Lullabies & Suffering

We were talking in our 20’s class about the end times and our lives when my friend, Mark, started talking about what God told him:

“My greatest gift to this generation will be the gift of suffering.”

When he said that to the class, everyone was like “oh great” which is the usual American reaction when someone talks about the long periods of suffering that are coming. But I believed what God told Mark and started sharing what has been stirring in my heart recently.

I believe the greatest fight of our lives will not be against Satanism or religious extremism. I feel that the greatest fight that will face this generation is against the spirit of slumber. That spirit that says “peace, peace” when there is no peace. I’ve recently have realized how protective we are when it comes to radicial Christian devotion. Someone starts speaking of the missionary lifestyle and we have to console people to take it with a grain of salt, like we are already radically following Jesus. But that’s the point: we’re not. We’re far from it.

Jesus spoke that to me:

“If you think you’re too extreme, look at the Sermon on the Mount. Are you fully living it? No, you’re not and that means you are not extreme enough.”

Yet we feel like we need to defend ourselves against the “waves of deception” coming at us from these radical statements. The issue is that the “deceptions” are coming from the directly opposite place from comfort, from the lullabies of life. Right now, there is a song being played over the American church that is making people fall to sleep and dream of things that aren’t true.

It was happening back in the Bible times:

For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:17)

I can’t imagine anything worse in life than being on the road to destruction and hell and thinking you’re on a train to heaven and thinking you’re doing all right. Yet that’s what is happening right now. People are being lullabied to sleep thinking they’re alright and “have need of nothing.” Now contrast that with the Sermon on the Mount (God’s discipleship course):

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Jesus declares that the ones who will inherit eternal life, the kingdom of heaven, are those who are poor in spirit. That means they realize that they are doomed and have no hope or resource to save themselves. They have the realization that I am “blind, poor and naked” and nothing I have can save me from this condemnation. That is why the next beatitude is:

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)

Those who truly realize how bad and evil they are live a life of mourning. God’s comfort and grace is promised to those who live a life of mourning. Sadly I think that most of the time I’m doing alright; that once I was really bad but now I’m better and cleaner. This is partly true, but compared to where God desires for me to be, I am evil. God’s heart breaks that I am still stubborn and rejecting His will for my life. But for so long I never knew that. Why? Because I was sleeping my life away.

That’s where God’s greatest gift comes in. He loves us so much that He will do anything to wake us up and keep us up. For this generation (which I’m a part of) that means a life of suffering. We are like a lobster in a pot of water that is slowly heating up. We are being cooked to death without knowing it. But in God’s mercy He throws us up against the side of a really hot pot and we yell “ow!”. Then we realize where we are and what is happening to us. The problem is that if we don’t do something immediately about it once we’ve been awakened to the issue, then we will quickly fall back to sleep in the warm waters and peaceful lullabies.

James (5:5-6) writes the church and starts rebuking the “rich.” then he brings charges against them:

  1. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence.
  2. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
  3. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

I look in my life and think how much I have dwelt in self-indulgence. How much I have fattened my heart with things that sing me lullabies? How many times I have murdered (which Jesus defined as hating and speaking evil about) righteous people; those who were righteous, living the Sermon on the Mount. They didn’t resist me, they turned the other cheek.

It’s time that we as a generation close the music box and start to wrestle with this spirit of slumber that would try to destroy this generation.  Paul talked about our generation to Timothy and gave him the answer:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3-5)

“Be sober-minded and endure suffering”. Let us take that advice and see where it leads us. If we really believe that we are living in the last few decades before the return of Christ, then doesn’t it make sense that this spirit of slumber would be fighting the church so fiercely?

May we be like Paul. Let us fight the good fight and finish the race and not be found sleeping on the side of the road.

6 comments on “Lullabies & Suffering

  1. zachlassiter says:

    Thank you for posting this. I recently made quite a few posts on my blog about some of ths stuff I have been going through and this gave me the comfirmation as I was getting kinda weary about what I posted.

  2. eyesandwings says:

    i encourage you man to keep sounding the alarm. for a while, the watchman’s job is lonely…but it is critcal to awaken the army.thanks for the comment! 🙂

  3. timbrownlee says:

    Dude… this is awesome!… I’ve been studying the Beatitudes and taking it to the Prayer Room on Saturdays..(See Experiencing the Beatitudes) and it’s been the most awesome reality I have ever faced. I’m currently on Pure in Heart and it’s nailing me to the wall!… very awesome… i’ll lock arms with you anytime!

  4. eyesandwings says:

    thanks man!

  5. Kevin Conner says:

    Fattened hearts, have we all. I think that popular media can be a distraction. I’ve found myself at times swimming up to get air from out of the constant flow of data this world pumps into our minds and hearts.Television, websites, movies, video and computer games, popular music, news broadcasts, gossip shows, talk shows, sitcoms … the list goes on.I’ve found myself at times hating movies and the television. I have had times I’ve gotten sick of complacency. I will tell you that the things my family are going through are cultivating this aversion to “fluff” in me.It’s when I earnestly and actively seek and walk with God by reading His Word, praying, and keeping a heart of praise that seeks to please Him… other things don’t matter. Then, there is no “must see t.v.”, there is no sports game I gotta see.Notwithstanding media content (glorifying sin), there is nothing wrong with many of these tools of communication of themselves, but it’s when they strangle your walk in The Way by being distracting, that’s when they are evil.Instead of reading His Word and doing Phillipians 4:8 (… whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.), we get our minds and hearts muddled and entangled with the silly affairs of the world.I must admit I happen to really enjoy computer games and using the Internet and developing websites (hey we are talking via such now), so I am not saying we must be Luddites, abhorring electricity and devices that use it, but, I agree … and I think it’s mainly media that puts us asleep.Right now, I happen to be reading the Bible more than I had in awhile and listening to really good scriptural music (see my facebook profile now). I thank God for the fiery trial I’ve been going through, I also thank God for His servants who’ve (if they know it or not) inspired me to walk closer to Him. I’ve noticed, if I surround myself with Scripture, I sin (and spiritually sleep) less. Something about “hiding His Word in my heart…” and “…iron sharpening iron” (as we are doing here) that keeps me awake and afloat above the sludge of the world.

  6. […] That said, I am concerned that the government would not call these civil unions but marriages equal with that of straight couples. It is very probable that the government would excerise its muscle by denying churches their 501c3 status if the pastors refuse to stop discriminating against gay couples who want to be married by the church. I feel that a civil union that provides the same tax breaks that married people get is better than the push for marriage equality. Marriage equality climaxes with the ending of Christian freedom and the true beginning of Christian persecution. In a world of toleration, there isn’t much room for absolutes. Since I believe gay marriage will eventually (most likely soon) happen, I am ok with the end of our Christian comfort. I’m sure it will be part of God’s plan in the end. […]

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