RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
I am writing this article because I see many believers falling into two traps. These traps are very detrimental to peace and well-being during this pandemic. I have listened intently to all sides of the all-consuming issues concerning the covid 19 viruses. The trap is just that we get caught in the all-consuming cases brought forth.
Over the years, I have observed a somewhat troubling scenario. Christians who have been intolerant with each other over denominational, doctrinal or personal conflicts suddenly become animated together over issues. We expect God to put His stamp on our struggle against what we think is destructive to the existence of the overall church and society in general. We go to war over things together and call this unity, yet there are many unresolved issues between us. There is power in being in one accord, but this power comes when we love God and are willing to lay our lives down for each other. True "overturning evil power" is out of deep love. Friendship in God for each other is to be our life and not a task. Without this, we cannot trust one another to be secure in the necessary battles we must face both personally and externally in the preservation of God's goodness and love to a world tossed to and fro, as we see with this virus. When a battle is over, we must not go back to the previous way in our isolation, back to business as usual. The question is, with unresolved conditions looming in the darkness, do we have much power?
Our lack of connectedness with Jesus as the head and moving in the love that truly makes us together with His body on earth is the cause of the two traps I see we fall in. To summarize, our identification must not be our denomination or titles but as sons and daughters together.
Because of insecurity, we must identify with something, and too often, it is with the fight thinking, "The Lord and I will do this." Peace and joy become supplanted with purpose and mandates.
The first trap is when the battle consumes you. You end up on a nowhere run on your energy, and you end up either forcing your opinion on others or ending up depressed because of the magnitude of the issues and the feeling of personal inadequacy to "fix" it. Without realizing the consuming attention you give to it, you become compulsive. Trapped, and you don't know it. Except for people who think like you, everyone else tries to avoid you when once you were good friends. You would be surprised at how much time you spend on the computer looking to find "professionals" to validate your beliefs.
The second trap is equally as serious. It is the openness to others filling your mind with their propaganda, and you take it in with no reserve. We are in a time of unprecedented intrusion into our thoughts by nefarious self-serving powers that want to steal our individuality and control us.
The Lord is our refuge. It is not a church denomination that has lost intimacy with God or external forces that want to control every aspect of our lives and censure all contradictory conceptions. There are those determined to change our very thought life, conforming us to their ideas of experimental social engineering. We are lost in the sense of individuality, the gift from God. Each one of us is a masterpiece of all God's creative power and love. Forces want to rob you of this and make you part of a collective of pawns catering to their agendas.
These two traps are only indications of a deeper problem. The covid issues are just symptomatic of other underlying issues God wants to set you free. We often project inner needs onto external things. This projection hides the cause of what's inside. I remember when I would see something wrong in the church or other people. The Lord never said I was wrong, but the impression I got from Him was this;" Ok, sonny boy, let's fix it in you first." I realized that even though I may have at times seen things right, He seemed to say it's you who have the problem. Forget about them. Let's fix you.
I remember a few sayings; If something gets to you, there is something in you to be got. How about this one. What is the definition of a personality conflict between people? "The sin in me can't get along with the sin in you." As funny as it sounds, it's true. God says He desires truth in the innermost parts of our being. We have all heard the term "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free." To walk in a life of freedom, it takes courage to look at ourselves. God transfers anxiety for peace, hatred for mercy, hurt for healing, and the incredible power to forgive.
The sheep in wolves' clothing in this pandemic is fear. Fear of what? DEATH. The Lord says that His perfect love chases out fear from your inner being and fills you with His love. This love erases the fear of death.
For me, to learn these 'Rules of Engagement" was not easy. It cost me giving up my own selfish life to Him.
Each day He imparts to me some of His Magnificence, Grace, Mercy and Love. I so much want those caught in the traps to know this.
I hope this helps...Love Dan
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Dan Chappell was fathered in the prophetic by Robert Ewing of Grace Churches of Texas in the early 80’s and mentored in “The Heart of the Father" by Jack Winters.
He is recognized trans locally for his sensitive and encouraging prophetic and strategic insight. His gifting is not just for the local church, but impacts churches across the continent. Debbie, his wife, stands with him in this demanding role.
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