The Wrong Mindset
Luke 16:16 – “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.”
Several years ago I was speaking at chapel for the football program at Averett University. We were set to play Ferrum College that day. Ferrum had a tremendous football history while we had very little tradition. Yet that day we fully anticipated winning the game. I spoke that morning on David and Goliath, that we were like David but we could still win the victory. After the service, the head coach said “come here we need to talk”. I went over and he said all week I have been telling them that they aren’t the underdog, that we should expect to win, that we aren’t the little guy, and now you told them just the opposite. I quickly apologized but pointed out to him that in the end David did win the battle.
Later that day Averett marched into battle against Ferrum and after double overtime came away victorious. I smiled at the coach and told him jokingly David wins again. I understood what he was saying though he wanted the team to believe in themselves, he wanted them to know that they were a good team, he wanted them to know that they weren’t the underdog. A team’s mindset is important.
We see that with the church and I am convinced in many ways that we as the church of Jesus Christ has the wrong mindset. Think about the memes that you see posted on Facebook by Christians or the things that we say as Christians, many of those statements or pictures have a defeatist mindset. Many of those things indicate that we have a “woe is me” attitude. We talk about how bad and how terrible things are, and we usually follow it up with “and it’s only going to get worse.” All of this may be 100% true, but it still doesn’t mean that the church is defeated. Jesus Himself said that “the gates of hell would not prevail” against His church. That is a pretty bold statement isn’t it? Especially when you consider that after He made the statement He was crucified. It seemed that the gates of hell had prevailed. Except for one thing, one huge thing, one gigantic thing, Jesus burst forth from the grave 3 days later. Not defeated but victorious. So why do we as followers of Jesus have such a defeatist mindset? Why are we all “woe is me” all the time? When in reality we as Christians are the very people who should NEVER be woe is me.
Yes things are bad, yes sin abounds, yes our culture increasingly seems to want Christianity pushed aside. Yet the church still isn’t defeated, the Kingdom of God is advancing, not retreating but advancing. We shouldn’t be woe is me, but instead we should be glory to God. Or as Jesus put it in the Lord’s prayer, “for His is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.” He is all powerful, His kingdom is coming, He will be glorified, and yet we live as if we are losing the battle and we are scared to death. It is time for us to change our mindset. As Russel Moore points out in his book Onward, “we aren’t slouching toward sin, but we are marching to Zion.” The true church of Jesus Christ is victorious and the Kingdom of God is coming, so what do we do as we wait? We pray, we trust, we rejoice and we love knowing all along that God is all powerful and that God has all things under His control.