Monday, January 16, 2012

Faith In People

"And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."  Exodus 17:11-12 

I didn't hardly post at all last week.  On the one hand, I was quite busy for some reason.  But on the other hand, I was terribly distracted last week, and I don't know why I let that happen. 

The kids and I have a radio station that we prefer listening to when we're driving around.  It's got the most upbeat and contemporary Christian music of any other (though it's still got a long ways to go in that regard, really), and the kids enjoy it. Not too long ago they started a small talk show in the mornings, and we're not out driving often when it is on, but every once in a while, we'll catch a snip of it before I turn it off.  I've listened to it a few times on my own, and honestly, I really don't like it.  It's one of those shows that is all about warning Christians about this and that.  They warn against things they think are false, they warn against certain preachers or books that they think a Christian should stay away from- or movies or TV shows that they think go against basic Christian principles.  It's really not a good show, in any regard, because they are so full of stirring up fear within the body of Christ.   This past week I heard rumors of some of the things they'd been sharing and it just really, really bothered me, and I spent far too long thinking about it and dwelling on it.  Quite honestly, I don't understand what they think they are doing trying to get Christians to be afraid of the world around them.  Fear does not come from God in the least, and yet here they are, trying to get Christians to fear one another- to fear the church down the street because their worship is too contemporary for their taste. 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  2 Timothy 1:7

The fact is, there are far too many of these types of people out there trying to stir up fear in the Body of Christ today.  And as I thought on this further, the thought came to me that it really is a sad state of affairs in the church today.  When good Christian people decide it is their personal mission to basically tell the church that they should have no faith in each other, because that's exactly what they are doing.  They are telling us that we should suspect our Christian brother who prays in tongues of consorting with the devil, because tongue talking is not so common today.  They are telling us that when a woman shouts out in a church service, she is actually listening to demons, because it's disruptive of the church service.  Truly, these are the kinds of stories they are telling, and they are not alone in doing it!

The more I thought on this, the more it just made me sad, because you know what?  I have great faith in my fellow believers.  I have great faith that my Christian brother and sisters would know when they are doing something that goes against the word of God.  I have faith that Christians as a whole are smarter in their walk with God than all these fear mongerers make them out to be.  Were I to walk into a service where there was in fact, things of the devil going on, I would trust that the Holy Spirit would stir right up within me and tell me that I do not belong there, and to leave.  I have the exact same faith in my brothers and sisters in Christ- that they would listen to the Holy Spirit, and trust in His counsel to guide them out of a dangerous situation.  

We do not need talk shows and organizations who basically tell us to eye one another suspiciously.  It's absolutely preposterous that there are people out there warning the church as a whole to be careful of each other- because we never know who is in the devil's pocket.  Shame on them.

I have faith in people.  I have faith that people of all walks of life know better and will heed the Holy Spirit should the need arise.  We do not need the aspect of fear introduced- we should not be afraid to walk into a new church on Sunday morning, for fear that they are not following the words in the Bible. Instead I should be excited to see how God is using this group of people.

I was reminded of the story that I posted a snip of in Exodus, chapter 17.  The Israelites were battling the Amalekites, and to keep the battle turned in Israel's favor, Moses needed to stand with uplifted hands the whole time.   Every time his arms began to lower, even a little, the battle turned in the favor of the enemy, so Moses absolutely had to keep his hands lifted up.  How does a man do this all day long?  It's absolutely impossible without help from a brother or sister in Christ.  Moses' friends did what any Christian would do.  They came beside him, one on either side, and they bore his burdens with him.  Aaron held one hand up, and Hur held the other hand up, and in the end, Israel was victorious.

THAT is exactly what we as Christians should be doing for one another.  We should be coming beside each other, sharing in the burdens of those around us.  We should lift each other up.  We absolutely should not be tearing each other down by spreading fear.  We should have faith in each other, and not hear about something new that God is doing for someone, and instantly think that they're being possessed by demons.  God can and does work in mighty and mysterious ways, and we should have faith in each other, as human beings and fellow Christians.  We should purpose to come beside each other, lift each other up as the need arises, and rejoice in the truth of Jesus, our Savior. 

I, for one, choose to have faith in people.

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