I sit staring at my laptop. I listen to encouraging music, poke around online, waiting for the idea to hit. Exhausted. Discouraged. Sound familiar?
I re-read a hymn today that I know well but hadn’t thought about in a while. The hymn is called O Church Arise. It’s a modern hymn, by Keith and Kristyn Getty. It’s a call to war.
A call to war? Aren’t we, as believers, promoters of peace?
We are. But not when we wage war against the lies that culture tells us. Or the lies Satan tries to feed us. Not when we wage war against temptation and sin. Not when it’s to release prisoners of war from sin and darkness’ chains.
We are in a battle. It might not seem like it. We get another Messenger text, we watch a show, we talk with friends, make food, take a walk. But Satan is a lion prowling around, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). He is dangerous. As humans, we are weaklings in comparison to his utter evil and power.
When The War Becomes Visible
These days, in quarantine, during the pandemic, the war has become overwhelmingly real. God is sovereign and he has allowed this. However, I believe Satan is using this. It’s comparable to when Satan asked permission from God to torment Job in the Old Testament (Job 1:6-12). God let him take all that Job had.
Satan is trying to tempt believers. It’s all lost. You don’t have any friends or family around to support you. You probably won’t get to worship normally in church again. Forget about ever graduating. Or finding a job. He also comes up with quite the opposite: Coronavirus? Why is everyone so worried? Just go watch your new show. Go take a nap.
The whole world is going crazy. Entire governments and nations are crumbling. It’s simply gone to show how weak we are. People are turned against people, fighting over a piece of fabric, called a mask, or the last packet of toilet paper on the shelves. Friends are in tension because of different ideas on how we should cope with the virus and social distancing.
Fighting In Light of The Victory
The hymn calls believers to war, but it also reminds them that this war isn’t your ordinary fight. The winning side has already been decided.
Come, see the cross where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This vict’ry march continues till the day
Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.
So Spirit, come, put strength in ev’ry stride,
Give grace for ev’ry hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory.
We will stand in glory. We will tell the stories of the triumphs of His grace. Our state in this war might seem desperate and impossible. The news is horrible, the whole world seems to have despaired, and yet we will stand in glory.
Let us fight. Let us rise. Let’s remind our brothers and sisters in Christ of the Hope that never fails. Let’s fight against the devil’s lies. Send fellow believers messages reminding them that we aren’t separated. We might be so physically, but not spiritually. The Church of Christ can’t be moved. When a friend tells you they don’t want to get together because they are worried about COVID, respond in grace. The last thing we need is a Church divided against oneself. Let’s pray for those who are suffering. Let’s let people know that we are praying for them.
Let’s stand together. A couple of months of separation will feel like a couple of seconds when we are together for eternity.
Listen to O Church Arise here.
Listen to another song which has a similar message, and is just as powerful, called Start Right Here, here.