We are adrift in madness and meaninglessness.  We choose whatever we desire to condone and to celebrate regardless of what the Scripture says.  We proceed merrily onward, oblivious to the consequences that will undoubtedly follow.  Truth is defined as any individual’s perception of reality, despite the facts.  We attach self-discerning labels to ourselves such as “enlightened” or “progressive” or “evolving” and deepen our self-deception.  Our culture has actually been responsible for producing and propagating many of the diseases and neuroses that plaque us and our children.

We must ask ourselves, as did Ezekiel in the midst of exile, “How then shall we live?”  We must also recognize, like Esther, that God has sovereignly placed us here “for such a time as this.”  We have explored in the previous 8 posts how we as Christ-followers might embrace this God-given responsibility and opportunity.  Now we will endeavor to bring it all to an open-ended conclusion.  A brief review of where we’ve been might be useful to help us.

For us to courageously, compassionately, and creatively influence the culture in which we find ourselves, the following must take place.

  • We must return to the supremacy, authority, and sufficiency of God’s Word. (series post #3: EAT THIS BOOK)
  • We must realize the necessity of intense intercessory and imprecatory prayer. (4: PRAYING ALWAYS)
  • We must develop and participate in mature, responsible, and accountable local assemblies / communities of God-followers. (5: ONE ANOTHER)
  • Each believer must recognize and implement their personal call and purpose from God. (6: FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS)
  • There must be a display of personal and corporate courage to walk a faith-fueled and intelligent witness. (7: ALWAYS READY)
  • We need to demonstrate an empathetic, skin-in-the-game burden for the marginalized. (8: EXTENDING OURSELVES)
  • And we should have a sincere manifestation of a praise-infused unity among the people of God.  It is upon this principle that we bring this to conclusion with the title, ENTER THE MYSTERY.

We live in an atmosphere and culture of self that is driven by control of others, competition with others, and comparison to others.  We lust for domination.  Win or lose is the only outcome.  We find no satisfaction in cooperation, compassion, collaboration or win-win outcomes.  But true followers of God are invited to enter the mystery of unity as we abandon ourselves to God’s person and purposes.  This unity is not uniformity; it transcends and blends diversities.  And the church, when unified, is the most powerful force on the planet.

Examples of this can be found throughout the Scripture.  Enjoy and be encouraged by reading of David’s Mighty Men in I Chronicles 12.  Notice the steadfastness of those who rebuilt the Temple after the Babylonian exile as you read Ezra and Nehemiah.  Spend time with Jesus and his disciples and look especially to His prayer for them in John 17.  Paul wrote 13 letters that are contained in the New Testament.  Besides being deeply theological, they consistently bear the marks of warm, personal relationships.  Paul mentions 82 people by name: men and women, slaves and the Roman elite, traveling companions and fellow prisoners.  Throughout these writings one can find 32 terms of endearment to describe these brothers and sisters in the faith.

How wonderful, how beautiful,
When sisters and brothers get along!
It’s like sacred-scented oil
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
Dripping and running down the collar
All the way down to the hem of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
Flowing down the slopes of Zion,
God’s habitation.
Yes, this is where God has commanded and
Decreed that His blessings are found.
This is where He ordains Eternal Life.
        Psalm 133