The focus of our mid-week small group last Wednesday was the proverbial question of 'if God is all-powerful and all-loving,why do bad things happen?' And, although mankind has wrestled with that question (perhaps since the fall), I think there is one vitally important fact we didn't fully touch on in our groups: We are at war.
Granted, I know that the topic war is about as popular as a Carmen concert these days. Nevertheless, Boyd makes a pretty compelling argument that Jesus' ministry on earth was foremost an act of war. Jesus came to overthrow Satan and his kingdom/dominion/rule over this earth, and set up a new Kingdom/dominion/rule over this earth. Everything He did was an act of mutiny. An act of overthrowing the current ruler of this world (Satan) and establishing a new Ruler. From casting out demons, to healing the sick, to eating and drinking with outcasts…all of which was a revolutionary bucking of the system, upsetting the current rule.
Of course, this battle cry is not what you'd expect. It's not 'gear up with your carbine gas-powered, semi-automatic AK47 and take the palace' kind of marching order. It is 'take up your cross and follow me'. 'Feed my sheep.' 'Love God and love your enemy.' It's establishing a rule of Kingdom living. It's a war in which love and peace reigns and, as Don Miller says, we are called to hold our hands agains the wounds of a broken world and stop the bleeding.
But it is still war. A war in which Satan and all of Hell are fighting against the armies of Heaven. A war which we have simultaneously 'already won' and 'not yet won'. It's a war of rescuing those that have been wounded by the Enemy, loading them in the MediVac, and LifeFlight-ing them to the Great Physician. It is a war in which we are called to put on the armor the God Himself wears…which sounds like pretty serious business.
So, why do bad things happen? Unfortunately, there will be casualties in every war. And we are still in jihad over the Kingdom (yes, every war is about what someone believes about God). Divorce? Rape? Abuse? Neglect? Pain? Hunger? Murder? Guilt? Shame? All part of the war we are in. Sometimes, we are even shot by 'friendly fire' from our own 'soldiers'.
But the good new is this: the King is coming…