Leading Against the CurrentJanuary 26, 2009
Against the current…
When you first read the subtitle, what did you visualize? If your first visualization was of a river, you are in good company. Many of those I introduced the subtitle to thought of the same thing. I must confess that I too though of a river the first time I discerned this was to be the title. Over time, however, I began to see what Christ was truly meaning by this theme. Against the current… you fill in the gap.
Perhaps “the current” for you is a particularly hard financial circumstance that seems to crush your will to lead. Maybe your “current” is a troubled relationship whether it be with a spouse, friend, co-worker, or family member. Maybe your “current” is an internal battle with a beginning reaching back early into your childhood that still affects every day of your life. Whatever your “current” is, we are calling for a Rebellion.
One of the “current” situations I would like readers to walk away with is that of spiritual warfare. Sometimes, just saying these words will elicit a strong and often nonchalant response out of today’s Christians. It seems as if we have forgotten that we are not to be of this world, merely in it. With all of the references to spiritual warfare and the war craft of our adversary in Scripture, it seems today’s Christian goes to the battlefield not only unknowingly, but unprepared. So what is the “current” that I am alluding to?
Using our example of the Spartan army, one could definitely say they went against the current of their day. When their neighbors were engrossed in theology and the arts, the Spartans held true to their traditions of daily training and the development of a regimented society centered around the call to be a warrior. Even during times of peace, the Spartan nation trained for war. Unlike their neighbors, they were aware of the propensity for nations to sit quietly and then suddenly erupt in war. So against the “current” of their day, Spartans were aware that ware was not a matter of an “if” as much as it was “when.” Regardless of the “when”, the Spartan nation would be ready. In fact, when Persia mounted her army to invade the Greek nations, it was not long before Athens and the other Greek states eagerly sought out Sparta to lead the charge to defend their nations.
Currently, most Christians do not actively believe there is a battlefield out there. Some preachers in the mainstream media have shied away from this controversial topic. As a church, we have become so active in evangelizing; we have forgotten the importance of equipping our new Christians for the battle they will encounter. As with the Spartans, we are to know it is not a matter of “if” as much as it is a matter of “when.”
For some Christians who are struggling with the battle of mounting debt and financial troubles, they are not aware there is a demon actively working to use financial disparity to separate them not only from God, but also from their spouse, family, or friends. For the Christian fighting a past of abuse, whether it be when they were a child or when they were older, they are fighting a demon whose intent is to devalue them in their own minds enough to not even have the reality of God’s perfect love register with them or seem attainable. Regardless of your “current” status, there is an adversary actively working on your circumstances to separate you from Christ. For Judas, he used greed for money and power to lure him away from Christ. For Peter, he used that of fear. For Samson, he used pride. Even today, we have unfortunately seen the fall of many Christians who were lured away by the “current” battle of their day.
Part of Satan’s victory begins with us not acknowledging he exists. Read that sentence again. If you are going to fight against the “current” in your life, you must admit there is someone working against you. Look at your “current”, what in life causes you to challenge Christ? Do you feel that Christ could not possibly forgive you because you are such a sinner? If you believe that, then you need also believe the enemy is active in your “current” battle. Satan wants you to feel that Christ’s love is unattainable and that you are just not worth it. Do you feel like simply giving up with your “current” battles of life? Then you’d best believe that Satan is actively seeking to destroy you. He knows that your strength is in your thoughts of yourself and by defeating that, he can defeat you. The enemy is “current” in the world.
Our call in Scripture is the rebel. We are to rebel against the fleshly desires we have and to want that pleasing to God. Scripture calls us to rebel against the notion that we can simply do good works only and get to heaven that way. Scripture calls us to rebel against legalism of faith and seek intimacy over routine. Scripture not only calls for us to rebel against our “current”, it provides us the ability to do it.
In the following chapters, we will discuss the weapons Christ not only used, but passed down to us. He’s provided the training, but it is up to us to wield them effectively against the enemy. The enemy of your “current”.
About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.