Thursday, September 20, 2012

WAKE UP: We're at WAR!


More than ever in my life the stark reality of thousands of people groups unreached by a "peaceful" western church has been branded on my brain. More and more it troubles my heart. The logic of love is irresistible. If I love the lost, I will seek to save them from perishing. If I love the glory of God, I will work to overcome the worldwide ignorance and belittling of that glory. The blinders are beginning to fall off of my eyes and the bombshells of the unseen war are beginning to explode with terrible brightness all around me. I am coming to see the peacetime mentality that dominates our church and our conference as a tactical victory of Satan—the result of a kind of nerve gas from Satan's arsenal of chemical weaponry that gives the soldiers of Christ a kind of stupor in some and religious euphoria in others, and eventually puts them to sleep at the gates of the enemy, and makes them utterly oblivious to the cries of the P.O.W.'s behind the wall.
Who but Satan could devise a chemical weapon which when spread over the army of Christ would make them content simply to hold worship services and support groups at the door of Satan's dungeon? Picture the Allied troops landing in Germany, marching victoriously toward the smoke from the ovens of Dachau, and then stopping at the gates, setting up camp, and having a big Bavarian beer bust to celebrate while the Gestapo finishes murdering 5,000 Jews behind the gates. Satan is satisfied with all our religious activity as long as it does not move us to break down those gates to rescue the perishing.
Therefore, at the top of my agenda these days has been the question: how can I get myself and the church awake to a wartime mentality? Is there some way to break the spell? Picture a great army asleep with mighty weapons in their limp hands and armor in their tents. Picture them sleeping in the fields all around one of Satan's strongholds. Suddenly, an eyelid blinks, a head lifts and looks around. Then another and another. A strange awakening spreads through the field. Muscles are flexed. Armor fitted. Swords sharpened. Eyes meet with silent excitement. The light in the commander's tent goes on, the generals gather and the strategy for the attack is laid.
What has happened? The Holy Spirit has begun to move upon the armies of the Lord. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light . . . Do not be drunk with Bavarian beer but be filled with the Holy Spirit . . . Put on the whole armor of God . . . and take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God . . . Keep alert . . . and help each other be bold" (Ephesians 5:14186:1117–19). There is only one power that can break the spell of Satan, waken the armies of the Lord, and rout the god of this age—the power of the Holy Spirit.
From a sermon by John Piper, 1984
By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

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