Live for the King!
By Heidi Keller
What if the apology never came?
What if you never get back all that you have lost?
What kind of a person will you be then?
An empty shell?
A bitter victim?
Can you forgive and move forward?
Our hearts cry Justice! But there isn't perfect justice on earth, so now what? If I forgive will the crime go unpunished? If I forgive will it diminish my pain and suffering? Will it make this injustice seem small and unimportant? Is there hope of ever getting back what has been stolen from me?
The woman sold into human trafficking...the American Indian who's land and culture were stolen...the child lost in the foster care system feeling alone and unwanted...the victims of today's wars and genocides...those living as refugees and in prisoner of war camps...These people flash through my mind as I wonder about what hope we can give to those who's hopes and dreams have been raped and stolen.
I want to be a part of the fight for justice and I do believe this is something God calls us to do. However, as I get on board to fight I must also realize that true freedom comes from Christ alone. It is because He died the criminals death on a cross and took on the punishment for all sin that we can forgive. Even if there is no apology and what was lost can't be recovered, justice has been satisfied by our God and Savoir. Apologies and reconciliation should still be pursued if possible but because of Jesus we don't have to remain victims. Christ came to bring hope and healing. The prostitute has been reclaimed! She is a daughter of the King! Pure and Holy in God's eyes and the gentle love of the King wants to bring healing to her abused body and soul. The borders of the reservations have been open wide and the barriers around Native hearts can dome down. Free to be....... and free to do..... as God reclaims this people and culture.
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
Ephesians 6:13-18 says,
And we must remember that God loves justice (Is. 61:8 "For I the Lord, love justice.") and He is the one who we can trust in to make all things right. We can leave vengeance to him.
Good News for the Oppressed
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
3 To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
though they have been deserted for many generations.
5 Foreigners will be your servants.
They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
and tend your vineyards.
6 You will be called priests of the Lord,
ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
and boast in their riches.
7 Instead of shame and dishonor,
you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the Lord, love justice.
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be recognized
and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
the Lord has blessed.”
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit
or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
with plants springing up everywhere.
When we lived in New Zealand we lived just miles from "The Shire". Everywhere you travel in that country you can picture Lord of the Rings, Narnia and The Hobbit movies coming to life. There is no question as to why they choose New Zealand as the setting for those fantastic movies.
I actually wonder if I was supposed to be a hobbit. My feet are always dirty and I'll admit, a bit hairy. I share similar tastes in food and drink. I like parties and cool fireworks. And so maybe it's no surprise that I resonate with the life of Bilbo Baggins. If you've seen The Hobbit, Bilbo had a pretty good life going on. His pantry was full of good food. He had a "gated" yard that kept the annoying neighbors out and life was just as he hoped it would be. That was, until an old wizard and a hoard of contentious dwarves showed up. They ate all his food, interrupted the peace and tainted his perfect little world.
They were not there by some random circumstance. No, they were there to recruit the final member of their team. Their offer included a rather high chance of death, possibly no reimbursement for expenses, that he would cross paths with danger including dragons and trolls and that he would have to leave immediately.
Now the Baggins side of Bilbo would rather stay home and enjoy life as he knew it, and so he initially rejected the offer. But something happened when he woke up that next morning. The wizard and dwarves had left and his house was quiet again. But there was something that told him that if he passed up on this opportunity he would be missing out on a great adventure. Even more than that, he would be missing out on living.
Bilbo quickly packed up his bag and ran out the door. A neighbor asked him where he was going to in such a hurry and what he said in return sums up what we are all called to do. He yelled, "I'm going on an adventure!". And what an adventure he went on.
And here's the sad part as we relate this to Christianity. So many have rejected the call to adventure and settled for the life of convenience. They fear risk. They fear leaving what they know for the unknown. I often think of when Jesus told Peter and Andrew to leave what they knew and to "come, follow me (Jesus)". What if they said no? Think of the life they would have missed. And in my own life...Jesus told us to "sell and go". I absolutely hate to think about missing out on these last couple years. Even so, I know there have been times where I have indeed missed opportunities for adventure.
So let's make it personal. Jesus has called all of His disciples to a grand adventure. He has called us all to "give up everything" and to "go to all nations" but most who claim Christ prefer a life they can "control" rather than a life where the unknown exists. But if we have the privilege to look back on our life when we're on our death bed at an old age, what is it we want to see? A life of adventure with the King or a life trapped by the box of "comfort"?
As Jesus said, He offers life to the fullest. I'm going on an adventure with Him! I pray you will do the same for He is worth it!