When I was younger, I wanted to be an archeologist. It was something that drew me, spoke to me, and fascinated me all at once. One of the hard and fast rules about any archeological site is never to dig too deep too fast. You don’t use a shovel where a brush will do, and you take your time, even though everything inside you is screaming to open the sarcophagus.
Even though you want to get the crowbar and pry it open, you must document your find in situ, take pictures or charcoal rub if you’re old school, and ensure you’re not missing anything of import.
You brush off layer after layer of thousand-year-old dust, dirt, and grime because the journey, the experience, and the work itself are as exciting as the payoff. You know it’s going to end at some point, but you don’t want it to end. Even so, you can’t drag your feet either, so you find the perfect balance of efficient but unhurried.
This is how I’m approaching the book of Jude, and with each reading, upon waking, something else bubbles to the surface, ready to be uncovered and studied. That’s the beauty of God’s Word; it’s layered, and one pass-through just won’t do. There is always something more profound if you’re willing to be patient and use the brush rather than the shovel to get at it. Part of you is whispering, “Get to the good stuff,” but the sensible, rational part is quick to point out that it’s all good stuff.
It doesn’t matter how fast you run if you’re running in the wrong direction. The faster you run, the further you get from where you want to go, and at some point, stubbornness sets in, and rather than admit this is not the way, you double down and commit to continuing your journey. The mindset that we’ve come too far to turn back now is dangerous, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. The only thing that matters is whether or not we’re running in the right direction, and if we discover that we are not, it’s never too late to change course. Are you running toward life? Are you running toward Christ? Or are you running in circles trying to balance a divided loyalty?
Depending on the direction in which you’re running, you will gravitate either toward the truth of Scripture or the fairy tales of men. You will either accept uncomfortable realities pertaining to the Bible because they are true or embrace fanciful lies because they are palatable and allow you to remain in your comfort zone.
Are you growing in your faith? Are you growing in your discernment? Are you growing in God? If so, you are headed in the right direction. If, however, you find yourself spending less time in His presence and not being bothered by it, if your desire has shifted from knowing all of Him to experimenting with sin, then the direction you’re headed in is incompatible with an eternity in the presence of Christ.
There are those who parrot foolishness out of ignorance or because they believe it’s the fastest way to grow a congregation, then there are those who were long ago marked out for this condemnation. Those who do it out of ignorance are still open to correction because their intention wasn’t to deceive; they just believed something they shouldn’t have.
Those who are marked for this condemnation know precisely what they are doing, what they are teaching, and the effects it will have on the household of faith. They come into the church with the singular intent of destroying it and will use any form of deception, coercion, falsehood, and Scripture twisting to reach their desired result. You don’t give a wolf the benefit of the doubt when he says he thought you were a chicken rather than a lamb.
When you confront one such as these and refuse to fall for the narrative that they were just asking honest questions or voicing honest opinions, their last line of attack will be of a personal nature, accusing whoever stood up to them of being unkind, unloving, and intentionally hurting the sheep. The enemy and his minions will always be first out of the gate, accusing others of whatever they’re doing. It helps take the focus off of them, and if the sheep are easily swayed, they may even end up chasing away the shepherd and getting the flock all to themselves.
If you’ve never been embroiled in church politics or the attempted takeover of a ministry, consider yourself blessed and fortunate. It’s unpleasant, to say the least, because usually, it’s people you trusted and counted on stabbing knives into your back as though you were some juicy piece of meat. Getting stabbed by strangers hurts bad enough, but when it’s someone you count as a friend, it hurts much worse.
It’s not at all an easy thing to contend with and save for the knowledge that you are where God told you to be doing what God told you to do; you’d likely throw your hand up in frustration and go work the cash register at your local gas station.
This isn’t me imagining what it would be like to walk a mile in someone’s shoes; I’m speaking from lived experience. This is why you must be confident and fully convinced that what you are doing is what God meant for you to do; otherwise, the pressure exerted by the enemy is such that walking away is a very tempting proposition.
The devil is shameless and doesn’t care whom he hurts along the way in order to get what he wants. This is why it’s best that the ego dies and the flesh is well and truly crucified before you go toe to toe with his minions.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
This is a timely topic - especially for me - because I have experienced what letting go of self will in exchange for His will means in terms of maturing in discernment. It's a bit of a lonely road and one has to thwart the emergence of cynicism. This is tricky because that can lead to being judgmental. One thing I have noticed of late is the conundrum of satan's minions using Biblical tenants and Scripture used to thwart and silence Christians. For example - love thy neighbor as thyself and forgive, forgive, forgive. Of course, what is left out is that this rule applies to those who are within the Body of Christ. We are humans, we have differences, we are flawed. We do need to forgive these things. But this rule does not apply to discerning the truth about those who would silence Christians, who worship evil and seek to destroy God's creation. We can speak out about those and it has nothing to do with being loving, forgiving and therefore neutered. We are at war with dark principalities, no room for cowardliness. The full armor includes bravery.
Post a Comment