We have challenged the system and now the system (in us) is challenging us…
Read 1 Peter 4
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolved — because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin — 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will. 3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 So they are surprised that you don’t plunge with them into the same flood of wild living — and they slander you. 5 They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.
7 Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplinedt for prayer. 8 Above all, maintainan intense lov for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins, 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should be as one who speaks God’s words; if anyone serves, it should be from the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?
Meddler – A busybody, do-gooder, meddler or marplotis someone who meddles in the affairs of others.
I started to think out loud about the way God is judging the body of Christ at the moment, mainly by revealing the weakness of the system we have created. The verse from 1 Peter 4:17 came to my mind and when I started to read the whole chapter, I was taken by surprise!
Of course we know the verse and we know what is happening at the moment all around the world as in a large way the excesses and extravagances are coming in the open. To me not surprisingly since the system is demanding its victims, through lack and failure. I have been writing about it many times before and it could be interesting to read my post No kings in Israel.
Now, the easiest way to continue is (as I have done it before) to focus on that system, this religious giant that “functions” under the flag of christianity, but since we left the building, I choose to search for the “system” within our own little culture! Our lives, our homes, our relationship were we are directly responsible. Where we no longer can point the finger, have someone else to blame! I owe it to you all who think that it is my favourite subject! On the other hand, I am absolute certain that the main reason of favourite is my concern for the upbringing of a new generation within the same parameters, the same strongholds that made me struggle, wonder and even being called rebellious.
We have challenged the system and now the system (in us) is challenging us… or better said: I have challenged the system and now the system (in me) is challenging me…
Through my writings on Climates and Culture, there is a continuous need to ask Holy Spirit to reveal by His wisdom every part where the systems is in me, in my environment. The place where it landed, made its “rights and wrongs”, formed my perception of good and eveil, what should and what should not!
Leaving the system and with it the “spiritual” experiences revealed the desperate longing for His (real) presence and with it, it is so easy to choose the same “tools” for creating that environment again. Words like “bible-study”, “prayer-meeting”, evangelisation, easily show up as a translation of the old habits. We even come up with these apologies as: there was nothing wrong with it, as if we need to defend our automatic moulded minds.
Yesterday I heard this great statement: The reason of darkness is the absence of Light! We have to be honest that when God is testing us, confronting us, He needs to expose the lack of real light in our environment and therefor He needs to get to the cause of it… Us!
So, now while the system is challenging me and those close around me, my prayer and longing is that the outcome will be what we have longed to created with our honest but religious efforts: His Kingdom here around and through my direct responsibilities!