- The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. – Psalm 23:1-3
- In that day the Lord GOD of hosts called to weeping and mourning, to baldness and putting on sackcloth; but instead there was joy and festivity, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” – Isaiah 22:12-13
- Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. – James 4:4
I am an Enemy of God
Let me ask you my friends:
- Which do you love more your new plasma screen or feeding the poor?
- Which do you love more: investing in your 401k or giving to charity?
- Which do you love more: Sunday driving or Sunday worship?
I love all the former, much, much more.
A Plea to God
Sorry God. It’s true.
While I proclaim I love you, I really love the world more, and all of its pleasures. What you promise to me is so ethereal and seemingly distant, and what you ask is far to difficult and demanding of my time. So let’s just be honest with each other and I’ll just admit that you’re not enough for me God.
I think we need to be open and honest enough to let me see the other idols. You’re just not “floating my boat” like I need you too, God. I’m sorry but it’s true. You are so demanding. All the time with the compassion and the empathy! Do you know how you make me feel? Do you have any idea how you suck the joy out of making lots and lots money? I can’t even drive now without seeing the homeless person. And while I used to never notice them, now they attack my mind and conscience. It’s terrible.
And where before I almost never thought about you (only on Sundays), now I am consumed with you. I always think about you, and I seem to ponder your Word always. It’s like you’re in my head, my heart… it’s like you’re inside of me, whispering to my conscience and soul… AND I HATE IT.
Leave me alone! You are crushing me with your love!
Yes, yes, I know I am a sinner and I don’t deserve grace, and I do really appreciate being loved, but why am I changing??? Why can’t you just leave me be, and leave me to my oblivion of toys, and cars, and drunkenness and gluttony? Can’t I just be loved and leave it at that? Why are you changing my life??
Why are you changing me??
So this is why I am coming to you now, and I am asking you… no, begging you, God: please let me see the other idols. I promise, I will always love you like I do now, but I miss thinking only about myself. I miss my toys. I miss living an un-afflicted life.
There was once a time that I would had looked on the protests on Wall Street and I would have laughed at them. I would have mocked them for being “losers” and “whiners” and “pathetic”. There was once a time, before I really knew you, that I might have even agree with Herman Cain when he said, “Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks… if you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself!”
There was a time that I thought that it really was the fault of the poor they were poor. The fault of the uneducated for being uneducated. The low for being lowly. There was once a time that I thought I was the kind of person you wanted, that you blessed. For with all of my toys and my vices and my greed, I felt blessed!
And then I came to know you, God, and you tore my heart out. You really turned my world upside down by taking everything I thought I knew and turning it on its head.
17. He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18. who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19. and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20. Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
22. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
23. “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.
24. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
25. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
26. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
27. “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28. bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
I am dying, God. Don’t you care? I am dying to my self-centric existence. I can feel the “me” that I am, the selfish cares, wants, and desires are fading within me. I no longer care for them like I used to. My nights are filled with one dream, one want, one desire now: to see the love, peace, and forgiveness of the Kingdom of God spread across the world like a wildfire.
I want to see the whole world die: die to our selfishness and greed. Die to our fear of each other. Die to our fear of death (for you have won final victory over death)!
But at the same time… it’s too hard.
Can’t we just call the process of your Kingdom on Earth “good” and “done”?
Can’t I stay “a friend of the world”, just a little while longer?
I can feel the (r)evolution coming, Lord. Can’t I have a little more time before I have to accept the change?
But I know the answer is “no”, because it is my own answer, from my own heart.
“God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”, and I can feel the pull throughout this nation. The passion of God for the poor, the downtrodden, the low… it’s infecting us, one by one.
Some may see this as a secular movement, some may see this as divinely inspired… I don’t care, as long as there is movement towards what I see as God’s passion.
It is pointless to resist your movement, God. It is pointless to resist your love.
I am ready to be your friend, God. I am ready to be an enemy to the world.
Become the Unified Enemy of the World / Ally of God
Lord, let these words of long ago, recorded at the dawn of the 20th century serve as a rallying cry, a battle cry in a new war, a unique war. Not a war of guns and bombs, but a war of hearts and minds. Let the truths uttered so ling ago ring forth from our hearts and mouths today.
Let this be our battle cry as we occupy the hearts of others, and as we infect the hearts and minds of humanity.
“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” – Cobb, “Inception” (2010)