As I was praying for the many people who are still doubting the need for justice concerning our recent election or the false narratives being perpetuated on mainstream media, I heard this phrase from Holy Spirit, “They don’t know what time it is.”
I didn’t think of a clock, but I could see a map of the US with different TIME ZONES. Depending on the time zone you are in, you will read the clock differently. I knew the Lord was saying that not everyone is in the same “time zone.” Not everyone is “reading” the signs of the times in the same way. Then I heard “war zone,” and He began to speak to me about what it means to be in a time of war versus a time of peace. He also reminded me that He himself is a “man of war.”
The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war He stirs up His zeal; He cries out, He shouts aloud, He shows Himself mighty against His foes. For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor. (Isaiah 42:13-14)
The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name. (Exodus 15:3)
I quickly realized that though we Americans don’t see tanks on the streets, we are most certainly in a time of war. Because the weapons are unconventional and largely out of sight, we don’t realize the implications of what is taking place. Not only is there chaos at every turn, there have been untold casualties in this war. Ever since the lockdowns began last year, countless people have been dying from man-made tools of war, inciting terror in the hearts of citizens everywhere. If we understand that we are in a war zone, our perceptions of reality and subsequent responses to the crises will vastly differ from those who don’t. More importantly, we cannot say we are in a time of peace when God says we are in a time of war. We cannot simply go on with life as usual when forces of darkness are literally trying to kill us.
Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! (Ezekiel 13:10) See also Micah 3:5
Reminded of His attitude towards wickedness and readiness for war with His enemies, I began to search scriptures and ponder this aspect of God’s nature. As peace-loving citizens of a higher Kingdom, we don’t often consider what it means to burn with holy anger or righteous indignation. And yet, if we don’t understand or embrace this aspect of God’s PASSION for His people, I believe our CAPACITY FOR TRUTH WILL BE LIMITED. If we cannot fathom His actions towards those who openly defy His laws, we will be unable to see what’s right in front of our eyes. (Additional scriptures referencing God’s perspective on war: Deuteronomy 32:39-43, Jeremiah, 51:20-23, Hosea 10:13-14, Jeremiah 46:10, Ezekiel 7:10-12, Job 5:11-15, Isaiah 36:5, Joel 3:9-10)
I am certainly not advocating violence or outright “war” with our friends and neighbors! I am not advocating raucous demonstrations to stir up the masses. Rather, I am looking at our perceptions, beliefs, and values as followers of Christ. I believe we need a greater revelation of His holy anger towards the works of darkness. We need a God-given burning indignation against the plots and schemes that are in place to absolutely destroy and obliterate our nation. Though the message of the cross will continue to thrive and expand regardless of persecution (thank God!), the threats against our freedom and our nation’s destiny is at stake. Rather than embracing this persecution as God’s will, I contend that His invitation at THIS TIME is to take a stand for righteousness to overturn these plots and schemes against our freedom. But, I also believe we can do so while maintaining a pure heart and witness. I believe we can confront the enemies of the cross while demonstrating extreme love.
Again, He entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. (Mark 3:1-5)
This story is being played out before our eyes as political authorities are entering churches across the globe to shut down our worship to God. Looking to accuse us of foul play, I believe Jesus’ response would be the same today as it was back then – we must serve God rather than men. We cannot allow the hardness of men’s hearts or political spirits to stop us from doing good and bringing life to those around us.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
To “abhor” something is to “have a horror of; to detest.” The question is – do we recognize what’s truly evil? Are we rightly discerning the forces at work behind the scenes that are openly defying God? Do we recognize that though God is merciful and compassion, He also burns with holy anger against rebellion and sin?
He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself in zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, so will He repay, wrath to His adversaries, repayment to His enemies; to the coastlands He will render repayment. (Isaiah 59:17-20)
If we can embrace this aspect of God’s nature as a demonstration of His extreme love for His creation, we are then able to consider redemptive actions we can take to defeat these wicked plans. As foundational as our prayers and prophetic proclamations are, it is time to step out of our prayer closets and worship services to engage with our communities at strategic levels. We are citizens of heaven, but we are also citizens here on the earth. God gave us this planet to steward. He invites us to influence, impact, and transform lives and lands around us to show others the glory of His Kingdom. We may be looking forward to “going up,” but He desperately wants to “come down” so that the knowledge of His glory will cover and permeate every living thing – including our cities.
God wants to give us an extreme love for our communities – just as many feel a love for this nation. Beyond feeding the homeless and evangelizing in the streets, I believe God is raising up Kingdom champions who will sit at city gates. He is calling forth men and women to use their God-given gifts to forge new paths and pioneer Kingdom initiatives that will bless an entire city. If we can catch His heart for the people directly around us, I believe we will grow in the fierce love HE has for them. We will understand His righteous indignation when the rights and freedoms of the people we love and care about are threatened. In this current war, our best strategy is to see the “long game.” We are not just seeking deliverance from evil forces – we must prepare to fill in the gaps and displace those wicked rulers long-term.
Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. (Jeremiah 22:3)
Ultimately, we are only passing through this time of war to get to God’s peace! “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end!” (Isaiah 9:7) The length of this war, however, may not be determined by some pre-ordained time of “rescue,” but by the people of God taking their place as sons and daughters who have learned to rule in the midst of their enemies.
- For more scriptural background, read this detailed study guide on GOD, A MAN OF WAR, from LearntheBible.org
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