Some Christians never encounter resistance because they’ve never been actively engaged in warfare. Others are so used to getting rolled by the enemy that they’ve succumbed to a spiritual version of Stockholm syndrome, defending their tormentors and viciously attacking anyone who points the way to freedom. I’ve often thought about what triggers this mindset. Is it the fear of freedom? Is it the fear of escape? Is it the fear of the unknown? Is it a subconscious coping mechanism of the flesh that never believed you were worthy of freedom in the first place? What makes the dungeons of sin so attractive? Is it, perhaps, that while ensnared and imprisoned, men are not called upon to be accountable and live worthy of the name of Christ?
I see the struggle of those who live with the burdens of their past because they have yet to accept that what they were was cast into the sea of forgetfulness, and they are skittish and timid about drawing near to the love of Christ. Although God sees them through the prism of the blood of the Lamb, they still see themselves through the prism of who they were before their encounter with Jesus.
This is why I have such an issue with the contemporary reimagining of what getting saved means. We’re talking about the difference between a commutation of one’s sentence and a prison furlough once in a great while. Because, at this juncture, we would betray Christ before hurting someone’s feelings, few dare to preach the whole counsel of God, and what you get are people who see the hope of being set free so close that they can touch it then it gets snatched away again. They were never taught they had to pick a side, never mind that they had to actively fight.
It’s not that I’m blaming any nation in particular. Still, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to live in relative comfort, where one’s faith cost them nothing more than a tithe and a few hours in church, thereby being offered the option of living duplicitous existences. Just because it’s free to you, it doesn’t mean it’s worthless. The blood of Jesus isn’t the plastic letter opener your bank hands out with their phone number and hours of operation. The blood is free to you because you couldn’t afford it otherwise.
More people than we want to admit jumped at the chance of having one foot in the world and one foot in heaven because it cost them nothing to ensure a first-class ticket to the land of cherubs and harps. Their preacher told them so. All they had to do was raise a hand, and that’s a good thing because that was all the sacrifice they were willing to make anyway. Ask for anything more, and the deal’s off the table!
2 Timothy 2:4, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
What is a light that does not shine? What is a spring that does not flow? What is a soldier that is not engaged in warfare? These are all anomalies, things that ought not to be yet are because we make allowances for them, excuse them, and justify them.
What are the affairs of this life, exactly, because some use this verse to shirk their responsibilities altogether and live as though they don’t have a wife, four kids, and a three-legged cat to provide for?
Knowing that scripture interprets scripture, we need to look no further than the Word to establish what the affairs of this life are and what they aren’t. Spoiler alert: providing for your household, your family, your wife, and your children is not what the Bible means by being entangled in the affairs of this life.
1 Timothy 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
I bring this up because I’ve met a handful of individuals throughout my years in ministry who use the scripture about the affairs of this life to justify laziness and slothfulness. It’s not like they’re doing anything productive as far as the Kingdom of God is concerned, but they’re not holding down a job either.
How about spending less time Facebook beefing with strangers half a world away? How about spending less time being idle, scrolling Twitter, and trying to find something you can be offended about? Those qualify as the affairs of this life, but we sure do fill up our days pursuing them.
If you can tweet battle and Instagram insult, you can hold down a job and provide for your own. But I don’t want to! That qualifier is not in the Bible. It doesn’t say to provide for those of your household if you feel like it. It says to do it lest you become worse than an unbeliever.
You can be engaged in warfare and make sure your kids have clothes on their backs and your wife has something to cook come dinner time. Yes, it is taxing. No, it does not allow you much of what today’s generation likes to call ‘me time,’ but the Bible doesn’t talk about me time either.
When fully grown adults are being infantilized by the culture that surrounds them, it’s not for their own good or because the culture wants the best possible outcome for their life. They are infantilized because an adult who spends his waking hours playing video games in a dimly lit basement covered in Cheetos dust is easier to control and manipulate. You just keep from being distracted by what’s going on around you; it makes it so much easier for them to implement their nefarious plans.
The same goes for the enemy. As long as you are not a clear and present danger to his plans, he will leave you be. Keep naming and claiming and tearing down strongholds, Boo, as long as they are the financial kinds.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
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