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Don’t leave the stadium until the game is over. Don’t walk off the field before the clock stops. Even now, heaven’s Referees are reviewing the last plays. The clock is not working against us but for us!
Really, the end of the game for me is not January 20th or even 5, 10 or 13 years from now. I’m in the game until my time is over, or Christ returns. I’m in the game if things go South or North in our nation. I’m in the game to win!
The American Revolution lasted 7 years. What if Washington had said, “I’ll give it 13 months. If it doesn’t work out I’ll give up, let them hang me, and let the colonies go into subjection”?
MY TWO RESOLVES FOR THE YEAR
My first resolve this year is to seek, and find, the face of God in new dimensions. Join me in this, the greatest of all “Treasure hunts.”
My second resolve for 2021 is to be a Challenger. Challenging moments demand counter-challenge. If others cow before circumstances I must not. This is a year for me to contend!
WHAT MAKES PEACEFUL AND VIOLENT REVOLUTIONS?
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” John F Kennedy. The moral is that we can have peaceful revolutions by hearing one another out. We feed the likeliness of war by failing to listen to grievances.
Do you remember the Boston Tea Party? The Colonialist did many things which would certainly be in the press today as rude and crude – damaging loyalist property, stealing, tarring and feathering, and such. The revolution was messy. Nearly every war is messy, often with atrocities on both sides.
If the Colonies had had a hearing from England, and their complaints had been sensibly responded to, there would have been no rebellion. Refusing to hear out those who have complaints of voter fraud is certainly the stuff that fuels rebellions.
INTERFACING WITH THE PROPHETIC
I do not remember any prophets in the Revolutionary war. As far as I know no one was proclaiming “Victory is guaranteed,” or predicting a date the war would end. The stakes were high and uncertain. They would have to fight to the end, whenever that might be. There were some in the revolution who said, “I quit,” and walked home. Others valued freedom too highly to quit. We own them a debt.
One of our fleshly tendencies is to seek a great prophetic word, then sit on our hands until it is fulfilled. I like prophets who will tells us what we will read in the paper tomorrow. But we need “call to action prophets.” Then we need “This is how we build it” Apostles to guide us. We want to follow Christ so closely that our lives become news-worthy.
A prophet may prophesy the future abundance of my garden, but if I fail to till and plant, to water and cultivate there will be no crop. A prophet may prophesy blessings for our nation, but if we fail to care for the nation and contend for its health it will become a barren weed patch.
Haggai and Zechariah basically exhorted, “Get building the Temple of God! Put first things first.” These are the prophets we need today. The people were galvanized to action. Zerubbabel and his compatriots got their hands blistered and dirty. A nation was turned, the temple was built and God’s blessings were restored.
PRACTICING OUR VALUES
Our value systems dictate whether a war is worth fighting, a garden is worth planting and a house worth building. Jesus value system was built around the preciousness of people. May our value systems harmonize with His!
Jesus’ great “capture the flag” game was to reclaim paradise and the precious ones meant to inhabit it. He “tagged” us free. Now that we are out of prison we are in the game with Jesus to rescue our former cell-mates.
Will you stay in the game till it’s over?
“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8
Washington, in the midst of the toils of war spoke, “Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; this is all we can expect – We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our own Country’s Honor, all call upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions – The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings, and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the Tyranny meditated against them. Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
Steven C Johnson
“BUMPY” OCEAN AND SMOOTH SAILING (a dream)
I was at an ocean beach with very choppy water. I went out on the water in a small boat. It was fascinating that my boat was moving smoothly as if on calm water. A few others were also out in small boats. They were moving calmly, untossed, in spite of the chop. Their boats did not bob and toss as if they were in choppy water.
I looked out in the water and saw three tall, colorful giraffes walking in the water. They moved calmly with their legs under water as if they were walking on solid footing, but they were out from the beach certainly in deeper water.
REFLECTION: We are going to see some “Bumpy waters” but our experience in Jesus will be calm. Our eyesight will be raised and we will gain higher insight.