The Runaway Mind & The Steadfast Mind
Isaiah 8:11 “The LORD spoke to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said: 12 ‘Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. 13 The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, 14 and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’”
In this unprecedented age of “Cancel-culture”, the world has never before encountered such a coordinated attempt to silence criticism of its own movement. Quickly disappearing are the realms of friendly debate and a free exchange of ideas. Yes, this has occurred in various regimes and educational structures throughout history, particularly against the freedom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but Christians have little experience in countering a “technocracy” that covers a global market. Yet, from Gnosticism, to Arianism, to the Theory of Evolution, to modern Critical Theory, Christians have been called to speak out against systems of thought with the Truths of God confront.
The better you know the Word of God, internalize it and apply, the more you see that it is designed as a consistent, cohesive whole that addresses societal issues from every era! Kingdoms rise and fall, and through it all, the Eternal King shows us the way to persevere with purpose! When the world seeks to lead us around in fear, the scriptures remind us of a “sanctuary” from that fear through a proper estimation of God! As the psalmist declares in Psalm 73:25: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10), and Jesus backs it up, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5) Governmental systems have long used fear as a motivational factor to curb behavior. Servants of the Eternal King are led differently, recognizing Him to be above all earthly rulers. The Evil One (Satan) seeks to run away with your mind, and he is successful, it you let him, forgetting or failing to put on the armor that wards against his attacks. (Ephesians 6:11-18)
The counter to this is shared from one church leader (Paul) to another (Timothy), “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) We then, as Christians, operate off of a rational fear of Him who holds the power over all these things, and by faith put aside the irrational fears of external sources that are subservient to Him! We who are passive to the voices in culture often fall prey to its influences; the most dominant among these, our fear of “offending our fellow man. Jesus, then addresses this well, by speaking against the religious rulers of his day.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’" Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:10-14) The Son of God Himself would be the authority on sin, and he spoke out against the forces that were clamoring for his head by calling out their ignorance on the issue. Through this, Jesus rightly pointed the proper fear of authority to be placed on God over human rulers.
We discern and distinguish between societal values that promote love and the betterment of humanity, and those which go against putting God first in all things. We must be willing to “offend” others, if necessary, if it means glorifying God through proclaiming His Truths over earthly values…in all things! Such examples come to mind:
Promoting God’s Sovereignty over my schedule – Letting nothing take precedence over corporate worship, fellowship and mission, even special events (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Promoting God’s Sovereignty over my relationships – Showing the world: family, friends, bosses, and fellow believers, that Christ and His Church comes first (Matthew 10:32-39).
Promoting God’s Sovereignty over my celebrations/trials – What brings the greatest grief, or joy? The more time I spend with God and His people, the more my heart is moved like His! (Luke 15, Romans 12:15, 13:14)
We are a witness to the world, not only with our words, but in the very demonstration of how we live life, and this begins through the formation of mind and heart: my loves and my fears! Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.”