The Riots In The Middle East, The Panic Of The Masses, And The Steadiness Of God’s Eternal Purpose.

Posted on February 2, 2011

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I must admit that the current events in the Middle East caught me off guard a bit.  I didn’t see the turmoil coming.  As I watched the news, I saw that the unthinkable was occurring before our very eyes.  Firmly entrenched governments are being uprooted.  My initial reaction was to look on in horror as radical Islamic groups with a detrimental agenda seem to be operating behind the scenes. 

Understandably, many of the people on the ground in those regions are frightened.  I don’t want to comment on that.  That is another subject for another day.  What I would like to comment on, however, is the preoccupation & even trepidation that many Christians react with when it comes to current events.  I am pretty active on facebook & twitter, and judging from the posts that I have seen, I can tell that many people are quite stirred up.  Also, based on what I have seen, this is not a one time occurrence.  I see this every time there is some catastrophic occurrence in the world, or if we are approaching a new election season.  As soon as one election season ends, we seem to be getting ready for the next one.  All this makes my hair want to fall out! (Just kidding…I don’t have hair)  Nevertheless, I would like to diagnose a possible problem.

We might be too preoccupied with what mankind is doing, and not preoccupied enough with what God is doing.

Now, hear me out.  Have you ever seen a rock?  It’s pretty stable.  It’s solid.  Have you ever seen a wave in the ocean?  It’s not.  It goes back and forth and changes according to whichever way the wind is blowing.  Our God is a rock and not a wave.  The world’s system is fickle and changes with the wind.  One week it loves you, the next week it wants you dead.  Just ask Jesus about that.  If we’re anchored to the world’s system, we’ll get tossed around as well.  If we’re anchored to the chief cornerstone (Christ), we will be solid and steady as a rock no matter how rough the waves get.    

Now, I don’t want to seem insensitive to current events.  We should pray for the peoples affected.  We should, however, be more concerned with what God is doing. 

Do you know what God is doing? 

I can tell you that God is doing what God has always been doing.  He is not deterred, nor distracted, from His mission by any human events.  He is unchanging and rock solid!  According to the scriptures (Genesis – Revelation), God is on a quest to acquire some land, build a house, rescue and marry a bride, and have a family to love and dwell with.  Did you think those ideas originated with us? 

No way!  These things were God’s idea first.  We’re just made in His image so we like to do the same things. 

Acquiring land, building a house, rescuing and marrying a bride, and having a family to dwell with may seem like a multifaceted set of tasks, but let me assure you that it is not.  All of these things are summed up and accomplished in the person of Jesus Christ!  All of those pictures from scripture (a land, a house, a bride, a family) are accomplished in Christ.  It is all about Him!   

So, God has a one track mind.  He is only doing one thing.  God is revealing His Son to the whole universe! 

Do you know how God is revealing His Son to the whole universe? 

God is revealing and unveiling His Son to the whole universe by and through the body of His Son.  People see us by seeing our bodies.  That is how people see us.  God has a body today in Christ, and we (the church) are the very body of Christ!

So, in summary, God is revealing Christ through the building of His church.  That is the only way that Christ is revealed in His fullness.  By church, I do not mean a building, a denomination, or a weekly ‘service’ where people come to watch people perform on a stage.  By church, I am referring to a corporate community of people who are madly and passionately in love with Christ as He is revealed through one another who function together as a community.  I could say more, but that is another article for another day. 

Now, let me get back to current events.  Many seem to get so frightened or concerned with what our government is doing, what is happening in the Middle East, or what is happening to our economy.  Let me give you some good news…

These things are not a threat to you or God’s eternal purpose.

I can tell you that there are other things that do threaten us however.  Do you know what the biggest threat to the church of Jesus Christ in America is?  Again, let me give you a hint.  It is not Barack Obama, Osama Bin Laden, or the Muslim Brotherhood.  It is not even the economy.

Since God is revealing Himself through His Son, we should be concerned with the things that block our vision of Jesus Christ.  Since Jesus is revealed through His body (church), the biggest threats are whatever is blocking our vision and understanding of His body. 

The propensity to embrace religion and institutionalism keep us from being stunned by Christ’s beauty and good news. 

Man made religion and institutionalism threaten our vision of Christ more than socialism could ever do.

Misconceptions about the church have more potential to restrict our walking in the fullness of Christ than terrorism or the riots in Egypt.  Being more focused on what fallen mankind’s system is doing has more of a potential to keep us walking in fear and defeat. Let’s allow God to shift our gaze. 

God is revealing His Son through His body among all the nations.  It matters not who is in power in the world’s capitals.  Let’s ask God to remove all the restrictions of our vision of His Son.  The restrictions of our vision of Christ are far more detrimental to us.  Without a vision, the people will perish.  Have you ever heard that before?  It’s true.  As perilous times increase, only a continual and fresh vision of Christ will sustain us.

May the Lord renew and expand our vision of Christ,                              

Jamal Jivanjee

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Posted in: Current Events