Well in an effort to control that ag-noxious issue we have been having, I took the two Tops out on our local Greenway with their bikes yesterday. This would be the same Greenway where I saw my dragonfly friend two months ago. Yes, it has been two full months since my last run. And no, I came nowhere near the benchmark distance I got on that run.
The bottom line is that between my last run and yesterday, the climate has changed. Ok, so maybe I’ve lost a little ground on conditioning too. Maybe. But let’s focus on the climate part today shall we? Three factors have changed-pace, temperature, and humidity. That really doesn’t seem like that much so why was yesterday so much harder? One at a time those factors wouldn’t be so hard to handle but when they all stack together and I am truly pushing myself to be successful, they become quite a force.
Consider our faith in current culture. How hard is it to live in faith? We find ourselves in a climate of change that is forever pushing against the core values and moral standards of God. If we don’t accept those standards were branded as hate laden individuals who would withhold the right to happiness from other people. And before anyone connects this post with your favorite political or societal issue, understand this. I am speaking of even the small things such as parenting styles, dietary habits, brand loyalties and all “stuff” that clogs our intake valves by creating friction.
The climate of “Me” has taken the place of the climate of “He.” We have become so worried about offending someone with our faith we have dropped it into stealth mode so that we can keep the peace. In a self-preservation effort we have decided that looking out for ourselves and our people is more important than proclaiming the truth.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
As I muddled through my run yesterday I considered all the issues that weaken our ability to stand in faith and announce what we believe. Here in the “first world” our faith really is quite weak. There are countries that put to death those who speak out for their faith. Believers are jailed and tortured for embracing the Gospel.
We are called names. We are labeled and protested and maybe our businesses take a hit. Poor, persecuted us. Something tells me we aren’t really “standing firm against the schemes of the devil.” The word schemes is perfect here. It’s a trick to make us believe we are in danger of…well what exactly I don’t know. We won’t be liked? We won’t be popular?
Before anyone thinks I am above all this know that I battle myself on this matter all the time. It is insanely uncomfortable for me to share my testimony in a room of believers – imagine how I handle witnessing to non believers! Oh that my faith would grow so that I could speak as Paul.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
After all isn’t that our goal – the salvation of everyone who will believe? Something tells me we might have to run against a changing cultural climate to share that.