Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 16:24-25).
1 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." 9 And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." 10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that "they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven." 13 And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." (Mark 4:1-20)
The Taliban is radical. ANTIFA is radical. BLM is radical. ISIS is radical. The Communists and secular progressives are radical. They all have one thing in common: Active conviction. If we were to examine what a Christian radical (in the purest sense) were, what would it be? It seems to me that our Lord requires nothing less.
Active conviction is the fuel of victorious warfare. It is the firm belief in a particular thing that eventually leads to radical action. We’ve lost this in the church. Satan has not lost this. Daily, he assembles his minions to do war against the souls of mankind. He attacks with famine, persecution, disease and all the sin that can be conceived in the human mind. He blinds the minds of those who do not believe on the name of Jesus Christ, and hinders the work of Christ through distracting the church with the cares of this world. Will Jesus return as Moses did in his day, and find us playing around an idol of gold? Or, will he find us doing what Israel should have been doing – occupying until the return?
Anyone can become radical if they are stricken enough. Once an enemy reveals himself as such, it forces the supposed victim to take action, immediately. But action alone will not win this war, no less than the actions of a preteen upon a seasoned warrior -- and there are few David’s in the church today. Knowledge of power, and a crave for violence must be embedded in the minds of those who will draw their sword against the onslaughts of the wicked one.
So, do we fuel ourselves with hatred, and use the lesser weapons of guns, daggers, and fists? Do we summon the destructive power of carnal warfare? God forbid. In days past, the church’s actions in this manner only led to tragedy for which we still see our brothers and sisters suffer. We must not use carnal weapons that bring death, but rather, spiritual weapons that bring life, fueled by faith, hope and love. We must use the weapons of the Word of God, and prayer.
For though we walk in the flesh, we don't wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.
There is a much larger story than what we see. There is an inescapable eternity that waits for us all. Our fate is determined by what we do with the story behind the story of our lives. In our life, we have flesh and blood. In the spirit realm though, that is not the war being fought. There, the fight is with principalities, powers, spiritual wickedness in high places and the rulers of the darkness of this world. It does not matter if we are pacifists. They are coming to us to do battle, and we can either fall to their wiles, or fight – we have no other choices. They come to do battle with our children, our loved ones and friends; they don’t have any intention on losing. It is a spiritual battle whose story is told through temporal, natural things. The things which are seen tell the story of the things that are unseen, which are eternal – the real things. Christian life is more than meets the eye. That is why we must walk by faith, and not by sight. On the outside, you may see trials all around, but through the eyes of the spirit, there is actually much more going on. There is a battle that depends on your faith, and your use of the Word of God.