It has been a hectic and wild ride for those whose minds and lives have been impacted by the major shifts to our public policies of late. I have found that the most interesting part of the rhetoric and the outcry has been a very weird mix of Patriotism and Christianity. As a follower of Christ, we believe in the wholly inspired Word of God and we believe that we are not of this world. We believe that God’s standards, rule of law and His ways of being are for the greatest benefit to the individual, the community at large and the entire world. It is through the resurrection of Christ that this other worldly life can become a reality: living the best life possible on earth.
Unfortunately, not everyone believes that this is the case, and there is in fact tremendous opposition. The Bible of course makes this reality clear in many places, calling the Christians to live “in the world”, but to not be “of the world”. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Paul tells us about the problem surrounding the reality of those who know Christ, His mercy, grace and love, and those who do not. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” It is particularly interesting to me that Paul refers to the issue of those who don’t know and do not believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as being blinded or deceived. It is seeing this place of deception that we often will respond by crying out, begging, pleading (some might use the word argue) that those we don’t agree with, or agree with us, would see the light.
Compared to the normal responses of most Christians that read this verse, I would propose another way to approach those that may not know, or have yet to see the love, mercy, grace and power of the risen Savior. Remember that they will not see Christ’s love, grace and mercy or power unless you show them love, grace and mercy. Of course this is no easy task with those that we disagree with. It is critical to remember that it is not by or through our might, power, wisdom, knowledge, intellectual argument, political affiliation or righteous indignation that those who have yet to have tasted the goodness of God will ultimately partake in that amazing gift of His goodness. It is through His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
Just like the Ark of the Covenant we carry the Spirit of God within us, and His presence alters atmospheres and ultimately brings all things into alignment with Him. If the presence of God is in us through the Spirit of God, then remember that the idols in us must fall first. Like Dagon (1 Samuel 5) that could not stand in the presence of the Ark, those things in us that we have exalted will ultimately crumble at the feet of Jesus. Once Christ alone is on the throne of our heart, we are then able to shine brightly and clearly in a dark world revealing the power and the goodness of God as you partner with the Spirit of God. Transformation begins in us.
Paul had an idol in his heart when he Met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and God gave Paul the same commission that He gives all believers. Acts 26:16-18 says, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness… to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’”
Let’s take the scales off our eyes, and the blinders off of our hearts remembering that God alone draws, and we are to be the light, the living ark of the covenant bringing the love, mercy and grace of God to all we encounter.
Pastor Chris Bassett is the Lead Pastor at Hidden Valley Worship Center www.hvwc.com. You can view his blog at pastorcjb.tv.