I'm sitting here in the living room, staring at my laptop screen. That's because the TV is on and I have given up television for Lent. "Then why is the TV on, Bob?" Well, I may have given up watching television for Lent, but my wife hasn't.
Because I have not given up being with my wife for Lent, I spend a lot of time watching "other things" while my wife watches TV. I watch my dinner plate closer than probably any person ever has. I watch my phone, waiting for texts from friends that don't come often enough. I watch the pages of God's Word, although it's hard to focus on Israel wandering through the desert as my wife cheers on her favorite celebrity dancers. Television sucks.
Oh, television had its moments. Watching Neal Armstrong set foot on the moon was good. Watching JFK's horse-drawn casket going down Pennsylvania Avenue was sad but also much needed by a hurting country. Lately however I have noticed that overall, television has become an incredible wasteland. To paraphrase Nathaneal (John 1:46), "Can anything good come out of television?"
During this time of fasting, I have also discovered something else, besides my disenchantment with television. I have discovered something . . . about myself. I live in a world that is in "between." I am the guy who stands with one foot on the dock and the other foot is in the boat. And the boat is moving away from the dock. Either I make a decision in favor of one or the other or my life is suddenly going to become a lot wetter.
The world on which we live is being orbited by a moon. The only thing that keeps the moon from crashing into us is the force of itself spinning around us. Without that speed, we would perish. If the moons velocity slowed it would begin to draw closer to the earth and, eventually, there would be a collision. And so it is with us and our faith.
This world, this God-less culture we have created for ourselves, has an incredible pull on each of us, just like the earth pulls at the moon. Without anyone to keep us from doing so, we are bound to be drawn into it, like a moth to a flame. And we are being absorbed into it more and more deeply, more fatally, with every passing day.
As I look at things it is obvious to me that only God can save us. The ironic thing is He has already offered to do just that. He has given us an invitation to join him in the lifeboat while everyone around us is partying while this ship goes down. And despite how loudly we yell, "Abandon ship!!" the music just gets louder and the drinks flow more freely than ever before. So what do we do?
Well, it begins with you and me. It begins with each of us. We are the ones who must tell our unbelieving friends about the waiting lifeboat. We are the ones who are in between; God's messengers if you will. He has instructed us to "make disciples of all nations." How we doin' with that? I myself am failing massively.
We are COMMANDED by God to preach The Gospel, to "make disciples of all nations" and to love others as we love ourselves. COMMANDED! And yet we do nothing. Back in the day, if we disobeyed a direct order from a king we would be killed or tortured for sure. Today though, seeing as almost everyone is ignoring orders from our King, suddenly it's okay?
We must be ready to speak The Gospel whenever God places people in our paths. We need to get them to see their sinful nature (we're ALL sinners so that should be pretty easy), and make them recognize their need for repentance and for a savior in Jesus Christ. There can be no in between. It's either one side or the other.
"30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." - Matthew 12:30
God does not need us. He is able all by Himself. But He did call us to take action and we WILL be held accountable one day for all of our actions and for all of our inactions as well.
"36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” - Matthew 12:36-37
So let's speak of Jesus often. Let us speak of God's sacrifice of His Son . . . for OUR sins. And let us never be caught in the middle in our faith. May both of our feet be firmly planted on the side of the LORD (our Master and Absolute Ruler). And may His will be done, right here on earth, as it is in heaven.
Somewhere in The Middle by Casting Crowns