My last night at the beach, we were in awe of this amazing lightning storm happening all around us. There was no thunder, and it never did rain, but the sky was electric. This was the night the riots started in Minneapolis.
I was at the beach when the news story broke about the George Floyd killing. I was only using my phone to take pictures and post them quickly on Instagram as a little "vacation log" and got off of twitter and my news apps for the week. When I got back in the car for the drive home, I was appalled at what I saw. I couldn't bring myself to watch the entire 9, some odd, minute video, but I did watch parts of it. I saw people getting angry, rightfully so! What happened wasn't only BIZARRE it was WRONG! I don't understand what that Cop was doing or why, but that's besides the point. What the point IS, is that over the past couple weeks since watching this, I have seen some terrible evils rearing their head. There are mad cops, there are mad people in the black community, there are mad people in the white community... basically everyone is upset. Instead of getting upset TOGETHER, these people started getting upset APART, turning on each other and their own neighbors.
The more I see, the more I know that this is all part of what has been prophesied for years and years. First, you have a WORLDWIDE pandemic, forcing billions of people to completely halt and alter their lives. There were people dying and afraid. There were people killing themselves because they had lost everything. There were people turning on each other because they didn't agree about masks/no masks etc..
This started the unrest.
Once things started calming down and starting to get back to "semi-normal" a race-war began. American citizens, who have been split in half and getting further apart for the past 15 years, started turning on one another. Black against white, cop against citizen. Anarchy, chaos, confusion, murder in the streets, riots. If you read the bible, this is nothing new. "There is nothing new under the sun." There will be very dark days in the end times. I am not saying Jesus is coming back tomorrow, I'm saying that the earth is groaning. The labor pains are becoming closer together. Humanity is hurting and crying out for a savior they don't know they need. The answer to these race wars isn't more or less legislation, more or less government, more or less laws, more or less cops... the answer is quite literally Jesus. Spreading the GOOD news that there is a God who loves us so much, that we have abundant Grace and Mercy. The bible is packed FULL of sinners hand picked and chosen by God to do big and mighty things. I'm not talking about sinners like, "I stubbed my toe and said a curse word" or "I lied to my granny", but sinners like murderers (Paul) and adulterers (David) being hand picked. God does this to show us that nobody is too far gone to have their life impacted by the Gospel. Nobody is below leading. These men were chosen as an example of the redeeming love of Jesus. A love so powerful, that despite your past, you can be used for GENERATIONS to come to bring people to Jesus. Isn't that good news? Aren't those the kind of messages we need to be spreading right now?
I have wondered if I should stay silent in this time, or if I should speak up. I have been told by many that right now isn't the time for "white voices" to be heard, but that is just further dividing us. I don't believe that God can only use certain voices at this time. If you feel led to talk, TALK! If you feel led to be silent, be silent! If you feel led to get down on your knees and pray, do it. If you feel like the only real change will come from marching with a sign, then go do that. We should be listening to the call of the Holy Spirit on our own lives right now. I know when to shut up, when to apologize and when to back down. Right now, I have been doing my best to listen and elevate voices that need to be heard. I haven't given my own opinion on much that is taking place and a lot of that comes from fear. I don't want to be criticized for my views or beliefs and I have a need to be liked (that is slowly fading). I want to have these tough conversations, but the answer I keep coming back to is that these people need Jesus. We ALL need Jesus. What we don't need is bowing before men apologizing for crimes we did not commit. We do not need to apologize for the way God created us or for the life we are living. We carry around with us enough guilt and shame as it is, we don't need to lump more on top of our shoulders over something we have no control over. We are each unique, with unique life experiences and voices. God placed us in our neighborhoods and families, it's what we do with our time that will shape us into the people we are meant to be. Instead of feeling like a victim, we should recognize the victory we ALREADY have in Jesus. ALL OF US! I have come up against some really tough situations, and those have shaped me into the person I am today. I have made some TERRIBLE decisions, but I needed to walk down that road in order to be refined by God. We go through fire in order to be refined. On the other side of that hard, of that heart break or that storm we find beauty. We find redemption, mercy and grace. We find that no matter what, God has our BEST in mind. He presents us with many choices and paths, its which way we decide to go that ultimately crafts our character. I wont make any excuse for the decisions I have made in the past. I knew when I chose to drink, it would only lead to regret, yet I chose it time and time again. God might lead us to the same place over and over again, and when we finally decide to stop dead in our tracks and turn the other direction, we find true freedom.
Now, let's talk about the elephant in the room. Racism. I believe it exists because I believe that sin and Satan are very real. Sin leads people to do terrible, awful things. The ONLY cure to racism is to cleans the heart through the sanctification of Jesus' grace and love. Without it, we will continue in our sin patterns and the hate and darkness within will only grow stronger and more callous.
Living in sin and becoming desensitized to evil makes people devalue life. We have celebrated horror and gore, "action" movies full of murder and graphic images. Pornography has devalued women and sex. Abortion has completely destroyed our idea that human life is sacred. These ideas get imbedded in people. Our culture celebrates drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity and letting a woman "choose". We have Christian leaders who have turned on the heart of Jesus for his people and preached a message heavy with Grace and leaving out earthly consequences. Jesus doesn't PUNISH people for their choices, he merely allows earthly consequences to sin to happen. Arrests, guilt, depression, worthlessness, divorce, adultery, aborted babies, sickness, child abuse, wreckless violence, anger. These are often consequences of when we sin against ourselves or someone sins against us. We have got to understand WHY God warns us about certain sins in the Bible! It is for our GOOD! It isn't to deprive of us joy, but to give us joy that cannot be claimed in an instant, but lasting joy. It's to give us LOVE! If we harbor jealousy, comparison, anger, lust, pride - those things lead to a dehumanizing of those around us. An unhealthy self-love where we lift ourselves up on a pedestal and try to be better than everyone else.
There is so much darkness and hurt and oppression ALL OVER THE WORLD! There are children born into a life of trafficking, never knowing what it feels like to be truly loved. There are women used for their bodies to create babies to go into the trafficking circulation. Trafficking victims only have an average of a 7 year life span and they have to keep up with demand. There are MORE slaves today than EVER before in human history. These people need their names said too. MILLIONS of people who are quite literally invisible. These children deserve to play with friends and cry on a trusted lap. These women deserve to have a family and raise their children. These men deserve to get paid a fair wage for their work. These people are treated as disposable. And guess what? They are white, black, Asian, Somalian, Australian, Canadian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean... you name a race or nationality and they're in circulation right now being used, abused and then disposed of. THIS is the greatest human rights issue facing the world today. THIS is what we should be talking about. I am not trying to take away from the people in our country who feel like they are treated differently or not given the same opportunities as others. I am trying to point out, that WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD. We live in a selfish, evil world and there will be NO redemption until Jesus returns for the second time. If we truly love people, we will share with them the good news that earthly suffering is temporary. These "earth suits" are not our home and we have a day to look forward to that there will be no more pain, or hurting or racism or slavery or abuse or hate or evil. We will be free from it all in the end. UNTIL then, we are to love. We are to UNITE, not divide. And we are to expect to be persecuted and hated. Jesus told us what to expect in Matthew 24 and 25 and it's that we are to be persecuted like he was. The world will hate us. The world hates the truth. Look to the WORD, not the world. Understand the scriptures, especially the warnings of the end times when people will seek out for themselves only those who speak what they want to hear, and silence voices who don't. Seek truth and speak truth.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." 2 Tim 4:3-4
"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the WHOLE WORLD." Rev. 12:9
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." - John 3:19
I have been praying constantly about this unrest, about the deep hurting and confusion happening all over the world. Let me say one last thing. Nothing will become suddenly, magically solved by who we vote for. God had plans when he laid the FOUNDATIONS of the world. Please, do not place your entire faith and trust on ANY man or woman to do the job that only God can do. No president or politician can heal human hearts. Please, by all means, still vote! But we must understand that this isn't a bad policy or law, it's the groaning of human hearts in need of a savior.
"FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST THE RULERS, AGAINST THE AUTHORITIES, AGAINST THE POWERS OF THIS DARK WORLD AND AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS."