Behind Enemy Lines: The Great Campaign of Sabotage

Even though we made it past the year of political campaigns, there is a campaign going on all around you. You may not have noticed it but it is happening. It is a real campaign in a real war, but you may not have heard the sounds of gunfire.

A Different Kind of Campaign

It is a war where we cannot see the enemy. Misinformation is portrayed as truth, and where the selfish lust for power reigns. In this campaign, fractious opinions and offenses disseminate division. It is a war where strength and weakness are upside down. The rich and powerful seem to be able to marginalize the poor and the weak. From where I sit, the enemy has made huge gains, and many of us are trapped now behind enemy lands… Paul talks about it like this:

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-27 KJV)

The whole story of the gospel sounds improbable. God created heaven and earth. He made earth perfect and full of love, a place where He could walk with man and interact with his creation. He offered a place where man could live in peace and harmony as long as he chose to be obedient. Having fallen, the great deceiver launched a campaign of misinformation to counter God’s offer. Falling in step with the Father of lies, mankind rebelled and set up his own system based on power, greed, and lust.

campaign

Status Quo

Instead of a world free from pain and suffering, man lives in a fallen world whose selfish inhabitants bully, hate, and kill each other. (If you don’t believe that, check your history books, listen to the news, or heck, just offer an opinion on social media.) Those inhabitants have used corruption, money, and brute strength to build their various kingdoms apart from God’s values and authority.

By His very nature God is loving and kind, and stands apart from the campaign of death and destruction that the world pursues… God has offered people opportunities to set themselves apart and return to him– but Man, with his logic and pride, figured he could earn his way back to heaven by works, and force God to take him back on his own merits.

The Logical Solution that Defies Logic

The Creator (knowing what was truly required to satisfy Righteous Judgment) had a different plan. Instead of retaking the world by force, He opted to take it back by using mere love. God entered the world in the form of a tiny, helpless infant who alone could pay the price for man’s rebellion and offer peace and salvation.

God did not force rebels to receive Him, but allowed (and still allows) man to find and accept Him by faith. The catch is that man must relinquish by faith his independence in order to allow God to empower his spiritual self in the midst of a carnal world.

God sent His Son into a rebellious, deadly kingdom ruled by selfishness, pride, and power and offered instead love, humility, and service. He chose to confound men’s wisdom with seeming foolishness, and men’s power with what seemed like weakness. Depravity exercised its muscle in this earthly kingdom in the form of despots and dictators who rule by using violence and intimidation. Jesus came to earth and taught that men should serve to lead and humble themselves in order to be exalted.

Time for Sabotage

C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in His great campaign of sabotage.” Saboteurs resist the status quo, refusing to buy in to the world’s power structures, the things that men celebrate, and the short-sighted goals of the carnal mentality.

If there is indeed a God, then there is a different set of values and an eternal timetable. There is a spiritual world available to men in the midst of the world of carnal power. If Jesus is who he said he is, then all Christians are living as part of the resistance behind enemy lines. The question is this: Which side are you on? You are either living behind enemy lines, offering alternatives to force, hatred, power, and pride, or you ARE the enemy. Read that last statement again.
Beware, and choose wisely.

Behind Enemy Lines

God has chosen foolish things to contradict the wise,
Confounding both the mighty and the strong.
God has used invisible power right before our eyes,
And asked the world of men to come along.
But things that men have celebrated are not really consecrated:
Things the world will seek go to the strong, and not the meek!
The weakness is the wise won't speak of spirit which it deems as weak;
The outlook here is getting bleak, with escalating danger...
The world of men's conceit will hold that there is nothing stranger
Than God investing mankind's hope into a rustic manger,
And somehow turning that into a history re-arranger.

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread

Weakness: The Kind That Actually Makes You Stronger

Perhaps the strongest moments you ever have will only come through your weakness…
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)

Does Strength Reside in Strength?

We live in a world where strength is made perfect in strength. That world is impressed by athletes and actors, media stars and moguls. We don’t tend to see a lot of value in the ordinary or the marginal. It’s even the same way in Christian stuff: If you can teach, God uses your teaching. If you can sing, He uses your talent. If you can turn a phrase, create a nifty slogan, and “unpack” the Bible, God will show himself through your competent efforts. And please don’t misunderstand this, all of those things are good. I certainly like it when I can do my best work for God instead of for myself.

But God is way bigger than that. I think he is perhaps glorified most when we are experiencing things in HIS power rather than in our competency. It’s a lot easier to talk about our victories in Jesus, or the mighty things God has done through, and for, and around us. We appreciate God’s strength in healings, but maybe not so much in the cases where somebody DOESN’T get healed…yet His grace is there in either case.

Maybe We’re Using the Wrong Standards…

We share and rejoice together in victories when we win by human standards, not so much when things don’t go our way. Is it possible that it’s actually MORE miraculous when we “lose”? But in that loss experience God’s grace, and encounter His comfort in the midst of sorrow? I think the same is true about spiritual health—it’s harder to share our failures, or talk about the ways God’s secret grace has brought us out of the depths of our own depravity, but if we encountered God’s power in our weakness, then it’s truly miraculous.

The Silver Lining of Weakness

I can honestly say that whatever worth I have in this world is based solely on God’s grace and forgiveness, not upon my wit or charm. Had I been the only architect of my fate, the structure of my life would have collapsed and burned long ago, compromised by inherent weaknesses and mistakes.

weakness

I have found over the years that if I’m left to my own devices, I will fall into personal selfishness and fail (usually on an impressive scale). I’ve been know to turn away from sanctification and embrace sin. I will exercise greed instead of grace, lust instead of love, and hate instead of holiness… I can’t possibly give you all the details about how ugly and selfish and foolish I have been, but trust me on this: my life should mainly be a testament to failure.

I’ll tell you this: God has been present when I’ve done those things. He has forgiven me and restored me. The details aren’t important, but His presence in my weakness was far greater than any of my gifts in their finest hour. We are comfortable letting God use our strengths. But how do we let him use our weaknesses?

For instance, I’m not worthy in any way to write about God, but here I am, offering a testimony to His grace and to the fact that He saved me from myself. You probably aren’t worthy either, but what’s YOUR testimony about God? Paul says he would brag about his own weakness, for when he was weak, God was strong. Let God’s strength shine through your life, not in your accomplishments, but in your failures.

The Wanderer

I’ve been married more than forty years.
I have three awesome children who are grown;
I’ve had the most enjoyable of careers,
A lovely wife, a house to call my own.

Perhaps you’d look at me and say, “Success”,
According to the things that you can see,
But I can tell you, life would be a mess
If everything depended upon me.

I’ve done some things of which I cannot speak,
Made choices that I never should have made;
I have been stupidly, unutterably weak,
Like Esau offering his birthright in a trade…

I’ve turned my back on God without remorse,
Allowed myself to squander and to roam–
Yet He reached out to me, and changed my course,
And killed the fatted calf, and brought me home.

No matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been,
The Father’s love will go to any length–
Yes, to the Cross! To save you from your sin-
Your weakness will reveal the Father’s strength.

To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread
For the Kindle Edition, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Bo-Jackson-ebook/dp/B01K5Z0NLA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-2&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread