When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
~Luke 19:37-40 (NIV)~
So many people are afraid to say what needs to be said. Entire families have been ruined because one or more individuals were afraid to confront issues with each other that were already obvious to everyone around them. People love to debate things like sports and entertainment, but shrink back when the discussion turns to the very real substance of this world’s problems, especially as it relates to God. For that matter, there are those who won’t even discuss their own family’s issues and that tendency to try and hide from our reality is what feeds and breeds dysfunction.
For example, some people get bent out of shape over discussions about religion and politics, but fail to be appropriately or even comparatively appalled at the complete and utter lack of moral decency in which we are being slowly boiled each and every day. This culture seeks to throw us into the pot and slowly turn up the heat until one day, we realize that we have passed the point of no return. By then it’s too late; we’re cooked. And who is stirring this pot? Those who wish to obliterate God’s presence. Those who fail to acknowledge His sovereignty. Those who continue to believe that their way is infinitely better than His way and that we shouldn’t have to follow His rules. Yes, all of the above. I have news for these people. No matter how effective you believe you are in moving God out of the picture, He will never leave us. You may leave Him, but He will always be. You will not.
I prefer to say what’s on my mind. While I may not blurt it all out at the moment I notice that it needs to be said, I take time to consider what should be said and why and then I put it out there. I prefer not to argue with people, however, I also know that sometimes a good argument is absolutely necessary. There are times when it is simply not appropriate to be quiet about things. I also understand that in every argument we have a choice. We can either choose to say what is on our mind and take the consequences like a grown-up or we can sit back and simmer in silence when we hear others discussing an opposing viewpoint. In either case, there are only so many possible outcomes.
For instance, if we decide to speak up and voice our opinion on something, we can expect one of two things to happen; we will either be “heard” and thus, feel better at having taken the opportunity to vent or we will be rebuked by our audience and end up either feeling self-righteous at having evoked an angry response or feel convicted by a sudden understanding that we may not have been open to hearing other viewpoints all along. It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. Whichever way we go, there will be an outcome…we may not like the outcome, but the important thing is that we not shrink back when we feel that something needs to be said. We’re either going to be right or we’re going to be wrong. And though we may never fully acknowledge which of these we are, we must never be afraid to talk about the things that are impacting our mental and spiritual well-being.
Imagine what would have happened if all of the bold people in our history had been afraid to talk about politics or religion. What if people like Martin Luther King had decided that it was just too risky to speak out? What if Emmeline Pankhurst had let social norms dictate how she approached liberty? What if Rosa Parks had decided that it just wasn’t her fight? What if Abraham Lincoln had taken a step back because his views on slavery weren’t popular? What if Mother Theresa had been afraid to acknowledge poverty in her midst? What if Thomas Jefferson had decided to let someone else write the Declaration of Independence? What if Jesus had taken a look around and decided that we weren’t worth dying for?
We can’t make a difference if we’re afraid to face reality. And yes, there are so many people out there who would rather focus on anything but reality. These people stay medicated, they stay tipsy, they stay pre-occupied. They focus on any and every little thing except the larger, spiritual picture. There is a war taking place right now. It is happening right before our eyes. It’s non-denominational. It’s bi-partisan. The evil that started this war reaches across all boundaries and seeks to destroy any and everyone who would oppose its goal to dominate this world. And even though it has read The Book, it persists in trying to change the outcome of the story so that things will fall in its favor. We can either choose to help evil push its agenda or we can take every opportunity to speak out and spread the good news. Depending on which side we take, our outcome will be very different. It’s either a lake of fire or streets of gold, my friends.
Speaking out only works, however, when we are speaking out against evil and for what God intends us to be. There are many people out there who have no qualms about voicing their opinions, but from what I see they are usually fighting under the wrong General. This is why our world is in the shape it is in today. We need to understand who the real enemy is and stop allowing ourselves to be duped by propaganda and misinformation. If our eyes are truly opened, then we will have no trouble understanding why the world we are seeing is so scary to some people out there. Why do we live in a culture where perfectly safe people feel that they need “safe spaces” or need to wear inappropriate hats to assert their rights to freedom? Why do those who are currently so adamant about equality make it their business to present themselves as dominant over others in our culture? My guess is that these individuals aren’t really looking for a fight with their fellow man inasmuch as they are seeking to overpower God Himself. Maybe they believe that if they ring their bells loudly enough, He will turn away and they won’t have to acknowledge Him at all. Rest assured, you’re fighting the wrong enemy. God is not your enemy, He’s your creator. He is the one who sees fit to love you even when you are unlovable and the only thing He is trying to give you is love.
Our culture is inundated with individuals who seek to be greater than God. They are under the mistaken impression that they hold the same power as He does. They treat people badly. They live lives that spit in the face of Jesus, Himself. They lie, they cheat, they steal. They fight for any cause that diverts attention from the big picture. They prefer to fight with the masses to try and drown out the voices of those who are trying to uphold God’s word. They do this because God’s word brings conviction. God’s word doesn’t uphold the perversity that they have grown accustomed to supporting. God’s word is pure and true and it will not change.
No matter how much God’s people change, His word will NOT change. We are tasked with speaking out and speaking His truth. Will you be too afraid to do so? Will you be too wrapped up in your own truth to talk about His? The stones will cry out. If we are too busy or too self-important to tell others what God has done in our lives, the stones will indeed, cry out. One day, all that we’ve been fighting for will be considered alongside His word. He will judge us based on how well or how poorly we’ve lived out His word. Look at everything, watch what is happening around you. Pay attention. If it doesn’t line up with His word, it doesn’t matter if it lines up with society’s norms or with your church’s expectations. It doesn’t have to fit into our neat little compartments to be right. It only needs to align with what He has already said.
So, with all that said, my point is this; don’t ever be afraid to speak His truth. You may be met with scorn or rebuke, but if you know that what you are saying is true and that it lines up with the word of God then you have nothing to fear. For those who will fall away, will fall away. We cannot help those who refuse to hear. We can only be those who are not afraid to speak truth. The rest is up to our God. He will deal with those who will hear only their own truths.
Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” He answered, “Must I not speak what the Lord puts in my mouth?”
~Numbers 23:11-12 NIV~