21 Apr A Call to Arms
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you”
– Jesus (John 14:18)
Some reading this article may be familiar with the story I shared a few years ago when I watched two social workers arriving at a house across the road to take away a child. An anonymous complaint had been made against the foster mum, so they arrived unannounced and within minutes they walked out of the house with the child. What struck me most was how helpless this child was. His world changed that moment and he could do nothing about it. He was completely powerless as to what was going to happen to him because he was subject to the authority of those who came to collect him. He had no ‘voice’ to say what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go, nor who would look after him next. He was an orphan, completely at the mercy of those who had authority over him.
But listen to the promise that Jesus makes. He promises “I will not leave you as orphans”1. We’ve probably read this verse many times, but let’s pause for a moment and think about what Jesus is saying because He’s sharing with us a truth that is extremely powerful. Not only is He saying we won’t be fatherless; He’s also saying we won’t be in a position where we are ‘voiceless’ with regard to what our future will look like! He’s promising that we won’t be like the little child I saw being taken away – helpless and not being able to influence what was going to happen to him next. In promising us we won’t be left as orphans – He’s saying we’ll have a ‘voice’ concerning what happens next. Then He adds why we’re not going to be left voiceless – because “I will come to you”2.
The reason we’re not orphans or without a voice to influence what happens in our lives is because He has come to us! Jesus’ promise that “He would come to us” was His way of helping the disciples understand He would come back in the Person of the Holy Spirit – and that He would live inside of them. But first of all He needed to deal with the sin that prevented people from knowing God – at the Cross. By doing that, He made the way open for every single person to invite Him to take His place on the throne of their hearts. It’s as we receive Him in the Person of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus that our days as spiritual orphans finally come to an end. We are no longer Fatherless – nor are we without a voice to influence our future. This Voice we are given (the Holy Spirit) not only has the potential to radically change our own lives – He has also been given so that we can potentially influence what happens to our families – and even our nation. I say ‘potentially’ because if we’re going to see change in any situation we’re facing, then we have to use our God-given spiritual Voice!
During this current global crisis, we thank God for the leaders of our country – those who have to take huge decisions for the good of us all. We thank God for those who are at the front line in the NHS; as well as those who continue to work in the key services such as food suppliers etc. All these people are key people in fighting this battle. We truly thank God for them and we pray for them daily (if you don’t – you need to start today). But many Christians don’t realise that the Church has an equally vital role to play in this current crisis as well. Romans 8 (verses 19-21) tells us that creation (God’s world and the people in it) is in bondage to corruption ……and is waiting for the ‘sons of God to be revealed’. The world is waiting for those who have faith in Christ to shed their identity as orphans and to stand up as ‘sons (and daughters) of God’ so that this darkness can be pushed back. The world is waiting for the church to take up its God-given authority to command the plague that is bringing decay to our world to retreat. Even though the world doesn’t realise it yet, it is waiting for those who know who they are in Christ to stand up and release their Voice. God has given His Body here on earth the spiritual authority to do something about this current situation – but we have to use our Voice!
God hasn’t named His church ‘the body of orphans’ – He’s named His Church ‘The Body of Christ!’ God has given His Church the Name that is above every name3– He’s given His Church the authority to ‘tread on serpents and scorpions’4 together with the promise ‘that nothing will injure you’5. These are not simply comforting scriptures for times of crisis like this – they are actually a Truth that have come out of the mouth of Jesus Himself; and as His followers we need to take these promises seriously and act on them. If you are a part of the Body of Christ – even if you see yourself as the smallest insignificant part such as a toenail – you still have a vital part to play in pushing back the darkness during this time. Don’t see yourself as an orphan – use the Voice of Jesus that is within you and start pushing back the destruction. Take up your Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God)6 by daily declaring Psalm 91 over yourself; your family; and the church family. Take your stand in the Name of Jesus and command this darkness to retreat from our nation. Millions of Christians around the world are already taking this stand – let’s make sure we join them by taking God at His Word7 so that this darkness can be overcome.
- John 14:18
- John 14:18
- Philippians 2:9-11
- Psalm 91:13; Luke 10:19
- Luke 10:19
- Ephesians 6:17
- Joshua 21:45; Isaiah 55:9-11
(c) Gwynedd Jones 2020