When I was a child, my father said that the mission board did not want the folks back home to be told the truth about the struggles of spiritual warfare. “Make it all sound good or the supporters back home will stop giving.”
Question: is God ever served by making things sound better than they are?
During the Vietnam war, the commanders inflated their success. The numbers would have added up to more than the total population!
Can we “fake it till you make it?” Or should we “Act in the fact?” The fact is that 1.God is in charge and we have great reason for joy and hope. 2. Things in the world, church and family can look pretty bad and it does not shake God’s throne. Our endeavors for the kingdom do not have to go as we would wish in order to be worthwhile. (Think of Jeremiah).
I think that pastors feel that they can’t be real about the battle-facts or we will go to a different church or drop out of the fight. But then, how can I pray or build our faith or give God glory when he pulls victory out of an impossible mess, if I don’t see the mess in the first place?
Examine ourselves, do we find it thrilling to be pulled into a battle that is going poorly. Do you even recognize that we are in a great lifelong battle.
Lois and I just returned from a mission trip to Montreal to join in the battle there. The church has grown to where it doesn’t fit the building but the people are immigrants and were trained by missionaries to take handouts and not to give a hand. They don’t pay tithes while driving expensive cars and sending their tithe home. They go out calling,as a group on Wednesday but visitors don’t feel welcome. Half are Haitian,half are African and don’t mix at gatherings.
OK how many of you are thrilled to join with me in praying for God’s power to be shown? What if I pray and nothing happens? If I put God to the test and he flunks, then how can I be comfortable playing church, and I like playing church. Maybe I have no business testing the Lord my God in the first place ie basing my worship on his doing things the way I think he should.
We must join in with enthusiasm when things look bleak if we want to grow. On the mission trip I personally grew in my learning to rest in the Lord and enjoy my small part in this battle.
2 Timothy 2:3 Therefore endur hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.