Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silence is not an option!

These are the words that are resonating in my spirit today as I am worshipping the Lord. Truly silence is not an option now that we know that there are children being sold this very moment.

Silence is not an option, when we say God break our hearts with the things that break your heart and yet we guard our hearts from feeling the pain and suffering of those who are broken.

Silence is not an option when we ask God to see the things that He does and then we refuse to look into the darkness

Silence is not an option when we ask God to be more like Him and then we put conditions on how we will serve Him and what we will do for Him.

Silence is not an option when we ask God 'bless me' and yet we refuse to be a blessing to those who He brings into our sphere of influence

Silence is not an option, when we hear the cries of those who are suffering and we close our ears and tune out because it is too unbearable for us.

Thank you to many who have chosen to not remain silence. Who have chosen to speak by taking the first step of entering into the darkness, to face it head on in all its ugliness, to wrestle with their emotions and questions to God. As we raise our voices in unison, as we speak up on behalf of the oppressed, we discover that God is using the marginalized to enlarge our hearts, deepen our faith and teach us a whole new way of 'loving our neighbor.' Ministry as my pastor once said is not our gift to God, it is God's gift to us---in ministering to the poor, the broken, the voiceless and the oppressed, God deepens within each of us the gift of compassion, the gift of tenderness, the gift of solidarity, the gift of understanding, the gift of hope, the gift of strength, the gift of patience, the gift of endurance, the gift of faith and most importantly the gift of love which leads us to always trust, always persevere and never give up and not remain silent despite the overwhelming odds and obstacles.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, your words here echo something I just read today, written by Pastor Michael Krause of Hills Community Church:

    What do you picture when you see a community conformed to the image of God? What does "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done" really look like to you?

    - more people becoming Christians?
    - an increased level of holiness (being set apart for God's purposes), more right living and moral behaviour?
    - better government with wise and moral politicians?
    - less crime, less strife, less greed, less injustice, less poverty and less homelessness?
    - more churches (healthier and more numerous)?

    The answers to our prayers and the transformation of our communities are often seen as something that happens outside of ourselves. My community is transformed - but somehow I will still be the same.

    This dangerous thinking assumes a number of things:
    1. I am perfect (or have arrived) and don't need changing.
    2. Other people need to change, not me.
    3. I am content in my current situation (even sin and/or complacency).
    4. God will change the thing I'm praying for without working the change through me and my heart.
    5. I am uninvolved in the process of changing my community/world except to pray for it.

    If we are unwilling to get involved, we become unable to participate in the change that God has in mind. Jesus warns us with these words in Matthew 21:43: "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit." I have come to realize that if God is to change my community, he has to change me - my actions, my assumptions, my comfort levels, my group of friends, my job, my church life, my prayer life.

    Transformation and revival is exceedingly inconvenient. If the gospel is true, it changes everything. God wants transformation to happen. The real question is: do you and I want it too? What are you and I willing to do to get there? What needs to change in us?

    [Back to LR now]: And I was thinking today about Saul on the road to Damascus, of how he was an enemy of Christ, met Him on the road, was literally knocked off his feet by the Lord's power, and made a complete turnaround. And I was asking the Lord why He doesn't do that to other people who are in this world as His enemies (like the traffickers of innocent children, like those who provide the "demand" for this evil business). And the Lord brought to mind Saul's circumstances - that Jesus didn't just appear to Saul in a vacuum; that Saul had seen Stephen, heard his words of testimony, grace and forgiveness; Saul had interacted with a number of believers as he went from house to house dragging men and women off to prison and would have seen their strong faith and their demeanor; that Saul was aware that the scattered believers were not intimidated but were still preaching the gospel wherever they went (else he would not have gone to the high priest for letters). In other words, Saul had much contact with ordinary believers (like us) before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Is it possible that the Lord was using all those ordinary believers to work on Saul's spirit and prepare his heart for his meeting with Jesus? And is it possible that the Lord is using us, for whom silence is no longer an option, who are willing to be extremely inconvenienced and changed in His service, for a similar end?