Like a mighty army moves the church of God…onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus, going on before…
I’m not certain I see the church today as a “mighty army”. I struggle to see the church fighting the good fight of the faith. But the truth is, the church should be an unstoppable force. Nothing could stop the church from accomplishing anything it chooses to do it in the name of Christ – IF we work together. How do I know? Jesus said so. No one can stop the church!
“I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
Hell can’t stop the church.
The world can’t stop the church. How can we be so sure? Jesus said so!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
It may feel at times as though the world is overcoming the church, but it can’t. Jesus said:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 (NIV)
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36 (NIV)
So why is the church losing ground? If nothing can stop it and no one can overpower it, why isn’t the church winning? It is because many of the soldiers have gone AWOL. The church is people who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. So when the church is losing the battle, we need to ask ourselves: are we showing up to do battle against the devil, the world and our own sinful flesh?
Remember back in the beginning, right after the flood, when the world was repopulating?
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Genesis 11:1-3 (NIV)
They were all speaking the same language. They were connected together in the same place, doing life together. It didn’t become bad until…
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4 (NIV)
Instead of wanting to make God’s name known, in their pride, they decided to make a name for themselves. If you read this narrative carefully, you’ll see their efforts were feeble at best. Their building was so small and insignificant that the Lord had to come down to see it. What God saw was the sin of pride, and the desire of sinful man to put God out of the picture.
The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. Genesis 11:5 (NIV)
It’s funny. In our pride, we work hard. In our arrogance, we want to make a name for ourselves. In our sin, we build without consulting the ultimate architect and builder – God. So what does the Lord do to stop man in his arrogance and pride?
The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Genesis 11:5-7 (NIV)
He confused their languages. No longer able to understand each other, they separated. What does God do to stop a faithful man from letting his pride destroy his message and mission to a lost and dying world?
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NIV)
He gives him a thorn in the flesh. He allows a messenger of satan to torment him. Why? That we may learn to depend on God. That we may trust NOT in our own flesh and in our own accomplishments, but live by faith and rely on God’s grace, mercy and love.
Father, keep me from becoming conceited. Keep me from becoming prideful over my accomplishments less I may stop trusting You in Jesus’ name. Amen.