The life or death of the world has been in the hands of the church.” Who is the church? If you are a “believer”; are you the church? What positive change are you making in your world? Is your hunger getting fed? Is your sickness being healed? Are you going into the cities? How many afflicted souls have you taught? How many imprisoned did you reach?
Many of us profess to be believers. When worldly ways had me enslaved I even claimed to be a ‘believer’. Folks would ask me — “what are you a Muslim”? Not getting into the depth of the definition, I would say ‘No, I’ve studied many things.’ “I’m just Diarra. I’m a believer.” Very few of you would have believed me if you would have seen me then at the shelters and in the streets. Yet and still, I “believed”. I believed that we were all called to be caretakers of God’s creation. I claimed that that was my life’s aspiration. However, things got to the point that I was killing myself daily, hurting my family regularly, and lacking financially. I couldn’t catch a break. Know that isn’t God’s way. Not helping myself and rarely being a help to anybody else.
I was in need. Living among others who struggled with the same thing. I saw many beautiful people in bondage, shaken in their faith and beliefs. All I could manage was faith. I kept seeing my very own reflection in these faces, knowing I could make some changes If I just had the money and the means. My heart was reaching out; I needed someone to respond to me. But, the Christians in my immediate vicinity had little to offer that was life affirming.
I knew where to turn, knew the WORD, and knew that I needed a job. Then it hit me: maybe the ministry. Maybe I could get them to listen to me. Could I not answer “the call” as a poor man? I answered, so I thought. Yet and still I was not able to fulfill my duties. I knew God, acknowledged God, praised God, and spoke of his truth and his righteousness. I even passed my judgments as the saints are able to judge (Corinthians 6:2 -3). Naturally, I was viewed as crazy many times in my people’s eyes: Family, friends, and associates alike. WHY? Well, for one, “The poor man’s wisdom is despised. His words are not heard.” (Ecc. 9:16). Honestly, my walk wasn’t quite worthy of being heard. I hadn’t completely ‘sold out’ , lacked discipline and there was instability in me. I was doing things that I would not allow. They who preach the gospel should live the gospel, Right? But, I…was scared (Had no shame in too much of anything else, mind you) But I was scared. Scared of commitment…Called, but scared. Once fully committed to the KINGDOM first, and purpose, the Spirit started working. And “we know that all things work together for good…to them who are called according to His purpose”(Romans 8:28)
Yet, when Christians lack in a lifestyle that is pro – life, something ain’t right.The church’s purpose is to save lives. God has not given us the spirit of fear, so what can stop us? What should stop us from going where we have to go, doing what we have to do, saying what we have to say, praying how we have to pray, spending what we have to spend and suffering what we must suffer, to get the job done? To get ‘God’s job done’ Nothing — nothing should stop us.” Because who so hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1st John 3:17) The church is supposed to be examples of God’s Love, examples of the mind of Christ. Love is an action word!
So, has the church been misinterpreted? Has the church dropped the ball? Is the church sending mixed signals? Has the church answered the call? Is the church leading the charge to freedom? Is the church tending sheep and feeding? Are we taking care of ourselves? Our families? Our people? God’s children? “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16) Do you recognize your own family?
We see the deficiencies in our youth, schools, in the system…complain about the next generation. We worry too. (which isn’t the right thing to do)
Karl Marx said “to conquer a nation you just have to block the transfer of values, morals, and beliefs between generations.” What is being done to prevent such blockage? What strategies have we come up with? Mama, grandma, and auntie share these Christian values, morals, and beliefs. What’s up with son, grandbaby, and niece? What action has been taken? Are our priorities mistaken? Is the church BEING a ‘True Body of Christ’ Or, are we that conquered nation?
“To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20) THE Body of Christ must shine light! We need to be working for True Revival! Working…at the shelters, in the streets…with mental, physical, and spiritual food to feed. It is mandatory. The ‘wretched of the earth’ need the new birth. As the church it is a responsibility. There must be a living testimony that glorifies the Most High. Now is the time! The saints must be prepared. There is much work to do…’out there.’
Are we creating value? Building things of value? John Ortberg wrote ‘that’s what work is’ ‘We all work. We all create value.’ Sounds good…Let’s just make sure that is what we are doing. Speaking things of value. Offering words with value…Sharing things of value. Composing and delivering….valuable enough to provide that liberation from bondage.
Give the people what the people want. God wants his people to receive what they need. Once again, ‘The Church’ must give the people more than what they want; ‘The Church’ must address the people’s needs.
I once learned of two young brothas who were released from jail. They exited those doors fresh from daily doses of bible study, nightly prayer circles, promises of opportunity to pursue a career exercising their talents. They left with renewed faith and spirits, happy to have met some ‘father – figure’, ‘big – brother’ types that they could potentially trust for something positive in life…Less than a good month later, both of those brothas were back in jail – along with the snake – cat who offered one of them the empty promises. The three of them fell back into the cycle separately.
An alternative has to be offered. Some things need to be put in place. Our young men need to be armed. They need that armor to protect against certain spirits, and principalities before they fall back into the lane of lackluster expectations. Protection against the let downs. The ‘What’s left to do but what they used to?’ ‘Family done failed me again’ spin. Yes, of course they had a choice, but where was the positive peer support? The streets are mean people. Obstacles to the immature can be greatly intimidating and spirit breaking. The church needs to be leading, seeking to be in the Mind of Christ at all times, greeting God’s people with a compassionate embrace.
If the streets are mean, the ‘saints’ must be a force of nature; uncompromising in the effort to protect the flock. It was said “If you love me, feed my sheep!” It’s that deep! There has to be a constant, non – stop, relentless driven, full – fledged effort for resurrection. In every way you can imagine. It has to happen. What is the example?
“For as the body is one, and hath many members and all the members of that one body, being many are one body: so also is Christ, (1Cor 12:12)…and whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Cor 12:26 – 27) Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us”. (2nd Corinthians 4:1-7)
They say ‘the life or death of the world has been in the hands of the Church…so, being that ‘body of Christ move today to bring life and speak life to the people in this world who are in need. Give Thanks and Praise.