A Different Ground Zero

I am a Braveheart-loving believer. A warrior for the kingdom.
I believe we’re at war in the spiritual realms
and that requires courage, action and stalwart faith of the highest degree.
I believe in standing firm and sacrificing my personal comfort and desires for the greater good.
I believe in speaking truth at all costs.

But I also believe in fighting the true enemy on the real battlefield and not confusing the victims of evil with the forces of evil.

This is the battlefront:

remembering in both our personal lives and in the marketplace of public exchange
that Satan is the enemy –
not our lost relatives, not our deceived neighbors, not those who follow other religions, not those who disagree with us within our own faith.

It’s hard to keep this straight. Gethsemane hard.

Requiring hours on our knees and submission of our minds, our emotions, our wills, our rights – submitting all this to God hard.

But it must be done.

I have been meditating on the Psalms of Ascent. These are fifteen Psalms beginning with Psalm 120 sung by Jews and Christians throughout centuries of politics, oppression and war.

To ascend is to move, climb, or go upward, to mount, to rise above.

In the flood of headlines, personal struggles, spiritual oppression and my own inner life, I need to climb to higher ground in order not to be swept away.

The first line of Psalm 120 says this: “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.”

This is a both a cry of help and a word of hope. Since the beginning of the world, those who called on the Lord found that He answered. He will also answer us now.

The second part of the Psalm is a plea with God to save the Psalmist from lying lips and deceitful tongues.

In an age where deception is rampant and the father of lies uses this weapon on every front, I am one with the Psalmist in a desire to be saved both from those who use deception and from the temptation to fall prey to it myself.

And finally, my heart is one with the Psalmist when he cries out in the last verse “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”

Peace is hard work. Gethsemane hard.

Requiring hours on our knees and submission of our minds, our emotions, our wills, our rights – submitting all of this to God hard.

But we serve the Prince of Peace. Jesus Christ.

I am a Braveheart-loving believer.
I’m not afraid to do battle.
But Ground Zero is my own soul. 
Jesus calls me to die for what I believe
but my first death is to sin
and my continual dying is to my own self.

This is not the stuff of headlines and it’s not likely news to go viral on the Internet but it must spread from believer to believer like the bread and wine of communion.

Now is the time to ascend.

Now is the time to call on the name of the Lord.
Now is the time to be purified and saved from deception.

Now is the time to be men and women of peace among people who clamor for war.

Now is the time to battle the true enemy

and this enemy doesn’t dwell in any one country or religion or ideology or office or individual.

This enemy must be fought on every front with weapons that are not of this world.

The first fires we should set are on the altar of Jesus Christ where our souls can ascend and be ignited by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can both announce and represent the Kingdom of God on earth.

And we should submit every word of every Facebook status, tweet, blog post, and personal confrontation to the will and the work of building the kingdom of God on earth.
The work of peace is hard – Gethsemane hard – made possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit
And ground zero is our own souls.


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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. I agree. Wonderful article.

    I have had to pull myself back, or actually the Lord pulled me back, in the area of political discourse…and I was reminded the enemy is Satan.

  2. Judith Robl says:

    Brilliantly insightful, and, oh, too true!

  3. “…not confusing the victims of evil with the forces of evil.”
    What a true statement. Thanks for the reminder that those we often attack are stumbling in the darkness.