This afternoon, as I ponder about the meaning of Good Friday, I realise why so many of us, Western Christians, live the majority of our lives in defeat, in spite of our lips professing that in Jesus Christ we are more than Conquerors. Just as we center the peaks of our spiritual life round an annual Christian Conference, a Sunday service, a periodic prayer meeting or a two week trip to the mission field, and then we continue to live in defeat for the rest of the time, and as we seek to do the impossible which is to live for Christ but trying to remain yoked to the world at the same time, so we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday with great emotion and a heavy-heart, and then go on to live out our Christianity the rest of the year, other than at Christmas of course, as if we were suffering from amnesia and the truth that had set us free back at Easter had suddenly, conveniently been erased from our hearts and minds, and we needed to waste yet another year of our life re-learning the same lessons and overcoming the same old habits. Yes, Christ died and rose again and His Spirit has been alive ever since. We do not need to wait until Christmas or Easter to display a fervent faith which remains inert the rest of the year, unless of course we attend some spiritual event, and then we fool ourselves into believing that this will serve us as some sort of shortcut to avoid offering up our whole life as a living sacrifice. Why is it that we live our life as if we had to wait til Easter to remember that His grace is sufficient for us; that we do not need to store any more knowledge, any more experiences, any more mentoring, before we can go out into the “battlefield” and serve in His name? Why is it that we wait until Easter to remember that His strength shines in our weakness? Why is it that every Sunday we attend a service in the hope that someone else’s words can ignite the fire in us, the fire that only a personal devotion and discipline to abide in his presence and word can ignite? What are we waiting for? Why do we adopt the attitude of “peace soldiers” when all around us we witness the victims of spiritual warfare who fall prey to a controlling spirit, deception, false gospels, temptation, lukewarmness, complacency? Why do we expect and assume that we need to be promoted by men before we can fulfill the calling which Christ has placed in our hearts?
If you would like some help to figure out the answers to these questions, please go to http://sermonindex.net/ and click on the heading “Audio Sermons” which will give you access to a list of sermons on iTunes. When you get there, look for a sermon entitled “Playing at Soldiers” by George Verwer, given on 21/4/07. You can download it for free.
May the Lord bless you and shine His light upon you as you listen to the cry of His Heart.