I’m almost 23.
What a lot of time I’ve wasted.
I heard something over Sunday lunch this weekend that has already started to change my life.
The conversation was about the church and how it relates to evil.
“We storm the gates of hell”.
Storm the gates.
The gates of hell open up all around me and swallow people up in ways that I can see first hand. Ways that are not coated in sugary deceit, but sharp pictures that move in real time in front of my eyes.
It seems like evil and the impoverished spirit that comes with it devastates more than God can ever rebuild. But that is not truth.
Rebuilding is exactly the expertise of God. Genesis to Revelation is a blue print of his remodeling.
Lost causes are where the Lord makes his stand.
The cross being exhibit A.
And it wasn’t actually lost.
The cross that I stand under looks like a lost cause to most. It symbolizes death.
It’s Christ that is life.
And that is precisely where the wasted time comes in.
Twenty three years and I never knew what it meant to storm the gates.
I’ve done a lot of things, but storming isn’t one of them.
I’ve been American.
I’ve been having fun.
I’ve been in shape.
I’ve been working.
I’ve been on facebook.
I’ve been educated.
I’ve been accumulating things.
I've been youth directing.
I’ve been shopping.
I’ve been watching TLC.
I’ve been hanging out.
I’ve been accommodating.
I’ve been pleasing.
But I haven’t been storming.
I’ve been under the impression that somehow, the best thing I can do as a Christian is not to be like the rest of the Christians. Which to be quite honest is still true in more ways than one. I might as well be insincere if I’m not going to be storming. Just wasting away twenty three more years with my man-pleasing spirit.
And I’ve been so careful not to step on any toes, not to turn away the lost. But do any of the lost love Jesus because of my efforts to make them comfortable? Not one. They don’t love Jesus, they just don’t hate Christians.
My position is changing quite drastically.
Hate me. Lost, friends, enemies, Christians. Hate me.
Hate me for making you uncomfortable.
The truth is not something I will ever water down. Not anymore. It’s not something I will ever lay aside for the sake of someone who doesn’t know it. Not to make anyone feel welcome. Never again.
The Truth is not judgment. It’s mercy.
The Truth is not timidity. It’s boldness.
The Truth is not comfort. It convicts.
The Truth does not condemn. It sets free.
The Truth does not cheat. It acts justly.
The Truth does not exclude. It welcomes.
Truth does not float and glide. It storms. It has stormed my life and confronted me with my last twenty three years.
The Truth gives me a joy to serve Zambian women on my knees.
The Truth STORMS the gates of hell.
The Truth threatens darkness.
Things that are lukewarm are spit out.
Things that are lukewarm make everyone cozy.
Things that are lukewarm never demand change.
The Truth sets me free from the opinion of anyone. Anyone.
It sets me free from pleasing man. It implores me to please the one and only Almighty Father.
Rattle the gates of hell.