*Life is like a game of checkers – you move one man here and he gets jumped; your opponent moves a man there and you jump him. Now what would be the challenge, the adventure, the joy in playing the game if the opponents just sat there waiting for the checkers to play themselves out on their own terms? That pretty much sums up the Christian walk for many. Waiting for Jesus to come and work it out when He has given us the power and wherewithal to do so ourselves. Wake up; look up; get up and take action people!
During World War II, history gives an account of occupied France; occupied Poland; occupied Greece and so on. The military sense of occupation is when one country intervenes another either by force or by request to neutralize, stabilize or control a given situation.
In today’s world we are seeing too many fronts of extremism that are being met with little or no resistance. You know what they are! What’s known as ‘siege warfare’ is being played out like a pack of wolves surrounding their prey, bent on wearing it down so they can pounce in for the kill. A siege is any prolonged effort to overcome resistance. Are you resisting anything in your life today, or just going along with the flow? If you have nothing worth standing for, you’ll fall for anything.
I once watched a documentary where a pride of hungry lions isolated and surrounded a helpless wildebeest while the rest of the bewildered herd grunted and looked on from a distance. The lions went in one after another from all sides biting and clawing at the tortured, agonized prey in an attempt to wear it down as it cried out, kicked and bucked for survival. Then suddenly one angered wildebeest that must have felt enough is enough charged from the herd to challenge the lions as others followed. Eventually, after a ferocious death-threatening standoff, the lions got the message and retreated.
Ever heard of the Seven Spheres of Influence – Religion, Family, Business, Media, Entertainment, Education and Government? Do you see your calling – your bailiwick – in one of those spheres? Do you see how the spirit of darkness is bent on toppling those spheres or realms that are so vital to our collective and long-term existence? If you don’t see, then seek God – read His word and ask Him to reveal to you what His standard is; what He desires; and what you can do that would be well-pleasing in His sight. As a Christian you may be the only light in your circle of influence that can begin to chase away the dark. If wildebeest know when enough is enough and act upon it, how much more should we be willing to act? Death would have been certain had that brave wildebeest just shrugged and said “That’s just the way it is!”
The tradition of religion is lukewarm while families continue to be torn apart; business is untrustworthy; media is biased; entertainment is distasteful; education is dumbed-down; and government is immoral. Political correctness (e.g. deprecating; not expressing disapproval) is slip-sliding us fast to a majorly corrupt society where we’ll soon reach a point of no return.
Just because we’re not literally being thrown into a lion’s den or a hot fiery furnace like in ancient biblical times, doesn’t mean we’re not being persecuted today. Many Christians ‘die’ in spirit because they are too afraid to speak out on the things they know to be true. If the leaders of the church do not step out on faith and publicly speak the truth, how can their followers then be expected to do so? What are we doing to counter the darkness?
In Matthew 13:29,30 [NIV] Jesus said in the parable of the wheat and tares (weeds), “…because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” Stand up Christians! Right now we are seeing so many weeds, but where oh where is the wheat!?
God has issued each of us a calling and a gift to occupy a sphere of influence, but if we don’t do what is well-pleasing in His sight with what we have been assigned and equipped to do, we WILL give an account. Luke 19:13 [NIV] reads: “So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money [what I entrusted to you] to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ You’ll read at the end that the servant who did not use or put to work that which he was given was rebuked and rejected. The lesson here is that no matter what life has dealt you, no matter where you are – use what you got!!
Do you know what God’s assignment is for your life? If you don’t, read His word and get the revelation for yourself. So, if while in battle you are assigned to go fight and occupy a certain hill, follow your orders so that no one can come along and impose their agenda upon you. Point them back to instruction. If you don’t overtake your own assigned hill, you will not get to the mountain you are destined for. And remember: service is the rent you pay to occupy space on earth.
Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org