A Motto to Help Anyone
Survive and Thrive
During a Crisis Like Ukraine
Like you, these last few days I’ve watched the unfolding crisis in Ukraine and the drastic steps taken by many nations to fight back again Russian barbarism.
Yesterday, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a motto I coined a few years ago during a similar crisis in our own nation.
I want to briefly describe the power of this mighty maxim to help you face the historic tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.
At the conclusion of this blog post, I want to give you a free poster—one you can post in your home or at work so it keeps challenging you to stay the course.
Frankly, in the face of the unprecedented destructive forces currently unleashed in our world—with all the confusion, chaos, clamor, and combat they bring—this motto provides a perspective that can empower every Jesus follower not only to survive but to THRIVE during this global crisis—and long after it is over.
In fact, I believe this simple statement should become the rallying cry of the coming American CHRIST Awakening, as God’s people become a revitalized force for the healing of our own land.
A Story That Deserves Repeating
Above, you see an aerial photo of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, considered by many as one of the most beautiful natural wonders of America. My entire family trekked its trails many years ago.
Well, one day five years ago, another family tackled the same rock-climbing adventure. Only for them, it almost ended in tragedy. The four of them were scaling one of the vertical rock structures when the 16-year-old daughter got about halfway up and suddenly froze, paralyzed by a fear of falling, unable to move one inch further.
Her father, fortunately, had already reached the top of the 60-foot stone pillar. From that vantage point, he gently and calmly called down these instructions to the teenager: “Don’t look around. Look only at me. And keep climbing.”
This is precisely what she finally did, and it worked! Her fears subsided as she obeyed those three sentences and began to reach for the next crevice. Within about fifteen minutes, she successfully made it to the top—safe and sound and triumphant!
Those instructions are for you and me right now.
(1) “Don’t look around.” Don’t look around at the desperate circumstances in your life—such as unemployment, delicate health, shortfalls in cash, or other setbacks. Don’t look around at the Church that in many parts of our land are experiencing unprecedented spiritual crises. Don’t look around at a nation that seems to be falling apart environmentally, socially, financially, politically, morally.
Plain and simple, don’t let any of this darkness prey on your mind and heart; don’t let it dominate your conversations, your social media, your relationships. If you do, there are enough challenges and threats facing Americans right now to cause any of us to “freeze” in fear and, for us believers, to even give up attempting to find and do God’s will. But instead, we should . . .
(2) “Look only at me.” Of course, for us as Jesus followers, this means we are to look only at the living, reigning Christ who remains supreme through all the pandemonium. Our King is ready to prove himself victorious for us despite all the chaos, bringing us to the fulfillment of the work he has called us to engage in for his glory.
Therefore, we must discipline our minds and hearts to keep ignoring current fears and anxieties so we can turn and focus our thoughts and affections on Christ alone—to adore him, delight in him, hope in him, trust in him, respond to him, and keep moving into more of him and toward more of the goals he has set before us in his kingdom’s advance. Consider these encouragements from Colossians:
(3) “And keep climbing”—plain and simple. The fact is, we have no other choice. Surely, we don’t want to go back to where we’ve been. We have been called to grow and go with Christ, further and deeper and higher. That is the peak we’re to scale today. We need to keep pressing forward and upward, especially during the present emergencies that would paralyze us.
Gladly, many of us have been navigating this ascendant pathway for a long time. We’ve been at this as faithfully as we know how to be. Therefore, we are utterly confident that we’ve been climbing in the right direction all along—involved personally and directly in God’s plan to glorify his Son in all the earth. We know this is no time for any of us to stop!
Just because we may feel threatened by circumstances at this moment of international emergencies, this does not mean Jesus has rescinded his call to us to “leave everything and follow me”—to be ready to head out from here to the ends of the earth. Consider this exhortation from Philippians 3:
In other words, Paul is telling us to “keep climbing.” The design of our Lord Jesus for us in this hour is to not hold back but to stay moving—to keep pressing forward, onward, and upward.
When looking at the magnitude of all that perplexes and surrounds us, which sometimes feels like mortal danger, don’t ever think that this might be the end. Most assuredly, this is NOT the end. The “end” is when all that the Father has purposed in Christ Jesus by the Spirit of God—and promised to all who belong to Jesus—is finally and totally fulfilled. Not one moment before that.
So, don’t look around. Look only at Jesus. And keep climbing.
Here’s your free poster!
In light of my own reflections this past week, I designed for myself the little poster you see below. I placed it in our kitchen so that Robyne and I are sure to see it every day this month and pray over it when we notice it.
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US! That’s why I’m sharing the poster here with you. Print it in color, cut it out, and place it in a conspicuous place, such as where you eat breakfast every morning. When you see it each day, take time to pray and focus your mind and heart on Jesus. Let it become YOUR motto, too—your marching orders—during the coming weeks.
About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.