Listen carefully to Chole’s words here (read them aloud once or twice):
The church is both afflicted and exhausted by the dizzying notion that God-given power should be exercised in every God-given moment. Jesus makes it clear, however, that [can does not equal should]. Jesus’ voice flattened armed soldiers, yet He permitted these self-declared enemies to stand up again. Jesus had angels at His disposal, yet declined to dispatch them. We dare not mistake these choices for passivity, resignation, or weakness. This dimension of strength was the fruit of power fully submitted to love.Alicia Britt Chole
Jesus voluntarily chose to drink the cup of sorrow, pain and sacrifice.
It was not a foregone conclusion.
It was a genuine struggle during which He submitted His will to the will of the Father for the sake of love-love of His Father and love for us.
Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow”, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why, in the end, “every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ” is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:5-11 J. B. Phillips Translation
There are times when power and authority given by God should be exercised. There are times when laying down that same power and authority is the surest way to further Christ’s Kingdom.
There’s no “one size fits all” formula that I can apply to every situation.
I must, in love, submit my way and will to the Father and, through prayer, discern the course of action He desires.
Demanding my “rights” and “standing up for what I believe in” may or may not be the testimony for this moment or this movement.
I’m afraid that a great deal of the church’s time is spent campaigning in the public square in an attempt to protect itself.
It may be that our Shepherd would call us instead to live lives of humble submission to the Father’s will even when it becomes uncomfortable, or worse.
Restricted freedom can come in a wide variety of forms: physical limitations, emotional challenges, dysfunction in those near us, decisions of those over us, laws that limit religious freedom, and economic downturns that affect our budgets and seem to threaten our dreams. Today consider the restrictions you are experiencing…Fast formulas and instead spend time in prayerful discernment asking God to show you His way.Alicia Britt Chole
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**