“Spending my life amongst fly specks… (Being a Kingdom Family Part IV)
while miracles have been leaning on lamp posts at 18th and Fairfax!”
Those were Dr Chumley’s words in “Harvey”, the old Jimmy Stewart movie from 1950. They hit me between the eyes. They describe my life until recently. Day in and day out, I was obsessed with the little things, while I allowed the incredible, amazing Kingdom of God to pass by, without my direct participation. How could someone made in the image of the Triune God ever be content with living amongst fly specks?!! Nope, I don’t know, either.
This last fall we heard from a young missionary woman about her great need for some immediate money. Because her supporters had been struggling with the wild swings on Wall Street, her normal monthly gifts weren’t coming in. Unfortunately no one told her body that. So, her monthly needs weren’t being met. This young lady – a single woman in the midst of many men that weren’t her family members – had no money to buy what she needed for herself. She was serving in Africa facing what she would have preferred remain a private situation, being made quite public, all for lack of money. She was horrified. I cried. (You know, I think I’ve done more crying in the past year than I have in many years previous combined.) In listening to her, I had a sudden revelation. The Church is afraid of money. We have been told our whole life that being poor is a Godly and good thing. But, when I looked to the Scripture, I found that it wass part of the curse of not choosing life. I didn’t understand. Jeff and I went on a mission to look up every Scripture we could find about being rich, wealthy or having money. Virtually every time it was included in the list of blessings…why would the Church be teaching something different? I don’t know – and you know what? I don’t want to know. I just know that spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth takes money – and we daren’t allow fear of having money (and I mean a lot of money, if that is what Father blesses us with) keep us from walking out our Kingdom calling.
(I’m not talking about money for ourselves – I’m talking about money for the purpose of the Kingdom. Granted, having fried onions this evening, I feel quite able to say, you can’t do that without ending up smelling like onions. So too, we can’t have money for the Kingdom without smelling a bit like money. We must be careful to not look at someone else’s money situation and judge them – whether for little or much. That’s between them and God and we have no idea what the fullness of their calling for the Kingdom is. If God needs them to have billions of dollars (yep – I said billions) to accomplish all that He has for them to do – what’s it to us? We should rejoice that they are active participants in advancing the Kingdom, rather than being upset at all the money they have.)
Furthermore, during this same time, we kept running into more and more things that the Church has responded to, out of fear. We watched people refuse to minister to people who are not of the same faith. Why? Because they didn’t want to be led astray. Rather than seeing that as a danger (especially for people armed with the helmet of salvation!) we should be convicted of our lack of knowledge of the Word and remedy that immediately! People are dying while we are sitting back allowing fear to penetrate and run our lives!
We saw Believers fear what men thought of them if they didn’t do what was “expected” of them. (Yep, been there, done that.) We saw Believers fear being people of action. (Ditto) We saw Believers afraid of thinking. They were more comfortable taking what they had been taught and calling it “good and right” rather than holding teaching up to the Word of God to see how it fared. (Uh, guilty!) And we saw Believers afraid to take God at His Word and see if He would really do what He said He would. Fear is running rampant in the Body of Christ! (I speak this with great conviction, as fear has been my besetting sin. THAT is changing! I am becoming a woman of faith, not fear.)
If I were to come to you and tell you that I was considering having an affair, you might go technicolor on me and tell me how foolish that was and remind me anew that doing such a thing would be sin. Fear doesn’t seem to have that same reaction, however. Too often, we hold one another’s hands and commiserate. It’s as though fear is an acceptable and normal response to a situation. And it is…unless of course you’re a Believer. Then, fear is sin. Fear is the opposite of faith. Scripture is so clear about faith – without it, it’s impossible to please God. Too many of us, who want nothing more than to please God have not had anyone tell us, IN LOVE, “fear is sin.” And like any other sin, fear is the result of a choice.
Fear is so quiet and sneaky – I picture a big black venomous snake slithering across a pristine white marble floor. It’s silent and deadly. It moves quickly to get out of the light, so that no one disrupts it or throws it out. From its vantage point, it is poised perfectly to strike unexpectedly. THAT is how fear moves in our lives. It slithers in and finds a quiet, dark corner to settle into. From there, if we don’t deal with it aggressively and THRUST IT OUT, it will control our thoughts and our actions. Always, because it is birthed in unbelief, leading us away from advancing the Kingdom and into either inaction or destructive action.
The third aspect of a Kingdom family is that they have no tolerance for fear. They overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and they love not their life unto death. That is a description of Believers that do not tolerate fear!
Keep in mind, this isn’t an empty concept, based on just diaphanous wishing. (I think of that silly song we grew up with, “Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’.” That is SO NOT how we’re to believe!) Our God is a forever God. He doesn’t change. There is no shadow of change with Him. The same God that kept His people throughout Scripture will keep us. Those that know their God will be strong and do exploits. Part of knowing God is knowing that He is able to keep His people in ANY situation. Our lives should not change because of what is happening in the world. Our participation in the Kingdom is what should change. If God can keep us through the good times, because He is unchanging, He will keep us through the hard times.
How blessed is he who considers the helpless;
The LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble.
The LORD will protect him and keep him alive,
And he shall be called blessed upon the earth;
And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies.
The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed;
In his illness, You restore him to health.
Is it any wonder that the angels and the living creatures all cry out, “” Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing”? With every created thing, we should say, “To Him who sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” Great is our Lord and greatly to be praised! He is FAR above all rule and authority, power and dominion – whom have we to fear?