I was going to visit a new friend who launched a church called Nations Church in Memphis, TN. http://www.nationsmemphis.tv This is one of those churches that I’m pretty sure God is really jazzed about. They’re not flashy. They meet in the fellowship hall of an old school church of God that as best I can tell is on life support. In fairness they did have candles and fabric draped tastefully from the ceiling and super arty looking painting depicting different values of the church.
But that wasn’t what made it so cool. Here in the protected, sheltered, white suburbs of Memphis, TN was a church that existed to bring Jesus to the Nations.
The pastor announced that there were 3 men that were going to Afghanistan. Based upon my radio experience this of course peaked my interest. It was my automatic assumption that these would be 3 of America’s finest military men heading over to serve our country in one of the armed service branches.
They were leaving in a few hours and we were going to pray for them. Imagine my surprise when 3 burly looking, quasi bearded, white dudes came to the front who looked nothing like army dudes. They weren’t going as soldiers. They were going as missionaries!
One of the very few things that resonated with me from the CNN show was a profile on a man named Greg Mortenson. Greg and his organization are building schools in Pakistan. Morteson says that educated women can serve as a firewall against extremists. He said that for a young man to pursue Jihad he has to get his mother’s blessing, if he doesn’t receive this, then it is a shame to him.
I had never heard this but that profound truth is something that resonated with me. To the best of my knowledge Greg isn’t a Christian and depends on education alone. What if we introduced Jesus into the mix? Who on earth would have the courage to go? What would a Christian mom say of her son going to Jihad?
Imagine what could happen if the message of Christ, of peace, of salvation was being brought to this war torn people with the same passion and precision that Greg Mortenson is delivering education. I saw 3 men today that weren’t imagining it, they were doing it.
As I write this they are probably somewhere between Atlanta and Dubai. They’re going to be on a plane for 24 hours and then enter into this war torn region exhausted, anxious, and maybe even afraid. Paul would tell Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 that he should endure suffering like a good soldier, something that these men will clearly put into practice.
There is indeed a war going on in the Middle East, and it runs far deeper than our bunker busting bombs can reach. Paul told the Corinthians that our military technology is of no use in this war. He said that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty. They are mighty to the pulling down of strong holds.
It’s above my pay grade to know exactly what the United States Military should be doing in Afghanistan. I am grateful that It is not my decision. As Paul commanded, I pray for my leaders in government. This is my duty and I do it gladly.
While I don’t know what the Government should be doing it is dramatically clear what we as the Body of Christ should be doing. We need more troops on the ground. This is a nation that needs Christian’s who have the drive and courage of Greg Mortenson but the zeal and power of Christ like the apostle Paul
I was honored to see these 3 spiritual soldier’s heading to Afghanistan. They’re going to preach the gospel to the poor. They’re going to open the eyes of those that are blinded by the darkness. They’re going to release those that are oppressed. They’re going to be Jesus hands and feet in a battle that only He can win.
As I think about them. As I think about their wives and children and their tears that flowed while we prayed today, this exhortation from Paul comes to mind.
Ephesians 6:10-12 declares, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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.”
You and I serve as a supply line in this battle. Conduit has sent over $100,000 to provide for the troops that are on the front lines. This is an important endeavor. People’s lives, their very eternity depends on it.
We have been on the front lines. We have one of our own, Victoria Ware, who is serving in the Dominican Republic in this army of God for the next 6 weeks. I’m proud to serve our commander beside you. And one day, the ground skirmishes will be over, when our King comes back and the war will be won. Amen.
I’m sorry to tell you that there is no Conduit tomorrow night. It’s a long story but I’m going to be enjoying a “strolling dinner” (not sure what that means) at a fundraiser for the Gospel Music Association. Believe me I’d much rather be hanging with you guys opening digging into the truth of Jesus in the Tabernacle. We’ll make it up next week.
Please spread the word.