Here’s How YOU Can Survive the National Chaos
This past week, the Holy Spirit gave me a motto to hold onto for the rest of October 2020 (and beyond!). It took shape through a very simple story someone told me.
I feel I should not keep this insight to myself but share the story and this motto—these “marching orders”—with you.
Frankly, in the face of the unprecedented and potentially destructive forces currently loose in our nation—with all the confusion, chaos, clamor, and combativeness that unfortunately goes with them—this motto provides a perspective that every Jesus follower needs to hold on to if you and I are to survive all that’s coming at us.
But more than helping us merely survive it, this simple statement could become a rallying cry to help God’s people become a force for Christ and his kingdom healing for America.
In some ways, I believe our future hangs on the truth—and promise—summed up in this motto.
BACKSTORY: 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 a couple of 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, already had reached the top of the 60-foot stone pillar. From that vantage point, he gently, 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:
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy…
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 1:16-18; 3:1-3, emphasis added)
(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, at the moment, we may feel threatened by circumstances, this does not mean Jesus has rescinded his call to us to “leave everything and follow me,” ready to head out from here to the ends of the earth. Consider this exhortation from Philippians 3:
I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (emphasis added)
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 as we do.
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 40 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.
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