The ‘Why?’ behind the Forge Room

WE ARE TRAINING EVERYDAY CHRISTIANS TO FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH.
FORGING A REVOLUTIONARY LEARNING COMMUNITY, LIVING BOLDLY FOR CHRIST.

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The only organization on earth capable of reorienting society toward reality, virtue, and human flourishing is the church. The only roadmap is the Bible. The only captain is Christ.

People change, organizations change and churches change. My calling remains the same.

God’s call led me into lay-leadership of our church’s pro-life ministry in 2012. He sustained me and exponentially grew the ministry and its impact, despite my short-comings. God is faithful.

God’s call led me to join staff at our church in 2014 to lead Local Missions (community outreach). God blessed and multiplied His ministry through bringing lay-leaders with gifts and talents I do not possess. They were vessels of God’s strength and grace in reaching thousands of people for Christ. Our message was clear, “we are a church without walls.” God is good.

God’s call placed me on the ramparts as a watchman in 2020 as dark ideologies attempted to mount a siege against our fellowship. My responsibility was clear; understand the enemy and his schemes, discern between friend or foe approaching the gates, and relay what I saw to those inside the city.

“For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman;
let him announce what he sees.
When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
very diligently.”
Then he who saw cried out:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
whole nights.
And behold, here come riders,
horsemen in pairs!””
– Isaiah 21:6-8

God’s call sustained me once again as organizational focus changed and shifted. God revealed a vital need where something was missing that I could create and contribute. The fellowship needed to be fortified in the faith, equipped with understanding of the times, and encouraged to stand firm – shining as lights in the darkness. God is wise.

God’s call on my life has always centered around protecting the most vulnerable – the unborn, the orphan, the trafficking victim, the elderly, the unprotected youth. You can read my story here to understand I was once the antithesis of this. But, God took the evil I committed and turned it for good. Even when I am unfaithful, God is faithful.

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?”
– Proverbs 24:11-12

I cannot and will not remain silent in the face of evil as I did in my younger days. I am accountable to God, my wife, and my children. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

I’ve reached two conclusions; First, for the most part, Christians have been fighting a defensive battle (even as we claim to be on the offense). Second, the American church suffers from the fear of man, a focus on self-preservation and empire-building, and protection of the institutional church (as a business). We’ve traded our God-ordained birth-right for a cheap bowl of marketing gimmicks. The results are; a loss of mission, moral confusion, and a sense of prevailing darkness. Well-meaning Christians have retreated to their ‘holy huddles’ and rabbit holes of Sunday church attendance, home, work, entertainment, and Christian activities (as sanctioned by the world).

Someone once said, “When the light of the world retreats inside walls of the church, the world becomes a very dark place.”

I prayed, “Lord, what would you have me to do? I’m your’s to command.”

On June 16, 2022 a vision began forming in my mind. I saw a joy-filled, spirit-led, faithful, prayerful, worshipful, and vibrant community of sold-out Christ-followers so distinct from the world, they shined like the brightest stars in the sky. I saw people on fire for the Lord and loving their neighbors. I saw hundreds and even thousands of Christians breaking down the walls of church buildings to serve as ambassadors of our Savior and King. I saw Christ being honored and glorified in our city. I saw entire families being brought into the fold through the proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom. I saw prayer meetings, big and small breaking out all over. I saw a recovery of a full-orbed Kingdom vision and public theology as Christ-followers engaged within their sphere of relationships.

I saw classrooms, seminars, and forums filled with eager Christians in learning communities being equipped to serve God’s purposes in this generation and this city. I saw people investing in people who invest in people – creating disciples who will disciple the nations and generations in our city.

Today, I see a recovery of what is good, true, and beautiful on the horizon. I see answered prayer unleashed on our city. I see renewal and local churches pouring fourth light like never before.

All of this is totally impossible… or is it?

My prayer is… Ephesians 3:20-21

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (ESV)

J.B. Phillips paraphrase puts it this way, “Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine—to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ for ever and ever, amen!”

As a pastor and leader, I’ve led the charge against human trafficking, exploitation of the vulnerable, abortion, euthanasia, and destructive ideologies. By God’s grace, great work has been done in these areas! We must celebrate what God has done through His faithful people. But, things in our community continue to worsen and decay. It’s not for a lack of awareness or funding or services. We have some of the best people and organizations serving trafficking victims, women in crisis pregnancies, orphans, the elderly and protecting the hearts and minds of children in our schools. The problem is cultural virtue is decaying because Christian leaders are telling their followers to abandon societal institutions like education, arts and music, media, and politics. Thus, our communities become very dark places.

The church isn’t lacking in programming or resources or personalities, we’re lacking in prayer, fortitude, and Gospel G.R.I.T. (Guts, Resiliency, Integrity, and Tenacity). Our Savior, Jesus Christ demonstrated all of these virtues as he “set his face like a flint” and marched to the cross, through death, and sat upon his Kingly throne.

Most Christians live as though we have a King without a Kingdom. Meanwhile, evil, chaos, and brokenness ravage our children, families, and communities – and churches!

Michael S. Craven stated, “While Christian faith is deeply personal it was never intended to remain private. This reductionism and privatization of Christian faith have left the contemporary Church with little to offer a desperate world other than a prescription for personal salvation, the only real implication of which is realized when you die. Unfortunately, this truncated gospel has left the Christian confused and uncertain with regard to what they are to be doing in the meantime.”

Again, we’ve made great strides in our fight against issues like trafficking and abortion. However, things continue to get worse. Most individual efforts are focused on arguing against and fighting at the point of crisis (ie. rescuing victims, protecting the vulnerable, or political action). I encourage, support, and participate in those efforts.

Sadly, the church sits on the sidelines, or complains, or remains silent or avoids critical cultural issues at all costs. I participate in the anti-trafficking community, serve on boards of ministries, attend school board and city council meetings, and advise crisis pregnancy centers. Local church involvement is always missing. Christians get involved but local churches tend to shy away from ‘controversial’ issues like trafficking, abortion, euthanasia, pornography, human sterilization, and perceived ‘political’ issues.

Silence on an issue of good versus evil is not going to win lost people to Christ.

Eric Metaxas said, “There are a lot of pastors that say, “I don’t want to fight (against moral evil)… I just want to “preach the Gospel.” I mean, if slavery is an issue, should you not talk about slavery because you might offend someone in your congregation? What issue will you be silenced on that is a God issue? That is an issue of good versus evil, because you have been persuaded somehow that if you don’t talk about that issue, you’ll win a convert. A convert to what? What dead, useless gospel are you preaching?”

Richard Owen Roberts said, “During the present time of moral and spiritual declension, the church is daily losing ground to the world. Each false convert that is added to an already adulterated work adds to the decline and hastens its pace. We have already reached the point where the negative impact of those who profess to be Christians and either are not or are badly backslidden is greater than the positive impact of those who profess to be Christians and truly are. Thus, the church is going backward instead of forward.”

Christ alone can heal and revive His Church. The church isn’t a franchise. Jesus Christ, not man, is responsible for building His Church. The “church growth movement” is an open door to liberalism, compromise, and false-teaching. Today, we find ourselves on a recovery mission of sound doctrine, faithfulness, and public theology.

God’s calling on me is clear and fortified. God moved the location and context of my vision. No longer is it limited to a single local church. It is a bigger enterprise for equipping and mobilizing the Church in our city in order to push back against the darkness and infuse God’s goodness into our community.

Based on my research, our communities will continue to degrade. Trafficking will continue to get worse, new forms of abortion will increase, sterilization of children will become normalized, euthanasia of the elderly and ill will increase, and the indoctrination of children and organizations with sex-ed, Marxism, and DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) / SEL / ESG doctrines will destroy any last vestige of moral virtue and human flourishing. Not to mention, the harsh rhetoric and cancelling of dissent or truth will continue unchallenged.

Moving forward, what are we about?

Christianity is a public truth.”

– Lesslie Newbigin

We must recover a unifying vision of the Lordship of Christ over the domain of our individual and collective lives as the local church. We shall live lives that are holy and pleasing to the Lord as we exercise dominion over that which God has placed in our care. The hallmarks of Christian maturity are; faith, holy living, the ability to articulate a Christian vision of total reality, and a zeal for sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom. Christ is Lord over ALL things. We serve as ambassadors of His Kingdom – reflecting our King’s image, redeeming and restoring that which is lost and dying in the place and time in which we live. We need a recovery of cultural virtue like in the days of William Wilberforce in order to make good culture and protect the sanctity of human life.

“God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.”
– William Wilberforce

With this in mind, we launched the Forge Room Foundation in May of 2023.

A forge is “a furnace in which iron or metal is heated and hammered into form. Any place where any thing is made or shaped. The act of beating or working iron or steel; the manufacture of metalline bodies.” [Noah Webster 1828 – American Dictionary of the English Language].

A forge room is “a place or establishment where iron or other metals are wrought by heating and hammering.” [Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary]

A forge room is a motif of the Christian life and journey. We are constantly being grown, tested, sanctified, and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Until Christ returns, the sanctity of human life will always be in danger. Threats against the weak, the vulnerable, and children are unending and will continue to grow.

We’re accurately Identifying the Problem:
We are living in a Civilizational Moment. Christians need strong biblical community and equipping now more than ever. Over the past hundred years, the Christian faith has become privatized as we have abandoned society resulting in darkness and moral confusion. Dangerous ideologies are invading our families, schools, and churches.

Like the German church in the 1930s, the American church is overcome with fear and remains virtually silent in the face of evil. As a result, the Church has lost its public witness. Our action or inaction today will shape the next century.

We’re Creating and contributing Solution:
The Forge Room Foundation is creating localized learning communities – providing training in worldview, cultural intelligence, and biblical theology – bringing light into the darkness.

We must repent of our silence. We must develop the life of the mind and heart. We must cultivate Gospel GRIT (Guts, Resiliency, Integrity, and Tenacity) in local churches. We must recover the Gospel of the Kingdom!

“The Gospel is so much larger than the personal plan for salvation. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the in-breaking rule and reign of Jesus Christ as King over all creation – redeeming and restoring all things. Through Him, the Kingdom of God has come into this world. Jesus has completed the atonement for our sin on the cross. By his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God the Father, He is presently ruling and reigning over creation. Christ is reinstating his righteousness on the earth.”

– Michael S. Craven

We’re Encouraging and mobilizing appropriate Action:
We will develop a full-orbed Kingdom vision, confidence, and wisdom to serve generations yet unborn for Christ.

Are you ready to live boldly for Christ in this generation in our city?

Will you partner with us in this mission? Join us for a course and check us out (click here)

In conclusion, God will sustain and grow His ministry and its impact, despite my short-comings. Why? God is faithful.

Learn more about Forge Room here…

Resources to encourage you and give you hope

Article: Recovering the Gospel of the Kingdom by Michael Craven

Sermon: How to Be a Man of Courage by John MacArthur

Article: THE THREE WORLDS OF EVANGELICALISM by Aaron Renn

Book: Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch

Book: A Christian Manifesto Paperback by Francis A. Schaeffer

“Evangelization requires that we proclaim, not only God’s saving grace, but the norms by which he intends those who are in Christ to live. In no way do mere human beings redeem culture by engaging in creative activity. This is presumptuous. Only God in Christ redeems his fallen creation. We are at most agents of his kingdom, manifesting his saving grace in everything we do — including the shaping of culture.”

– David T. Koyzis –

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Lust

Unlike other sins, lust commits severe violence against one’s self, others, and God. Lust is a distortion of a good desire.

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The grocery store checkout may be one of the most spiritually dangerous places on earth. A wall of magazines adorned with images surround you.

In addition, sexually explicit and suggestive movies, media, social media, advertisements, books, magazines, school ‘sexual health’ curriculum, strip clubs, drag queen shows for children, cultivate and feed lust.

The cover of Cosmopolitan magazine coveys a powerful message about identity and conjures up illicit thoughts. Like mainlining heroin, the image of a scantily-dressed woman rides base emotions, bypasses natural defenses of reason, logic, and moral sensibilities directly into the imagination. Once there, the image of the Cosmo woman takes on a life of its own – playing with powerful desires within us.

In the mind of a teenage boy, an image can conjure up sexual appetites that God made for good purposes. But lust takes hold, distorting and degrading the woman’s image. A boy learns to objectify a lovely creature made in God’s image. Mind you, no one has to teach a boy how to lust or objectify others. It comes ‘naturally’ to him.

Illicit thoughts pulse through the mind. A narrative is created in the imagination and eventually gets expressed through behavior. Behavior reinforces the narrative and a destructive cycle ensues. The sinful narrative can shape a person’s life… Yes, it’s all in the imagination. But, it does not stay there. At some point it will be externalized.

Lust is a blatantly obvious universal sin – if people are honest with themselves. Unlike other sins, lust commits severe violence against one’s self, others, and God.

As an aside. In the mind of a teenage girl, the Cosmo woman’s image conveys messages as well. The first, is the girl will never be ‘good enough’ to be like the woman on the magazine. Second, the girl begins to feel like she must become like the woman on the magazine. Finally, the girl may decide that the woman on the magazine is what boys want – so she decides to pursue becoming like the image.

The truth of “I’m created in the image of God – fearfully and wonderfully made” is replaced with a false identity – a lie takes hold of a young girl’s imagination and heart. It reshapes her life if left unaddressed. She lusts after the image for different reasons… She wants to ‘become like’ the airbrushed Cosmo woman. Again, the imagination builds a narrative and often destructive behavior follows.

But, let me re-focus on boys and men since I am a man and I’ve been a boy, I know this domain best.

In objectifying girls, the boy’s lust transforms the girl from an image-bearer into a thing to be obsessed over, possessed, and used for his pleasure… then, to be disposed of.

Ask any man what he had for lunch last Wednesday. He will have to think about it for a moment… He probably won’t remember.

Ask any man about the first time he viewed pornography… He can tell you IMMEDIATELY. He can describe the place, time, and setting.

Ask any man about the woman he first viewed through pornography. He knows nothing about her other than how her image made him feel and how he responded. 40 or 50 years later, her image haunts him.

The average age that a boy is exposed to pornographic material is 8 years old.

At 88 years old, he will still remember the first time he was exposed to it.

Lust is powerful.
Lust is prideful.
Lust is hateful.
Lust is deadly.

Lust is a distortion of a good desire.

God gave men and women desires for one another that are good. However, due to the Fall, sin caused those desires to become disordered and destructive. This is why Lust is one of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins.’

Epithymia(Greek) Desire, longing, coveting, craving, lusting…
Notice the negative connotation – a notion of craving for something that does not belong to you (coveting). (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

Within the richness of the Greek language, Lust carries powerful characteristics of desire and longing for a specific object. The word, ‘concupiscence‘ is used – denoting a passion of lust, evil desire, an indwelling sin. It emerges from the ‘inside’ when an image or event is experienced from the outside. In other words, when boys are exposed to an image of the naked body of a women, it gives rise to an internal desire (response). When virtues are not fully developed, there is no guardian at the gates of the imagination to protect against lust invading the mind and heart.

Epithymia is connected to another Greek word, orexis. The idea here is “reaching or grasping toward the object of desire to attain fulfillment” which one wants to possess. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

Three things come to mind when connecting epithymia and orexis.

The First comes in Genesis 3 when Eve is tempted by the serpent in the garden to eat of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The temptation and lie is that she will become “like God.” But wait, she was already like God – made in His Image, sharing in the fullness of communion with God and Adam. Was the first sin the first bite of the fruit? I think not. It was their “grasping at” the gift God had already given… Adam and Eve already had everything they could ever need from God. They were in perfect fellowship and peace. Man fell because he attempted to grasp and possess the gift of God. We do this today.

The Second comes from Genesis 15 where God promises Abram (Abraham) a son. Instead of waiting for God to deliver on His promised gift of an heir, Abraham and his wife, Sarai (Sarah) grasp for the gift to possess it for themselves.

The Third image comes to mind from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings“. The pursuit of the Ring in order to possess its power brings out the worst in every character – even the benevolent and valiant have imagined attaining the ring. Possession often brings about destruction of the possessor and the world around him. There is a deep hatred of the ring and anyone who may possess it – unless you are the one possessing it – but then you hate it too.

Lust militates against authentic love.

While love recognizes others as image-bearers, lust turns a person to be loved and respected into an object to be used and rejected. When this occurs, we begin to hate the object – who a person God created in his image. Eventually, lust will destroy its host with self-hatred and shame that began with curiosity, self-love, and self-pleasure. All that is left is an empty shell of a human – a prisoner of his own desires – a slave who is left groping in the darkness for the illusive object of his desire.

The words of Gollum (Lord of the Rings) echo;

“We wants it (the Ring), we needs it. Must have the precious.”

“Precious, precious, precious!” Gollum cried. “My Precious! O my Precious!” And with that, even as his eyes were lifted up to gloat on his prize, he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail “precious”, and he was gone.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King (Lord of the Rings)

How can we have victory over lust?

First, we must ‘turn on the light switch.’ Like other sins, lust is isolating. It happens in the darkness. When we ‘turn on the light‘, we are doing two things. 1) We acknowledge the sin. 2) We realize we’re not alone. The dark room is filled with others. All it takes is one person to flip the switch and many others are able to see as well. Furthermore, when someone is freed from a habitual sin, he or she is able to help others get free as well. God uses people. Free people free people.

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:1-2

Below is a link to a post on Repentance (the only starting place).

Second, as those who have asked for forgiveness and have been redeemed by the blood of Christ are robed in Christ’s righteousness before the Father (called ‘imputed righteousness‘). In other words, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and faith in Him, we are declared ‘not guilty’. We are saved from the penalty of our sin, we are being saved from the power of sin, and eventually we will be saved from the presence of sin. That includes lust. By the virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we have power over sin (albeit imperfect during our life in this fallen world).

“For His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust (epithymia).” – 2 Peter 1:3-4

Finally, (Christian) we must realize that when we do sin (and we will sin), we will experience the grace gift of conviction that brings that sin into the light – where it can be acknowledged and forgiven (forever).

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 8:1

Reflect on this passage and pray it becomes a growing reality in your daily life:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8

Resources:

Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson

Repentance by Lance Cashion 

 

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You are worthy and valuable

The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not.
You are very valuable! You have so many fine qualities. You are made in the image of God. Therefore, you have intrinsic value and worth. No one, not even you can change that reality. The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not.

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The Lord put a word on my heart that I must share with you. Not sharing would be to deny water to the thirsty.

Someone needs to hear this today…

Several years ago, I’ll never forget I heard Pastor Dr. Greg Cook talk about how we’re all “self-deceived deceivers.” Spot on!

Since I was a small child, I struggled with a deep-seated sense of worthlessness. Perhaps it was my upbringing or a traumatic event I can’t remember. It was a lie I believed about myself and that lie shaped my life in many ways for many years. It led to chaos, destruction, and casualties in the lives of others. But, over the years, Christ delivered victory. To God be the Glory!

To a greater or lesser extent, we all believe lies about ourselves and our value as a human beings. We believe a deception, then we deceive ourselves, then we deceive others by putting up a facade. Finally, we believe the facade is the real us – forgetting who we are. The false notion becomes so real that our lives can be built on a lie we believed long ago. Many times, we’re not aware that we’re acting on a false belief about ourselves.

Maybe someone made you feel worthless at some point in your life. The devil got a foothold in your mind and breathed out lies that you believe to this day.

Dear Christ-follower,

DO NOT believe lies the devil or the world have told you to believe about yourself!

The TRUTH is, you are so very valuable! You have many fine qualities. You are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, you have intrinsic value and worth. No one, not even you, can change that reality. The truth is the truth regardless if you believe it or not. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead for you. He took your sin and worthlessness upon himself. He gave you the crown of life and the keys to his Kingdom.

Ask the Lord to reveal to you the lies you believe about yourself. Ask him to use other Christian brothers and sisters who love you to help you see clearly and believe the truth. Repent of believing a lie and believe the Gospel. Preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to yourself each day and believe it!

Here are some truths to believe:

– In Christ, you are WORTHY because He is WORTHY! (Roman 8:17, Rev. 5:12) That is TRUTH!

– You have so many fine qualities, talents, gifts and beauty in who God made you to be. There is only one you! This is TRUTH!

– You are loved by the creator of the universe, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139). This is TRUTH!

– You did not choose the circumstances of your birth but, God ordained them in His providence (Acts 17:26). This is TRUTH!

– Before the foundations of the world, the Lamb was slain for you (Rev. 13:8). This is TRUTH!

– Therefore, you were, you are and you always will be part of God’s Story (Eph. 2:8-10). This is TRUTH!

– It is NO accident you are on this earth. Today was and is in God’s plan for you. This is TRUTH!

If you have experienced victory in Christ over deep-seated feelings of worthlessness, praise Him afresh today! Now, help someone else experience that same victory. Encourage someone, tell someone they are valuable and they have many fine qualities.

You have the power to influence conversations tonight by how you serve and treat people in your life today. What is the story you want told this evening? …. Begin by telling it now.

Someone once said, “All of Christ for all of life!” Make it so, Lord!

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Conquering the Madness of the Moment with God’s Story

God structured reality in such a way and embedded reality in his creation so that His image-bearers (humans) can apprehend it, albeit imperfectly. For sure, the fallen world, sin and broken lives distort and dim the good world God created. But, that is not the end of the story. It’s just a moment.

Please share your insights by commenting below this post.

We live in an ever expanding crisis-centered culture.

Stress at home and at work, and free-floating anxiety are in the air. It seems like you can almost touch it. The world says, “just deal with it” as moments like waves pound you like an ocean storm. Some deal with stress and anxiety by indulging in excesses like drinking, eating, drugs, video games, social media scrolling, pornography, or other unhealthy activities. Some will fall into a pit of despair, depression, or apathy. Many barely make it through the day. It’s a chore to sleep at night. The alarm goes off in the morning shouting, “Wake up! Another crisis ensues!” It can be maddening.

I hear it and see it in the faces of people everywhere. It’s a problem.

The “Out of Control vs. Control” Problem

Most situations we face are completely out of our control. You can only control yourself and your responses – which is extremely difficult.

Out of My Control:

Are you helpless to do anything about a world on fire?

School shootings, natural disasters, wars, a traffic jam on the way to work, a serious health diagnosis, a family member making destructive decisions, an abusive boss, a flat tire, or the dying garden caused by the relentless Texas heat are examples of our limited control.

Don’t confuse the madness of the moment with the bigger story. Remember, we live in moments within a bigger story.

Open your newspaper or newsfeed. You come face to face with empirical evidence of evil, brokenness, and pain. Deep down you know what you’re seeing and experiencing is bad, it’s wrong, it’s cruel, it’s unjust! The madness of the moment militates against a deeper notion that the world is not supposed to be this way. Something is wrong.

Where did the notion that “the world and life are not supposed to be this way” come from?

C.S. Lewis said about his conversion from atheism to Christianity the following, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” (Lewis’s full quote below this post)

In other words, although we live in a world of brokenness and sin, God did not obliterate goodness, truth and beauty embedded in creation. In a fallen world things are disjointed, distorted and decaying. However, God structured reality in his creation so that His image-bearers (humans) can apprehend it, albeit imperfectly. The fallen world, sin, and broken lives distort and dim God’s good creation. But, that is not the end of the story. It’s just a moment.

By God’s mercy that we have “some idea of a straight line.” The “straight line” is God’s Story.

Within My Control:

Presuppositional truths of the Christian worldview – God’s Story:

1. God is… (God exists, whether one believes or not does not change reality of God’s existence)
2. God is the source of all goodness, truth and beauty…
3. God created all things…
4. God created all things good… (God is the source of good).
5. Sin entered creation because man chose to “be like God” and rebel against his creator…
6. Creation fell into the curse of brokenness, pain, decay and death…
7. But, God sent Jesus Christ to redeem people from sin and His creation from the curse…
8. God is setting right what sin sets wrong…
9. God is currently redeeming and will restore all things in the future…

How to Conquer the Madness of the Moment

Remember The Story
So, when you find yourself caught up in the madness of the moment, remember The Story. Out-narrate the moment with God’s bigger unstoppable redemptive story. It is The Story we inhabit. The Story can be described in four chapters; creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. The story of the Bible contains all other stories.

Did you choose the circumstances of your birth?

Of course not, we did not decide where, when, and to whom we were born. We were born into a cultural moment within God’s bigger Story.

Discover or Rediscover Your Calling
Every man or woman’s life mission is to seek out their unique role in The Story. Merely existing is NOT what life is all about. Escaping life’s troubles and pain through pleasure or distraction leads to meaninglessness, madness, and self-destruction.

God created you for this place and time to serve His purposes in this generation.

Those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Roman 10:13) Those who God saves He calls into the biggest, truest and most beautiful Story ever told. God writes His Story with the lives of ordinary people just like you and me – moment by moment, one life at a time.

Reflect on the following:

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
– Isaiah 26:3

“Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.” – Os Guinness

Note: Join me as I interview Os Guinness on August 8, 2022 at 7pmCT via live Zoom (ask your questions). Link…

“For the secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.”
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

C.S. Lewis’s full quote from above:
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such a violent reaction against it?… Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if i did that, then my argument against God collapsed too–for the argument depended on saying the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my fancies. Thus, in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never have known it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.”

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Faithful in the Moment

You are not called to worry about what others think of you. You are not called to be anxious about anything. You are called to be faithful in the moment.

Dear Christian,

It is so easy for us to allow the dizzying moments and circumstances of life to make us lose focus. We are overcome with distractions, amusements and anxious thoughts. We are vulnerable to getting lost in the moment and losing track of the bigger story we inhabit.

Remember, you are not called to worry about what others think of you. You are not called to be anxious about anything. You are called to be faithful in the moment.

You are here in the time and place God appointed for you. Be faithful in the moment. Do not worry about what is to come. Turn over your anxious thoughts and distractions to the Lord – knowing that if you are faithful to God, the result will be faithfulness in all things.

We are faithful to that which we love and worship.

Your faithfulness and dependency on God will result in all other things being properly ordered and an outflow of blessings. You will experience troubled seasons and moments, but all God expects is faithfulness in the moment. String those faithful moments together, and you will realize your part in God’s bigger story.

Pastor Alister Begg said, “We need that dimension of understanding like the men of Issachar – that we would understand the times in which we live and we would understand the God who rules over those times.”

Moments mark cultures and histories. Moments mark stories and our lives. Don’t allow dizzying moments and circumstances of life to make you lose focus. Tomorrow has worries of its own … Be faithful in THIS moment God appointed for you.

Prayer:
Lord, may I be found faithful to you in THIS moment. Ultimately, that is all you ask or want. But, I need your help do be faithful to you. Thank you for giving me an abundance of moments to be faithful. Even when I fail in one moment, there is the hope of another moment to be faithful. May I be found faithful.

*This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of my employer or my church. The opinions of expressed by guest authors and commenters do not necessarily represent my opinions.