It can be difficult to discern what God truly wants in this age or any age. There are disparate voices in the world and church, just as much as there seem to be conflicting Scriptures in the Bible. When leaders cherry-pick verses and passages to suit their angle of persuasion, and they oppose each other using the same holy instrument, the world of Jesus spirituality suddenly turns murky, even scary, especially when it comes to choosing the ‘right’ ethic to own and espouse.
I deliberately keep this non-specific, because I believe it’s true not just of this age, but of all eras.
The world is largely growing tired of organised religion – by that I mean, religion stands on a precipice just now; it is being reformed. But the divide between ideologies seems to be more evident than ever. No longer are people choosing to remain closeted, though such a choice was almost always an unconscious one. People are looking and seeking and moving more than ever, and, as people power gains ascendancy, the church is being radically reformed.
The trouble is the times are pleasing yet perilous.
Can people power be trusted when cults form through a charism of a solitary leader’s coaxing? It almost doesn’t matter. Movements will be violently organic. It is as it shall be.
Consciences are deciding, and the masses are forming, and those masses can seem either (or worryingly both) prophetic or dangerous to the person who knows their Bible. On the one hand, they can appear to be bringing the Kingdom, yet on the other hand, they can seem to be ushering in the end times, both long prophesied about in the Old Book itself.
Jesus spoke on both the bringing of the Kingdom and the end signs to watch for, as did the Hebrew Scriptures.
All we can do is discern the trajectory of true faith. All we can do is turn routinely back to God, knowing that repentance is both right and real for those who know their God, for the Kingdom is at hand, the Lord is near. All we can do is seek to discern truth as we pray for the Spirit to reveal it, then to trust our discernment of it, all-the-while applying a wise distrust of our capacity to discern for the long haul.
There is a darkness descending in an age of light,
the promise of an ending in the coming of night.
These times a war rages and only the spiritual discern it. Our only real defence is to continue to look to the Lord, to worship God alone, because a sign we’re close to the end times of our time is allegiance to prophets who say they’re for God, but aren’t, and are only in it for themselves. Those are along all positions of the religious and political spectrum. Those rites of passage into an evil realm exist for any of us, and any of us can prove to lead in such a way. None of us is beyond being used as an instrument of evil, and for leaders it’s doubly so. It’s time to be awake!
Faith in this day is allegiance to Jesus alone,
and only the surrendered heart can discern it.
How do we learn to trust our spiritual allegiance to community? We need to see the community we align with sold out to Jesus alone, yet we need to continue to monitor for it. We need to see the Shepherd in our midst. We need to see care and concern and consideration and compassion.