by Lance Linderman
“The Church should be a resonant of hope, an alternative narrative that derives its power not from fear, but from resurrection.” —Gavin Linderman
It feels super silly to quote my brother at the top of my thoughts here, but it summarizes so well our current condition and potential. I like sentences like that. One doesn't have to look very far to see how true it is, too. Christians everywhere are turning to powers other than the power of the Spirit and we do this in every way imaginable. We tell stories of men making their homes in the bellies of whales, the dead being raised to life, talking donkeys, and virgin births and yet our worry prevails. Why? Why so much worry and fear? Could it be that our current system of church and our culture of ease and instant gratification have usurped our exercise of making viable the very power of God? My guess is that you might agree. If true, then we must wrestle with the fact that we have lost the ancient practice—the art of closing the mouths of hungry lions—and instead have grabbed onto something horribly subpar. Alarmingly, in the face of danger, we turn to our pistols and fists (could be a good band name, by the way) before our Rod and our Staff. Is the Spirit not enough?
I don't write this to cast guilt or shame, but instead to awaken our inner source of strength—to make tangible the power of God in our lives once again. In order to proceed, though, we must first call into question everything. We have to see how our locked doors, loaded guns, military might, dollar bills, isolation, drugs, alcohol, denial, anger, borders, theology of who's in or who's out, occupation, and having “nice things” have become our means of taking control in the face of fear rather than a reliance on God.
I like how David sings the words in Psalm 20:6-7: “I know the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven...Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.” David is free of his enemies' threat because he is wholly held in the protection of the Christ. This kind of song can be ours, too. Imagine for a moment a world where your bank account nears zero and rather than lighting your cat on fire, you give the rest away and sleep with ease knowing the Lord will provide. Imagine being attacked and seeing your attacker as someone you love deeply rather than being your enemy. How might you respond differently? Imagine renovating your spare room into a replica of a Motel 6 suite. You hang a vacancy sign on the window for the homeless and as a result, they take turns finding rest. Imagine serving those who take advantage of you and doing it with joy because you can't be taken advantage of while doing the Lord's dirty work.
When we realize that resurrection is real, suddenly we have the power to do the things that God has placed in our dreams. We no longer grind through life under the thumb of fear, but instead, we freaking levitate with love and everyone, every place, and every circumstance becomes fair game for resurrection, too.