As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4
I wonder how many of us understand that the hour is soon approaching when no one will be able to work any longer? Our hours of available daylight are slipping by and soon the work that must be done, the work that is the most important thing that we can do with our allotted time on this earth, will simply no longer be possible.
Jesus was likely using a reference here to the Sabbath, the traditions of which the Jewish people are well aware of. From before sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, no work was allowed, any creative exercise of any kind was not allowed so far as I know. So all preparations for Sabbath had to be done before the sun actually set. It was a day of rest, even during planting and harvest.
I personally hold that the seventh day or Sabbath of man’s history will be the millennium period but that is the focus for a different article.
Here I want to submit to you that the sundown is quickly approaching and we are simply not ready for the dark.
I see similar attitudes everywhere that I go. I see the relaxed feelings in the mainstream church that lend themselves to needless building projects, new programs that accomplish little and cost much and sermons designed to impress or placate rather than instruct or correct. None of which are done with the sense of urgency that we simply must have when faced with the impending night.
On the outside of the regular church there are different issues but they remain issues nonetheless. Some leave the church “system” all together and just have church with their family. Some have home groups, swearing that buildings are satanic. Some bounce from church building to church building, spreading their attention wherever they feel called at the moment.
In other ways, there are many that are caught up in the effort of looking for error. They call this a “gift” and say that it is the discerning of spirits. However, that particular gift historically has been reserved for those aware of the spirit realm, not those called to police all of Christendom. We see people consumed with looking for error, convinced that everything is a satanic plot designed to cause “The Great Falling Away”.
Many of these same people are one step away from wearing tin foil helmets to block the CIA from reading their mind but that is the subject of a different article as well.
As an aside, I am not sure that most of them understand the difference between orthodoxy, heterodoxy and heresy. One is correct across the board, one is a deal breaker, such as Mormon and Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs. The other is just different than yours and perhaps mine but it does not carry with it the capacity to damn a soul to hell.
Perhaps to all of this we should just say “to each his own” and go about our business. I certainly can not fix the myriad’s of issues that are out there all on my own. Neither am I so confident in what I know that I feel I would even be capable of doing that.
I am however, personally concerned that many in the American church, whether they are mainstream, underground or out-of-church, have been a bit blinded. Not by some guy talking about angels or some new method, teaching or technique that resembles the New Age but by something that is far more insidious than any of that.
You see, satan’s main goal after you become a Christian is to keep you ineffective in the Kingdom of God. Not to hide under your bed, not to cause inflation and not to get your friend mad at you. His job is to keep you ineffective in the NOW.
And he is doing a bang-up job of this bit of flanking.
You see, while you are busy being offended because someone wasn’t as nice to you as you’d like, daylight is burning. While you hide in your home and eschew all involvement with the church at large and focus on your personal holiness or inner spiritual journey, daylight slips by. While you run from ministry to ministry looking for “error” in teachings that are not like your beliefs, daylight is ebbing and hell is filling and the most important work of the church in this age is simply not being done.
Satan’s job is to keep you so busy everywhere else that you stay out of those places where you could do real damage to his kingdom.
Offense is a great place to start because it is so often coupled with self-righteousness. The wrong that you feel was done to you allows you to feel “right” in spreading rumors, staying out of church, engaging in character assassination or eventually even acting as an accomplice to satan himself in destroying the work of God. We simply must be more concerned with doing right rather than simply being right because that is the heart of Christianity. There is more at stake than your ego or your ideals, so sorry.
Besides, you know how far you have to go by how badly you react when you are wronged. I have always struggled with reacting badly myself. It has always been in my flesh to swing first and ask questions later. I would self-righteously see every wrong that was done to me as also being done to God or as proof of their false Christianity and thus judge the person who did it.
Only in this last year have I seen that most wrongs that I suffer are done to me, not to him. So I am free to release people from any harm they have caused me and to forgive. To their own master they will stand or fall but I have determined to not allow personal issues to get inside of me and poison me in my walk with God.
Taking people out of areas where they may be dangerous to his kingdom by having them focus on areas within God’s work that are wrong is also a common practice of the enemy.
Because we see things that we do not like within a local church or ministry, we feel that we must leave in protest. This leads to pride and an inflated sense of one’s own calling. The fact of the matter is that we are all fallible, all of us. And our service to God can only be as perfect as we are as individuals. A church is a collection of people who have banded together in a community to further the aims of the greater kingdom that they belong to. If every person were to leave because they found fault with some aspect of the ministry, there would be no church at all.
And this is satan’s goal- to pull people out of the place where they can damage him and to place them off to the side where they are no longer developed by something different than themselves.
A sharpening stone works because it is not the same as the blade it works against. If you rub two blades together that are exactly the same, they do not become sharper but rather they become duller. In the same way, when you are surrounded by only those people who hold your view you can quickly become lost in a wrong viewpoint with no one to show you any different.
In fact, a cell in the human body that no longer focuses on its role in the greater body and instead focuses inwardly becomes a cancer cell, drawing other cells into its self-centered existence and eventually becoming an enemy of the very body it was called to serve.
And by following the path of being right rather than doing right, you follow its lead and become ineffective in the kingdom of God.
There is only one plot for the church, which we have lost. It is a universal calling that we all share and that satan desires above all else that we abstain from: to destroy the work of the devil as a body.
We must get into the harvest fields, wherever they may be and get people into the church, training them to go and gather more. We must fight poverty, injustice, sickness and immorality. We must expand the kingdom of God and reduce the kingdom of satan at every opportunity. We must learn to