In The Apocalypse… Lift Your Head

End of the world doomsday scenarios fascinate us. Films and TV shows about this are wildly popular. And what’s the message the world sends us?

All is lost. We’re toast.

In the Book of Revelation, there’s a lot of terrifying imagery. Even Jesus remarked frequently about the End Times. Consider these passages from Luke 21 (NIV):

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. (vv. 10-11)

There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (vv. 25-26)

Yikes.

But still… isn’t this what we see now? Wars rage, we worry about natural disaster, illness, and climate change… it seems like all is lost. Are we in the End Times? And what does Jesus tell us to do during all this?

At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”(vv. 27-28)

Now these verses are often interpreted regarding the fall of Jerusalem, but they can also be applied to the End Times. Again, what does Jesus tell us to do?

STAND UP. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD.

If we look at this carefully, we find a clash of ideologies. Ours vs. God’s.

It’s the end of the world

Everything tells us to pull out our hair in worry and fear. The Son of God tells us to have courage.

How easily do we become dismayed? How quickly does a bad situation bring us down? Yet even during global calamity, the Lord tells us to lift up our heads.

This word is tremendous. It puts even the hardest trials in a totally new perspective.

Go ahead. Put your problem in the center — then it becomes your god.

But if you put Christ in the center – seated upon his throne of power and glory – no matter how big the problem, the enemy must flee.

When facing a challenge, if you maintain a Christ-centric position, there are only a two possibilities.

  1. You will experience a miracle.

  2. You will be the miracle. That is, being so strengthened by your faith, you will bear the difficulty and make it to the other side.

In both instances, God is glorified in your life.

Yes, I know. MANY situations are horribly difficult — Illness, abuse, violence, betrayal, poverty… the list never ends. Still, our Lord tells us to LIFT OUR HEADS.

So even if you are living day-to-day barely making ends meet…

KEEP TRYING.

Even if your family is a mess and everybody’s mad and mean…

KEEP FIGHTING FOR THEM ON YOUR KNEES.

Even if the plague of drug addiction has ruined your, or a loved one’s, life…

DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE, EVER.

Even if you are surrounded by non-believers that mock you for your faith…

NEVER HARDEN YOUR HEART AGAINST THEM.

Even if you are facing a life-threatening illness…

LIFT UP YOUR HEAD AND HAVE COURAGE.

The worldly ideology takes what is visible and real, then draws conclusions. So we say things like:

  • Cut your losses.

  • I can’t make a difference.

  • There’s no hope.

  • It’s too late.

But I’m here to tell you… reject these lies. Embrace the ideology of the Spirit instead.

YOU CARRY THE SPIRIT OF GOD INSIDE YOU. BELIEVE THIS.

Your presence alone makes a difference. Even if you don’t speak or act, God’s Spirit is present when you are there. And when you do speak or act, let the Spirit guide you. That way he works directly.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. (Romans 8:9)

YOU BELONG TO CHRIST. THE SPIRIT OF GOD LIVES IN YOU.

IT’S A STATE OF WATCHFUL WAITING FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST.

Live your life this way in every season! Christ at the center. Not a problem, not an obstacle, not your pain, wounds, shame, or sorrow… but the Son of God.

It’s pretty simple then. In the face of disaster:

PRAY FOR A MIRACLE. Pray hard. Have faith. If it’s God’s will, you’ll witness a miracle.

If not, in the meantime…

BE THE MIRACLE.

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