Has anyone ever hurt or rejected you? More than likely, unfortunately, you’ll answer yes. Has anyone ever condemned you for not living the way you should? Yep, unfortunately that too happens a fair bit in churches. It’s felt by anyone who tells you to live under the law. But the real question I want to ask these people, and you if you have ever hurt anyone, is this: Who are you?
The Lord has just placed this song so strongly on me lately that I can’t shake it (no, it doesn’t have anything to do with how amazing it is!). Though I’ve used it in another post, it has so much rich lyrical depth that I can’t even lay it all out in one post alone, nor will I try.
So the song talks about people who claim, “I’ll go anywhere Lord, even to death.” Remind you of anyone? Peter said those exact words before he denied Christ three times in the midst of danger. We say, “I’ll stay with the Lord no matter where He leads me,” like a spiritual warrior, but do you realize that we’re doing the exact opposite? Churches, Christians, we’re all standing before the cross and not feeling moved. We’re watching Jesus be slashed with the cat o’nine tails yet we never shed a tear. We’ve hardened our hearts. How? By turning away from the world.
Christ shed his flesh and blood for those in the world, yet for some reason, we like to stay “sanctified” within the church building. We believe the church building is our safe house, and the people of the world must come into our church in order to receive Christ. But when we’re out of our safe house (where the church really is) we do nothing to convince those in the world that they need a savior.
A line that really hit me in the song is, “How can I claim to love you, when here your body lies strewn. I dwell amongst the pieces and never feel moved.” Each one of those who have rejected Christ, His very flesh and blood is upon them. So we walk amongst the world, walk amongst the flesh and blood of Christ, and we never feel any anguish and pain for them. They tear Christ limb from limb in their sin, “yet we find our peace in our distance.” Isn’t that going against the “I’ll go anywhere you go Lord” proclamation?
The truth I’ve found is, when we’re resisting the things of the world, their pull becomes a hundred times stronger. It’s no wonder Christians don’t want to go out, they’re afraid they’ll give in to temptation. Yet Christ dwelt among it all. How is that possible?! It’s simple, every percentage of His desire, His flesh, was surrendered to God. Christ was dead to the world, which was why He couldn’t be tempted. God filled His entire being, and He had no thirst for the things of the flesh.
But have you looked around you? My novel in progress, Virulent, is set in a town that has a law prohibiting Christianity and the use of Jesus’ name. When I began writing, I thought it might be a bit preposterous, but when I look around now, we’re basically living in that fictional town. We’re living in a world where God is dead, because the Christians are all in the church. Their sanctified safe houses. Yet I’ve seen other Spirit filled Christians pray for those same broken, sinful people in the street and the alleys!
The hopeful truth is, when we’ve laid down our lives for Christ as He did for us, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, and no matter where we go, we bring the Holy Spirit with us. So our debate between Christian places like the church, and secular places like a shopping mall (which in my opinion can be just as filthy and tempting as a bar) is no longer valid, because when we’ve died to ourselves, wherever we go that place becomes sacred, because we take the Holy Spirit with us. Of course, if we partake in the sin those places offer, the Holy Spirit is going to leave, but that’s for another post.
So to end this incredibly long post (and I haven’t even gone through half of the song) I pray that we’ll grow an anguish for those unsaved and become the embodyment of Christ God has called us to be, “For greater works as we walk as one in His likeness, so that men can behold and believe.” Because that’s who we are: “The flesh you’ll wear ’till the worlds end.”