Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save” (Isa.63:1).
I’m not a great believer in perfectionism, mainly because I don’t see it in the Bible. The person who wants to wait till all their ducks are lined up before they take obedient action based on scripture, may never act. They may go to their grave with their loaded gun never fired.
Of course it’s always easier to run from the battlefield and avoid being killed, but our Battlefield Commander may not be thrilled by our cowardly action. Running from the religious, ideological and intellectual battlefields has been customary now for the church for generations, ever since we fled the field of battle when Darwin confronted us.
We’re still running. When do we stop and fight?
Of course, the person I have to begin to confront first of all, is me. No point in having grand ideas to do some great work, if all the time I’m tolerating idolatry in my own heart. The initial place of conflict will always be the human heart. We must have defeated the devil there, before we try and go anywhere else.
David didn’t wait till all his ducks lined up. Obeying his father, he’d innocently gone to the battlefield taking provisions to his brothers who were there, supposed to be fighting, but afraid. He happened to be there when he heard Goliath’s provocations.
Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (I Sam.17:26).
The rest is history, but it didn’t become history by talk alone. David had to act by faith, which gave him godly convictions. He’d done it in the past with a bear and a lion. Now he had another challenge. Those godly convictions led to him confronting the giant, and killing him.
Done any confronting, lately?
Joshua and Caleb didn’t want to avoid the conflicts ahead of Israel. After spying out the land with the 10 unbelieving spies, they said
…The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us-a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them (Num.14:7-9).
None of the other spies joined them in their position of faith, and God killed them as a result (Nu.14:36).
The point is, the church will not make any progress in the world, until it’s prepared to properly develop, debate and finalise its Biblical convictions, teach them and confidently live by them, putting them boldly out in the general market-place. And this may require generations yet.
Why? Because we’ve let things slip for generations, and they won’t be recovered overnight. The majority of the church today, doesn’t know we’ve let anything slip at all.
Thus “it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…” (I Pet.4:17). We have some pain and hardship to endure, as the church is dragged back off the rocks of theological, ethical and moral decline, along with the resultant cultural irrelevance.
If not you, who? If not now, when?