Why do people need Jesus? What is in your head when you are thinking about presenting Jesus to someone? Is it to save them from hell? Is it to point them in the direction of heaven? Perhaps it is to lessen some of their suffering in this place? What is your motivation and what do you see the root cause to be?
I ask these questions because it is never good to go into battle with some vague notion of what we are doing. Unfortunately for some Christian warriors, they don't even get as far as to consider these questions. They are so caught up in their own life, their own problems, that they aren't even in the fight. But life here isn't about us; not any more. It is about Jesus and his mission to save as many souls that are willing to be saved.
I find it important to remind myself what we are engaged in. Part of it was exposed in yesterday's scripture:
"and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." (2 Timothy 2:26)
I find this to be one of the most revealing scriptures as to what we are involved in. It is more than just trying to get people to come to church. It is more than wanting to see their self-destructive behaviour change. It is more than wanting to see them enter into God's glory. These people are prisoners, taken captive by the enemy of our King. These people need to be freed.
They have been in captivity so long they identify with their capture. They are more familiar with his ways than they are with God's righteousness. They don't even realize what a terrible position they are in. We are involved with God's rescue plan to rescue them from captivity so they may again have the freedom of choice. Believe it or not, some will choose to go back to captivity, but praise be to Jesus, some will be rescued.
Our role is pivotal. Our Father planned it; Jesus completed it; and the Spirit is here to equip us to present it. But as I said yesterday, salvation belongs to God. It is his work. What he has called us to partner with him in is the presentation. The good news must be presented. People must be told about Jesus. They need to hear the reality of their situation. They have to hear why they need to be rescued.
We are not in this to win brownie points with God. This is not our way of earning a ticket to heaven. This is a calling of love, filled with compassion for a people who are lost just like we were. They are trapped by the devil but in such a way that they can't even see the trap. They are not only held in captivity but they willingly do what the enemy directs them to do. It is a horrible situation and we need to be reminded about it every day.
It is unfortunate that we have spent so much time building community; so much time building a sub-culture. We put tons of time and energy into our music and literature industries. We are back to building wonderful cathedrals to man's great success at building community. There is so much time and energy that goes into teaching, with class after class and seminars galore. We have great women, men and youth conferences. We really live as a world within a world, but what impact is there from all of this. How is Jesus' spiritual uprising transforming the lives of the people of this world? We have this great community but yet, all I can hear Jesus saying is, go.
We talk the talk but I am not convinced that we are convinced that salvation is urgent. I don't think we have a good mental image of what we are involved in. I think we are more interested in conformity over the need for full transformation by the blood of the Lamb. Honestly, is there any sense of urgency? Do we see our friends and family in captivity by the enemy? Is there any compelling by the Spirit to get into the trenches and get into the fight?
If we don't care we should at least be obedient because we love Jesus. Jesus told us to go. But at the same time, I think we should be concerned if we don't care. How can we not have compassion for those who are stuck in the same ugly place that we were rescued from? May the Spirit press this matter on us until our eyes are re-opened to the condition of our neighbour. Come on warrior, we have been called by the King.