Use Your Roar.

Today, I’m sharing space with Angie Suich, director of The Mosaic Center in Evans, Georgia. She combines good history with good biblical memory to give good wisdom for such a time as this.

Talk about despair!

In 1940, Europe was all but finished. Hitler and his troops occupied Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, and even the Channel Islands, a British territory.

England was the next to surrender, until a chubby, stoop-shouldered man with a speech impediment took a new job. Winston Churchill was probably the farthest person from who Britain had in mind to take command of this incredibly perilous situation, having been written off as a crackpot and political has-been.

Like Jesus appointing his team of crackpot disciples (explanation to follow), the appointment of Churchill to Prime Minister in 1940 by King George VI changed the landscape of history.

Two weeks after Churchill came into power, France was entirely knocked out of the war and 340,000 British troops furiously tried to escape over the beaches at Dunkirk.

It was finished: the Germans had absolute control of all of Europe. It seemed impossible that Britain, let alone Europe, coud survive.

Britain was desperate. They had no hope. No faith. No peace. They were rightly terrified of a Nazi invasion and needed someone to assuage their fears.

Enter Churchill onto the main stage to give this rousing and now famous speech to his nation:

We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Later, when asked about this speech, Churchill explained, “It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”

What’s the point of this history lesson? As Christians in a time of darkness when we feel powerless, alone, scared, restless, and anxious, we can be emboldened by Christ Himself because He gave us the power of the Roar. We have been uniquely called to help calm an anxious and scared nation and we have something more powerful than the Royal Air Force. We have the power of prayer that can be deployed anywhere and anytime – when we are at home, in our car, on our walk, in the field, on the beach, in the hills, on the streets. We have His Word to provide immediate peace and guidance.

And be comforted that just like Churchill, a man who wasn’t taken seriously before WWII but who saved Western Civilization, the Lord has appointed us – US! – to dispatch His Word, prayer, and love – the Roar – during this time.

Never think that you aren’t equipped to roar for the Lord. Do not underestimate who you are. Shy? Impatient? Cynical? Moody? Speech-impediment? Who cares?! The Holy Spirit dwells and lives in you! You are exactly who God wants to do His bidding during this perilous time our community, nation, and world finds itself in.

In Peter Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, he says the following about the disciples (remember – they were hand-picked by Jesus Himself!):

Remember, Jesus formed a community with a small group from Galilee, a backward province in Palestine. They were neither spiritually nor emotionally mature. Peter, the point leader, had a big problem with his mouth and was a bundle of contradictions. Andrew, his brother, was quiet and behind the scenes.

James and John were given the name “sons of thunder” because they were aggressive, hotheaded, ambitious and intolerant. Philip was skeptical and negative. He had limited vision. “We can’t do that,” summed up his faith when confronted by the problem of feeding the five thousand. 

Nathaniel Bartholomew was prejudiced and opinionated. Matthew was the most hated person in Capernaum, working in a profession that abused innocent people.

 Thomas was melancholy, mildly depressive, and pessimistic. James, son of Alphaeus and Jude, son of James, were nobodies – the Bible says nothing about them. Simon the Zealot was freedom fighter and terrorist in his day. Judas, the treasurer, was a thief and a loner. He pretended to be loyal to Jesus before finally betraying him.

Most of them, however, did have one great quality, they were willing.  That is all God asks of us.

Friends! This is fantastic news! In a restless and unsettled world, be encouraged. We, yes, we, were called, hand-picked, by the King of Kings, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to unleash His Roar; to calm the nations, spread peace through Him, and love others as only He can.

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How to live like Jesus is Lord

So much of what we teach is all the don’t’s of Christianity. You know, “Don’t drink, don’t chew, don’t dance with the girls who do.” But Jesus didn’t come for the don’t’s. Christ isn’t just a fast from sin; he is a feast of truth and grace.

The Messiah has come and his coming is like the coming of a bridegroom to a wedding feast. This longing we have for something more is a longing for a wedding feast, for new wine, for a new beginning. It is a longing for what we’re made for. It is a longing for truth … for life.

The story is true, my friends! Jesus is worthy! The cross is glorious! The good news is worth believing! The Kingdom to come is an absolute assurance and the resurrection is proof. Are you living as if all this is true? Are you living as if Jesus really is Lord?

How to live like Jesus is Lord:

Let the dead things die. Toss the old habits that are not working for you any more. Toss the old, dead rituals. Some of us are waiting for our old “normal” to roll around again so we can get back to a more comfortable religion, but what a shame it would be if all we get out of this crisis is a hunger for sitting in a church building once a week. Folks, Jesus is doing a new thing! He is moving in power all over the world right now. He is revealing himself to non-believers, and creating miracles in spiritually dry places. It is time to join him. It is time to toss the things you keep wanting to come back that don’t need to come back, both in your spiritual life and in the rest of your life. Let the things that have no life for you die so you can begin to live like Jesus is Lord.

Learn to feast. Psalm 22 and 23 are some of my favorite places in scripture. These two psalms contain the essence of the Good News of the New Testament. Psalm 22 contains the seven last words of Jesus on the cross. This is the scene of Jesus taking on our sin and dying our death. This is Good Friday.

Then Psalm 23 takes us through Saturday, that dark time between the crucifixion and the resurrection. It walks us through the valley of shadows, the valley of death. But it points us toward a rise on the other side of that valley where there is a table set by God himself: “You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.” This is about how to walk through trouble with a feast mentality. This is a song of death and resurrection. In the face of so many enemies, we are invited by the Lord of the Universe to come to his table, to receive God’s goodness and mercy, and to remember that the God of Angel Armies is on our side.

This is the feast being set before us. It is a feast of truth and grace. And this is what it means to get a feast mentality: It is to set your face toward that table while you’re still in the valley and trust that the story is true even when life is hard.

Get a resurrection mindset. Resurrection is the center of the good news about Jesus Christ. And now, with that power firmly established in the Kingdom of God and with Jesus as our bridge God is able to confidently say to all humanity, “It is finished! He has done it! You now have the power I have to break through barriers and begin again.” And that message is not exclusively for Easter. That message is for us. This is our story now. Because the resurrection is true, we now have access to this same infinite power that is stronger than even death itself. When we talk about “begin again” religion, which is what Jesus preached, we’re talking about the kind of life that goes through death. We’re talking about transformation. We now have the power to bring everything out into the light and then put everything that isn’t eternal to death … so we can really live.

This is the good news! Those who are in Jesus never die. This is what it means to be “in Christ.” It is to proclaim with Peter: “I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” And to believe that by claiming that, I am tethering myself to a power greater than sin, greater than death, greater than darkness.

A resurrection mindset can change the world, and can certainly change your world. I’m praying for you as you enter this season beyond Easter Sunday, that you will embrace the resurrection of Jesus Christ as your permission to live wholeheartedly into the life he has designed just for you.

Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Hallelujah!

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