It seems like we are losing the battle, doesn’t it? When you watch the news, when you read the newspaper, when you look outside your window, it seems like evil is winning.
There is so much darkness in our world. It would be easy to give up on the fight and just go to church on Sundays. But Jesus doesn’t give us that option. After all He commissioned us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And He uses us to answer that prayer.
So that’s our goal. For the Kingdom of God — God’s rule and reign — to invade our planet. For God’s will to be perfectly done on earth as it already is being done perfectly in heaven.
That’s our goal. And we are called by God to press on daily toward it. While we won’t be able to create the Kingdom of God on earth in all of its fullness prior the Second Coming of Christ, we need to do what we can… by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let me frame our role in this battle of good vs. evil by sharing an analogy I originally heard from author Tony Campolo. An analogy that seems fitting to share since we just celebrated the 70th anniversary of D-Day last week.
Imagine you’re in France. It’s early 1944. Your homeland has been conquered by Germany for the past 4 years. Back in 1940, your government surrendered to Germany. Since then the Nazis have owned your country.
You’re just the average Joe or Mary. You hate the fact that the Nazis occupy your homeland. They are not supposed to be here. Things aren’t supposed to be this way.
So you decide to do something about it. You join what is called the French Resistance. Now if you’re not a history buff (and I’m not one either :)) here’s some background on what the French Resistance is:
The French Résistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France during World War II. Résistance cells were small groups of armed men and women who, in addition to their guerrilla warfare activities, were also publishers of underground newspapers, providers of first-hand intelligence information, and maintainers of escape networks that helped Allied soldiers and airmen trapped behind enemy lines. The men and women of the Résistance came from all economic levels and political leanings of the French society: from conservative Roman Catholics (including priests), from the Jewish community, and from the ranks of liberals, anarchists, and communists. (wikipedia entry)
So it’s 1944. You decide to join the French Resistance. And you’re doing your best to sabotage Nazi operations. You’re doing your best to disrupt and distract them. But it’s never enough to fully push them out of your homeland.
Now it would be easy to focus on just your country and your group of people, on your small group of men and women who became soldiers by default. And it seems like an impossible task to fight against the overwhelming war machine.
And if you focused on that it would appear that your defeat was inevitable.
But against all odds you don’t give up hope. You do your best to fight against the Nazis.
And all this time you have no idea that at the exact same moment, just a few miles across the English Channel, the most massive invasion force in the history of the world is being assembled.
In just a few months — on June 6, 1944 — on a day that has become known as D-Day, a signal will be called to launch that force. And shortly after that, the Allied forces will finish the work that the French Resistance started. The Nazis will be driven out of France once and for all.
With that in mind here is the quote from Tony Campolo in Adventures in Missing the Point:
So it will be with God’s people. Even as you and I struggle to take very small steps in creating the kingdom of God in the here and now, a huge invasion force is being gathered beyond the clouds. And, at an unexpected moment in history, a trumpet will sound, and Jesus will return with a mighty army to overthrow the evils of this present age. On that day Jesus will join our limited efforts and carry us to victory (Ephesians 1:18-22). Then justice will roll down like a mighty flood, and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God, and God shall reign forever and ever.
May that picture be burned into your minds. My hope and prayer is that God uses our church. And your church. To make His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
My hope is we get the picture of what happened during World War II burned into our minds. Because history is going to repeat itself. Except on a much grander scale.
The battle is already won. We just have to fight it.
***”Dishonor Your Father and Mother.” That is the title of my sermon this coming Sunday as we look at Father’s Day from the devil’s perspective (and from God’s perspective as well!) as we continue our Spiritual Warfare series. Please join us! Bring your dads! Bring your children! June 15th. 10:30am. The Eastside Vineyard Church. More info at tevchurch.org***