Is It Dead… Or Just Asleep?

What follows is an interesting, tongue-in-cheek expose on the state of human relationships and endeavors. Stated as an obituary, the unknown writer builds a solid case that this friend, Common Sense, is dead. The evidence seems to be everywhere. And, after you read it, maybe you will concur. At first read, I did. Then I began to question whether or not this is another case of people who should know better simply letting things go to the point that, if Common Sense is not dead, then certainly it is in a coma. And if Common Sense is in a coma, perhaps it can be resurrected and restored to full health. If our God is great and mighty, powerful, and a series of omnis (-present, -niscient, -nimpotent) then why can’t we restore Common Sense to vitality? Why do we have to give up and let craziness rule our minds, families, schools, communities, governments?

Holy Scripture teaches that the one who lives in us is GREATER than the one in the world (1John 4:4). It says we have power to tread on serpents (Ps 91:13). We have power to speak to a mountain and have it cast into the sea (Mark 11:23). Christ raised people from the dead, fed thousands with sardines and crackers and walked on water. Scripture says that we should be able to do even greater works! (John 14:12)

Let’s rewrite this obituary!

An Obituary Printed In The London Times

author unknown

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place, and then were interpreted to have the original meaning taken well beyond the extreme Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense started to lose the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a devastating beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled some in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge monetary settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his sons, Reason and Integrity.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

I Know My Rights,
I Want It Now,
Someone Else Is To Blame, and
I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Lesson Summary

The last two chapters of our current study, The Way of The Warrior, focused on thinking like Jesus and praying with authority. As we approach this historic election and as we look at the sad state of affairs – in our homes, communities and in the world, it is even more obvious to me that Christians need to take seriously the ‘warrior’ aspect of our Christian walk. It’s not a pretty topic. It’s not a touchy-feely subject. But it is critical that we recognize the nature of our battles and engage!

The following are highlights from the discussion.

–    Jackson writes that the church has abdicated a great deal of its authority because of ignorance and fear. (85).  The Church is called to be the light of the world.  Believers must engage the culture. That means being engaged in the political arena, in our schools, and in our communities.  He teaches that in order for us to claim our authority we must think like Jesus.  Jackson teaches that Jesus had a clear and reliable foundation, maintained a laser beam focus on God’s will, evaluated all information and experiences through a filter that produced appropriate choices and acted in faith. (87)
–    We were taught three kinds of biblical, Christian meditative thought: verbally reciting God’s word, deliberately focusing inwardly on God’s word and worshipping using music.
–    When we are confronted with serious issues, often we attempt to battle the issue before we deal with the root – our fears.  Many of our problems require strategic, authoritative prayer.
–    When we are going through a major illness, problems with our children, work or spouses, we have a tendency to focus on things we cannot control. God wants us to focus on that which we can control – our attitudes, motives, restoring broken relationships, and taking personal responsibility. When we deal with those issues, we release ourselves to be more in tune with God and more able to hear God’s direction.
–    God often puts us on display for God’s ultimate purpose. None of us wants to be on display when we are hurting. Yet, it is most often those hurts, those tests, that become our greatest tool for building the kingdom. Our task is to lean into Jesus, trust God when we are on display and recognize that anything God brings us to, God will bring us through. We learn to trust God for the outcome. And we realize that those victories become the weapons we use to defeat the enemy in someone else’s life.

–    Jackson teaches three foundational points from the Lord’s prayer that will help believers pray with authority: praying for our daily bread, forgiveness of people who have hurt us and guidance away from personal temptations.

Chapter 1: Is Your Head In The Game

In this first chapter, Harry Jackson helps readers understand that we became warriors in a battle as old as the ages the moment we accept Christ into our lives. Jackson says ‘the moment a person is born again, he or she becomes identified with a King and a Kingdom.’ (20) Our war is a very real war. The enemy is determined to win and we have to be just as determined to thwart his efforts. In class I reminded people that we are not Sam the Sheepdog fighting Wile Coyote. We don’t clock in, engage in dangerous battles, take a lunch break, fight some more then clock out with a ‘see you tomorrow’ on smiling lips. The enemy is not playing games with us. Winning the war requires training and discipline.

We fight the war at two levels: air control and on the ground. Winning in the ‘air’ requires focused, persistent prayer. It also requires using the word – out loud. Consider the way a two year old ‘wins’ battles over going to bed or getting her way. She uses her words – out loud. You rarely if ever see a two year old sulking. That would be easily ignored. Instead, they lay claim to the air. Likewise, Christians must lay claim to the air. Speak the word. Discipline your thoughts and your words.

We fight land battles over the ground that we occupy, at work, home and play. God has strategically placed each believer in territory that he and she must lay claim to for the sake of the gospel. Whether you are a doctor, janitor, stay at home Mom or millionaire, that ground is yours to take for our King! If we don’t, the king of this world will place his flag on that spot and claim it as victory. Every person has special gifts to use wherever they are stationed. Don’t be AWOL.

Jackson teaches that ‘becoming a world-class warrior demands a lifestyle based upon discipline, commitment and the Word of God.’ (23) This study promises to help us develop these skills.

I invite you to join us next week for lesson two: Warriors and Warfare: Fight the Right War in the Right Way.

Join me for a New Study Beginning Sunday, Sept. 14

Every day it becomes clearer to me that we MUST acknowledge that we are at war and prepare for the battle. The larger battle IS the Lord’s but we are the foot soldiers and there are some battles that we are going to have wage and win. The battle for our minds, hearts, spirits is a very real battle. The battle for our families is a very real battle. The battle for our communities, our homes, our schools – all battles that we are going to have to participate in. This study is going to help you gird up and make sure you’re fighting the right battles at the right times and in the right way.

Every week I will post a summary from the Sunday discussion.  I invite you to add your thoughts to the comments posted. I know this will be a rich experience for all who participate.

The book is The Way of the Warrior: How To Fulfill Life’s Most Difficult Assignment, Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

You can find the book at Amazon or at local bookstores.

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