples who did not understand the nature of the Kingdom and wanted to destroy Jesus’ critics, (“Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?” – Luke 9:54) come think that Christ has given them the power to call down fire from Heaven on sin. They invest way too much time and energy condemning and rebuking.

Others misunderstand the Kingdom as only for the eternal, a state achieved in the future, and thus they fail to accept their divine privilege of a new character, like that of Christ. They live as victims of sin and Self;  fearful, and weak.  Still others take His invitation to mean that we are to enjoy all the best things of this present life; wealth, health, a trouble-free existence. These disciples arrogantly demean those who suffer as having an inferior faith, an inability to ‘confess and receive’ their inheritance now.

In truth, Jesus invites us into the rule of God, beginning with us individually. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”  Led by Him, we gain a depth of character and insight that is key to the proper exercise our spiritual authority.

The Enemy of God takes aim at those who humbly receive the call. Knowing this, we can live without fear because “despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39, NLT)

Today, and everyday, pray first to be a humble subject of the King, and then, walk in the Spirit. He will fill you with Light, with Life, with Hope, with Patience. And, you and I will become ambassadors of a kingdom, presently unseen, that pushes back the darkness. Oh, Lord, make this our magnificent obsession!

Here is a word from the Word –“Jesus Christ, … is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. ­­­To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Fatherto him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”    (Revelation 1:5)

 

Magnificent Obsession

Lord You know how much
I want to know so much
In the way of answers
And explanations
I have cried and prayed
And still I seem to stay
In the middle of life’s complications
All this pursuing leaves me feeling
Like I’m chasing down the wind
But now it’s brought me back to You
And I can see again
This is ev’rything I want
This is ev’rything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Ev’rything my heart desires
Lord I want it all to be for You Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession yeah

So capture my heart again
Take me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love that You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down
To so many lesser things
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains
This is ev’rything I want
This is ev’rything I need
I want this to be my one consuming passion
Ev’rything my heart desires
Lord I want it all to be for You Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

You are ev’rything I want
You are ev’rything I need
Lord You are all my heart desires
You are ev’rything to me
You are ev’rything I want
You are ev’rything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Ev’rything my heart desires
Lord I want it all to be for You
I want it to be for You
‘Cause You are ev’rything I want
You are ev’rything I need
I want You to be my one consuming passion
Ev’rything my heart desires
Lord I want it all to be for You Jesus
Be my magnificent obsession
Be my magnificent obsession
Hey yeah yeah whoa
All for You

Steven Curtis Chapman
© 2001 Primary Wave Brian (Chapman Sp Acct) (Admin. by BMG Chrysalis US)
Sparrow Song (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055

1 Comment

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One response to “When the dark is deep

  1. Wonderful reminder. Thank you!

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