Reading for today:
Psalm 119:49-72; 49; 53
1 Cor. 2:1-13
A key passage from yesterday and a passage from today stand out.
From yesterday’s reading in Mark, there is the story of the demon-possessed man who was in the synagogue when Jesus arrived (Mark 1:21-28).
Here is the question that haunts me when I visit that passage: How long had they tolerated that man being bound by a demon in that synagogue?
Then the question comes to me: how long have we tolerated the stranglehold of demons on our own lives?
Since the school shooting last week in Florida, we’ve seen nothing but the same old battle lines. What is assured out of this is no action will be taken.
This has become our acceptable norm. And we, as believers, are accepting this demonic stronghold on our culture and the lives of our kids.
There is the mantra of some sort of gun ban. There is the vehement response of “What else you gonna ban? TRUCKS?”
And we solve… nothing.
Even conservative Christians will post things about clinging to their guns and there are some memes that will even run to the conclusion of, “If you don’t OWN a gun you’re a fool.” So now… you’re out of the will of God if you don’t “protect” your family in that way?
Strongholds in a culture are strongholds because we refuse to recognize them as such. We, instead, unwittingly worship them. They are our cultural gods.
THIS is what has been stirring in my spirit this past week. It’s a reminder of what I have thought over, prayed over, and then, of course, done nothing about for decades.
We have three major gods in our culture and to the “left” and to the “right” we have “causes” that are liturgies of worship to these gods. (This is for the “left” and the “right” of the American church as well.)
Our shame as believers is that we refuse to recognize these gods in our own lives. We look at the “other side” and see their god… but WOW… do we think we’re pure as the wind-driven snow!
And nothing gets done. And our kids are the sacrifices.
Which brings me to a key passage from today’s reading:
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2, NIV)
We need the power of God in our lives again. I need the power of God in my life again. I need the deep work of the cross to have its full effect on me. It is about HIS glory and HIS power, though. It’s not about what Christ does, but it’s my picture in the selfie.
All of this is about the deep work of prayer that is so desperately needed once again in our American church. It is the deep cultivating work of the Spirit that happens with the plow of prayer. When the plow of prayer has turned up the soil of our hearts, we just may see the high tolerance we’ve had for the gods of this world.
We may then have our eyes opened and then be able to see the power of the cross. We can then deal with the false worship in our lives… and once again the power of the Spirit can flow.
Until then, we’ll tolerate the demonic in our lives and culture.
NOTE: I know I mentioned three gods of our culture earlier. I also know I didn’t name them here.