Today, I have found inspiration from Game of War. It's a money-grabbing, war-mongering smartphone app that I started obsessing over about 5 days ago. So, okay, the game itself isn't redemptive at all, on its face. But there are two features I especially admire...
There are alliances. You can choose to fight alone, but you will lose. This game thrives on community to protect, to attack, and to support with resources.
There's great communication. In this game, there are not maps and coordinates, but there are alliance chat rooms where, no matter what country you're from or what language you speak, you can strategize (is this a word? I'ma make it a word) and socialize.
It's actually an asset to the alliance that its members be from all over the globe, because no matter the hour, someone is on watch.
Texts are instantaneously translated so that (save some clunky errors or lack of idiomatic nuance) people type in their mother tongue, and people read in their mother tongue. The technology meets the need of the players.
How much of the Christian life is actually like Game of War, but without the alliances and the communication? Where we rely on ourselves instead of each other. Where we sideline the Holy Spirit and substitute efficiency in His place.
Living in a culture that values the individual to a fault, it's refreshing--and frustrating--to be reminded in some small way that it's a virtue in the kingdom of God to rely on other people. We seem to think (or at least I do) that we can just walk off when we're fed up with a sister or brother...or denomination.
But that's not the Kingdom way.
We are a body, and organism, we thrive together, or we suffer alone, in a bloody, dismembered heap. Graphic? Yup. True? Absolutely. Just take a look at the current witness of the American church...Exhibit A.
Paul warned us that we are in a battle. He breaks it down in 2 Corinthians and Ephesians.
Stop. Read. Let it sink in.
Have you seen those babies in Syria? NO ONE has to tell them that they are in a war zone. (By the way, contribute to these people. They get the babies out of harm's way.) They are victims of the rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world.
Do you see our brothers and sisters in Egypt, murdered as they gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday? They are the victims of the spiritual forces of evil.
What about our brothers and sisters who were gunned down right here in Charleston last year? They were murdered in a day of evil.
Yet, we blindly walk around--unarmed!-- in war zones.
I'm not here to guilt you. I implore you: join The Alliance.
Pray for those who are literally, physically, in harm's way.
Pray for our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church.
Pray for our brothers and sisters sequestered from the American Dream by virtue of the sins of the nation and poisoned by the strange fruit of the church.
This alliance compels us to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." The Lord's capacity to impart strength, and to hear and answer prayers, is inexhaustible. I fear we are not battling hard enough.
Will you pray with me?
Satan desires to destroy God's image bearers. Lord, let it not be said of us that we want the same...through our indifference, inaction, or lack of compassion.
Give us feet that run to rescue least of them all--may we see Jesus in them and act accordingly.
Let "be warm and well fed" be banished from our hearts and mouths.
Protect our hearts with Your righteousness, so that we know how to use the belt of truth--to run unencumbered toward broken people with gospel-peace. Our truth belt is not for beating folks; it's for us to be ready to sprint into battle, saving the wounded.
Pray for those who are in Satan's cross-hairs, ravaged by war.
Lord of Hosts, help us to battle, shield, and cover the weak from the punk arrows of the enemy, with the faith of Christ and the sword of the Word. Spirit, have mercy on us by keeping the communication lines open when we don't know better.
The text says to be strong "in the Lord, and in His mighty power." This alliance is the one that matters above all others (I'm talking to myself).
This alliance is the only one that leads to victory. And victory looks like the kingdom of God. May Your will be done on earth.