We have a plethora of systems in this world. Like well-oiled machines these systems not only do what they were created to do, but more…much more. Many of the systems of this world found their origins in the fulfilling or satisfying of a true need. They may, in fact have been created through the provision of God in answer to prayer. Where there may have been lack, unique provision (an answer to that particular dilemma), was provided by God.
However, as we tend to do with our answers from God, we take what He clearly intended for one specific situation, and we turn it into law. As it creates deeper dependency upon Him to continue to turn to Him the next day, or in the next hour, for the next answer, we usually find it easier to take yesterday’s answer and create a law out of it.
Less is then required of us.
We don’t have to depend on Him, know Him, or communicate regularly with Him. We just have to remember one thing He’s done and assume that every possible scenario, or dilemma will need just that answer, because it’s from Him, right?
It’s sad really, because that law then will not only take on a life of its own, but also we will add to it, giving it life and power and greater expectations. And if we’re not oh so careful, we take that law, which becomes a “system,” and we make it our god. More than many of us would like to realize, we give power and agreement to the “systems” in this world and allow them to limit how we see Jesus.
Whether it’s the medical system, our justice system, a religious system, or even economic system, if we’re not careful, we may start to view these as our rest, our comfort, our savior, our provider, or simply put: our answer.
I’ve experienced this for a while now with the medical system. Even for many who believe in healing and who have seen miraculous healings, there tend to be the “untouchables.” Many have certain ailments, which in their mind, have to be left to medicine, or left to hopelessness if medicine hasn’t produced a treatment or cure. Is Jesus just not big enough or powerful enough to heal allergies, mental illness, or genetic disorders?
It becomes a wonderful perception change when no matter what the medical system (which I do value) concludes, we can know that Jesus isn’t limited to or by that conclusion. We can certainly give a system value without bowing down to it and making it our god.
What if our level of hope was no longer determined by any system of this world, but instead was determined by the finished work of Christ, the Kingdom of God, or just simply who Jesus is?
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible””(NIV, Matthew 19:26).
I have been healed by God after the medical system has said there simply wasn’t anything they could do.
Jesus had the last word.
Recently, a dear friend of our family was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It’s been unbelievable and horrifying. Without getting into all the details of the extreme injustice that has occurred against this precious soul, I can sum it up in saying that our justice system, another world system, failed him, and failed him greatly.
It’s been an interesting process, as our community of believers found our world rocked a bit. We had an expectation of truth reigning. We never thought for a moment that our dear friend would be convicted by a jury after there were inconsistencies in the accusation and absolutely no evidence. It surely seemed that it was an open and shut case. We predicted that our dear friend would be home with his wife and eight year-old son as soon as the jury came to the conclusion that was so obvious for everyone present in the courtroom during his trial.
However, that didn’t happen. A world system that we were depending on simply didn’t come through.
So what is the job of the church then?
Are we to enter into hopelessness? Cut our losses and move on? Are we to assume that because a system of this world has drawn a conclusion that God has had the last word?
That’s not what God was showing me.
My God is Truth.
My God is Just.
My God is Provider, and it is truly for freedom that He has set us free and has set my friend free.
God immediately showed me what I have witnessed over and over in my life and ministry: He will not be limited by any system of this world. He surely wasn’t limited by the Roman justice system, was He?
We have seen an earthquake break Paul and Silas out of prison, an angel escort Peter out, and when Jesus was sentenced to death, death didn’t have the last word. God did.
Time after time I have seen courtroom miracles. Granted, I have always seen the miracles happen when the person was in fact guilty, but so radically transformed by God that judges and prosecutors were obviously reacting to the Spirit leading them whether they knew that’s what was happening or not.
After the guilty verdict was read in my friend’s case, the world responded by saying, “His life is over.”
As the church, that cannot and will not be our cry.
In the same way that a fight wells up in me when someone receives a hopeless medical diagnosis, a determination rose up in me that cannot be shut down.
As the church, knowing that God isn’t ever limited by our world systems, let’s be led to seek Him for what our part is.
Is our part raising money for an appellate attorney? Is our part to contend for the judge to be led by the Spirit of Truth, as he has the power at sentencing to overturn the jury’s verdict? Is our part to contend for the accuser to encounter God in such a way that deception cannot reign and the accusation would in turn be recanted? Or is our part all of the above or something we don’t even know yet?
Maybe the bigger question is: Are we willing to do our part?
What if, as the Body of Christ, we no longer rely on the systems of this world for freedom but instead, invite the heart of God, the justice, truth, and power of God to fully reign in every way and in every life that has any influence on the situation at hand?
What if we took His command seriously, to declare His Kingdom to come in all of these “hopeless” and “despairing” situations as it is in Heaven?
Hopelessness doesn’t exist in Heaven.
Where in your life have you allowed the systems of this world to dictate your hope or lack thereof?
Will you ask God if He has had the last word yet?
Remember, as believers, the last word should always be His.