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What do you think our faith is for?

For times when we are in a place of peace and comfort? Or, for the times when we are facing a battle?

Of course our faith is always valuable. It’s not like we put it on a shelf and just grab it when we need an extra boost of confidence. Our faith is continually a part of our lives. However, most of us would agree our faith is tested and built and put on display during the storms of life.

Our faith is in Christ alone. It is not in Christ and something or someone else. This means, when battles come- we stand firm on our faith in Christ. We remain steadfast and insistent that our God has already won the victory. We humble ourselves by surrendering our immediate emotions of rage, sadness, anger, and bitterness. We get on our knees and invite God to first purify our motives before we ever try to intercede for others. We can’t pray for others when we are blinded by emotion. We HAVE TO lay our life down. Constantly.

The new abortion law that’s been passed in New York is appalling. It’s unsettling. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. It’s completely unholy and inconsistent with God’s heart. It’s sickening and totally disturbing.

But, It’s also a test of our faith.

Yesterday, my social media news feeds were flooded with all sorts of posts. Many from Christians voicing their opinions. They ranged from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. What I noticed almost immediately were two things.

1. Anger- a rightful emotion when handled in a holy manner. I’m sure God’s righteous anger is burning hot against the injustice and terrible turn that was taken yesterday. But what about the scriptures that talk about putting off anger and malice? Like Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Or Colossians 3:8, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

Do those only count when it’s not such a sad thing? When do we get a pass to just stay angry? Some may say, we are “righteously” angry. I know God does allow this and He does enable His people to experience this. But does He call all of us to remain in anger? Absolutely not. Anger may be our first response- but it’s what we do with the anger that produces fruit. According to God’s word- his anger only lasts for a moment but his love and mercy abound. Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Those of you that were struck with anger yesterday, like so many of us were, are called to follow after the heart and character of God. He calls you to live in light of mercy and hope. Today, I challenge you to rejoice in the Lord that He is moving on behalf of every child. You need to pray in FAITH. Standing firm and allowing God to grow your heart to love.

2. Hopelessness- never good or acceptable. Do you think we are defeated now that this law has passed? So much of the church’s response yesterday was less indicative of a body of believers with faith in their God. It seemed more like a body of frustrated and sad people that felt hopeless. I know it’s valuable and right to grieve and mourn and petition. I am NOT saying we make light of something that is clearly a BIG PROBLEM. But when we put our emotions out on center stage for the rest of the world to see, we better be very careful how we are representing the Father. Colossians 4:5-6 encourages us and says, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone..” Don’t forget that many if not most of those supporting and participating in the new law are not born again, followers of Jesus. This leads me to my next and final point.

I read a few disturbing things from the Christian community and felt compelled to talk to you about them.

So often we lay our hearts bare by what we say. Remember, Jesus says that what our mouths say is what is in our hearts. Without realizing just how blind we are- we speak out the lies we are believing, thinking that we are right. Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” I am not accusing any Christian of being bad. I do however see deception lurking in hearts of those that love Jesus. WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE. PERIOD. We need to lay our hearts before the Lord and plead that He reveal his nature and love within us. We need to care well for our hearts and protect the goodness in which Christ flows. Above all else- guard your hearts., everything we do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)

Christian- when you label people as your enemy- YOU ARE WRONG. This is deception. IF you think someone is your enemy- you’re off. Passages about our “enemies” are simply identifying people that are not yet saved. They consider us their enemies… it should never be the other way around. Do you really think God is telling you to “love” your enemies while you have hate in your heart toward them? NO. He is telling you NOT TO HATE.

Yes, there are completely corrupt, evil people in this world that are so overcome with darkness. But they aren’t your enemy.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms .” Ephesians 6:12

You have one enemy- his name is Satan and HE IS DEFEATED.

Going even further- I’ve read Christians talking about “these people getting what they deserve.” That God will bring his “wrath against them.” HELLO- Do you know what you’re saying? Don’t you see that that is such a twisted mind set? Here you are- trying to defend the lives of unborn children while you also wish eternal damnation on another human. God’s wrath is infinitely worse than the suffering the unborn child will endure in the womb. Eternal damnation is a forever absence from God- a sentence that is haunting even to think of. That is the darkest, most frightening thing my soul can imagine. I cry as I type this. Partly because the thought is utter hopelessness. Also, because some who are in Christ, wish that on another human. Be so careful.

God loves every single one of us no matter our sin. To think we somehow justify our freedom in Christ while wanting another to be eternally separated from it is a lie. It’s a mind game straight from the devil. It’s true evil and it’s in the church. Our minds need to be renewed in Christ. Setting our minds on things above- not on earthly things.

WHAT ARE YOU PRAYING FOR?

Jesus says, if you have hate toward your brother, you’ve already committed murder.

Church, how can you justify wishing wrath on one while trying to save the other?

My heart ached so deeply last night as I fell asleep. Yes, for the potential murders of unborn children, for the mothers that are in bondage, who are lost and confused and for the politicians who so desperately need revelation. But I’m nearly equally as grieved over the perversion of truth in the body of Christ. We really need to wake up and understand the life in which we are called to in Christ. It’s a life of grace and love. IF God calls you to petition, to be actively intervening, to stand in a march or picket, or assemble- you better bet He’s going to call you to do it in love. He’s not calling you to do it to prove people wrong, to get justice and serve those people with what they deserve. Justice is for God to deliver.

We should be praying for God to bring His salvation to all who are lost. That is his desire.

I read “WOE TO YOU” so many times being directed at those that passed the law and those that will perform the abortions.

Church: THEY PROBABLY DON’T KNOW JESUS.

WOE TO US FOR BEING LESS THAN WHAT GOD CALLS US TO. Woe to US for believing we are more deserving of mercy and grace. Woe to the church for failing those who live in the darkness. Woe to the church for lacking in love. If anyone will be at fault when Jesus returns- it’ll be the church. WE ARE HIS BODY. WE ARE CALLED TO SHINE HIS LIGHT.

We are called to love our enemies, feed them, care for them and watch as the coals of love burn through their hardened hearts and change their lives. The goal isn’t to see them “get what they deserve.” The goal is to stand in faith, praying just as earnestly for our enemies, as we are for the unborn children they are offending; understanding that God is our victor, our provider, that He is King and He will have the final say.

A new commandment I give you:

Love one another. As I have loved you,

so also you must love one another.

By this all men will know that you are My disciples,

if you love one another.

Shelly Jata