A Lesson in LOVE!
March 12, 2017
I'm cautious when it comes to having an opinion. Because while a testimony is always destructive to the kingdom of darkness and constructive to the Kingdom of God, an opinion is a hit or miss thing. It can be easily confused with a witness, easily fueled by emotions and even when presented with good intentions, opinions most often erect dividing walls and destroy the fruit and connection God is asking us to bear.
About a year ago, the Lord led me to ask Him a question about every person I came across. It is simple and it has changed everything for me. "Lord, show me their creative value."
He is so faithful. When you ask for His heart on any matter, He delivers. Every time.
This question changed the world by simple switching out the "my opinion" glasses I was wearing to the "His opinion" glasses He wore when He imagined and brought forth every diverse and beautiful person on this world.
Suddenly, I began to see people for who they were made to be. I saw worshippers like David, loyal friends like Johnathon, wordy story tellers like Luke. Over and over, I saw the passion, intensity, beauty, love, intelligence, and persistence that God hard wired into people to be alive for such a time as this.
And just as clearly, I saw the way the enemy had come and sown weeds in them, how he had come and torn at their soul. Just like most people can look at a watermelon seed and know it will grow watermelons, the enemy can see the seeds God has placed in people and he is desperate to damage the plant before it ever bears fruit, so it never will.
So now, when I meet people, broken people, I see Esther's that were raped and abused until they could only curse the king, unable to trust any man. I've seen Elijah's who's fathers walked out after running around on their mom and so produced a son who doesn't know how to father or be fathered. I see John the Baptists who were so deeply rejected that they could never deliver a repentance message with the broken heart it requires.
Which brings me to my point, which may be opinion or may be conviction, sometimes it's hard to tell.
Church, we can't reach the lost and hurting if all we do is build churchy echo chambers. While Facebook posts about "notmymarch" may feel like the right thing to do, is it serving to build the Kingdom or build barriers around it?
Maybe instead of looking at the furious and fed-up women that gathered in droves in protest and shouting "I'm not like you! I don't agree! In my opinion, this is wrong!", we should make relationship. Maybe we should use our public voice to say, "You deserve honor. You are cherished. You are created for a purpose. You are adored, loved, pursued, bought with an unthinkable price. You are a holy nation, a royal priesthood. You are made new. You are washed clean. You are clothed in righteousness. I love you. You are worth my time. I want to know you. I have compassion for you. I'm sorry this broken world has broken you, I know a God of justice who mends the broken-hearted. You are worth stepping out of my echo chamber. I don't have to agree with you to want to know you."
When we see brokenness, we are compelled. Because God desires us to speak to it and put our healing hands on it. Just make sure we aren't quelling that unction by simply speaking about the brokenness with those that will agree. That will never heal anything.
I'm not condemning you, Church. These are hard waters to navigate. I'm just advising, there is great power in being willing to love people when their views contradict yours. We cannot cry out for revival then bar the church doors with opinions about the very harvest we are asking Him to deliver.
One final thing. When Daniel and his companions were put in position to bow to Nebakanezer's golden figure, they didn't have to shout "#notmygod!"
They simply refused to bow.
They didn't address the ones bowing. They didn't condemn. They simply stood, and when that stand led them to persecution, they leaned on their testimony of Gods goodness and not their opinions. And in their refusal to bow and Gods faithfulness to respond, a nation's heart was turns to the God of Israel.
The time is coming where the refusal to bow will absolutely be noticed, even when it's unannounced. And the people we are praying for will absolutely remember how you handled them as you stood.