Too Long Have I Lived Among Those Who Hate Peace – A Different Ground Zero

I am a Braveheart believer.

I believe we are 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 is 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.

This week I began a meditation 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 believer. I am 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 does not dwell in any one country or faith or ideology or office or individual. This enemy must be fought on every front with weapons that are not of this world.

The only fire we should set this week-end is at 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.

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Image credited to : http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/06/11/songsofascension/


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14 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Carmen says:

    I have to admit that I didn’t fully understand before why anyone would hate peace and be for war…but with the present situation on so many fronts, I now understand. There are those who prefer to hate and kill to see their own desires fulfilled, all in the name of peace. It’s unnerving when you’re on the wrong side of that…but then, we always have been. Plus we have lived such a milked down western christianity…but I think that’s all going to change soon. God give us the strength to hold fast and honor Him throughout it, and to realize that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places.

  2. kbcook says:

    These are thought-provoking words that call for serious action. Thanks for putting them on paper for my interspection and outward action.

  3. Well put. Once again, you nail the issue. P.S. Like the new pic.

  4. Karin says:

    My thoughts exactly – only I couldn’t begin to write them down in the excellent and thought provoking way you did! The Lord has gifted you and I thank Him that I can read what He has placed on your heart! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thank you to all of you! What would I do without you?

  6. The Mayor says:

    Indeed, well written!

    Thank you for writing in a way that speaks in truth and simplicity!

    I agreed, the only fire that should be set this weekend is at the altar of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Blessings,

    Paul

  7. Edie Melson says:

    Lori, as always, your post is timely! I’m also beginning the psalms of ascent. Thanks for sharing what is on your heart!

  8. Excellent, as usual! Thanks for putting words to this reality.

  9. Cheri says:

    You wrote: “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.”

    Thank you for the reminder! It’s easy to forget.

    Great post!!

    Blessings,
    Cheri

  10. Great post, Lori. “Ground Zero is my own soul.” Wow. Powerful.

  11. Love when believers agree, Mayor!

  12. Edie, don’t you love how God works! I just learned that U2 has a new CD coming out called Psalms of Ascent.

  13. Betsy and Cheri, we’ll HAVE to have dinner in heaven! Can’t wait to see the book, Cheri!

  14. That means a lot to me, Vonda. Thank you!