My mother is someone who is the spitting image of “Monica” from the Friends TV show. In that, she prepares for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. She cleans the house before the house keepers arrive, she cleans the yard before the landscapers get there. I have even witnessed this woman trim PLASTIC SHRUBBERY. Yes, a spitting image. But, what she is known for is her hosting skills. Karen cleans the house and there is not a pillow unfluffed, carpet not vacuumed, and candle not lit. She prepares.
While her tendencies might be a bit “much” for most people, it’s due diligence, right? It would not make sense for her to clean the house once guests arrived. She goes to where her guests are going to go when they are in the house, and she prepares those spaces. It’s funny how normal that may seem, but when it comes to preparing for God to come for “dinner” — it’s foreign. maybe even a little uncomfortable. As I have prayed and asked God what the horizon looks like, I see a great awakening taking place. It’s evident in the halls of churches across the nation, it’s seen in the hearts of God’s people. And just like any good host, we need to be prepared for the visitation. My pastor puts it this way: “You go where Jesus is about to go.” What does preparation looks like? It looks like fervent prayer, an ever-obedient posture, and a desperate heart. It feels like discerning where the Spirit is leading, and go without hesitation. But, there is one piece we never really quite talk about, but I believe will be a catalyst for His next move... and that’s justice.
Wow. I hear your gasps from here. Justice is a word that brews very controversial opinions and breeds very hateful rhetoric in even the best of people. Christians around the world cower and cringe at the word. It’s seen as politicized and victimized, and it scares believers. The word associates itself with visuals such as “Black lives matter” or “Me too” and it poses the question: what is our biblical response? To be clear: Justice is the reconciliation of what is right. It’s to make something right. We are witnesses in a great many things that are not right in our world, and we must be carriers of Justice. We see justice as bitter wine and rotting Brie — but I believe it’s the prophetic milk and honey witnessed in scripture. The lack of engagement in Justice has been a branding of religious people, but what if a biblical pursuit of it could be a catalyst into something wonderful?
What does the Lord think about Justice? What’s our role to play? I’ll tell you:
Isaiah 61:8 says “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing.” The word for “love” in Hebrew is translated “to desire” to “to breathe after.” This demonstrates a significant affection for Justice. The Lord isn’t casual about His position. He BREATHES after it. He pursues it. If we are to truly emulate the character of Christ, should that not be our position as well? When you think of pursuing Justice, do you truly desire to see it manifested in society? Moreover, if He loves Justice, and hates injustice — does cowering away from Justice, in essence, manifest itself as injustice? We are to love what our Father loves. If Christ loves to see Justice, we are to be the carriers of that everywhere we tread our feat.
God always takes what is given, and uses it. He will take bread and multiply it. He’ll take water, and turn it into wine. Justice is no exception to that. The Lord divinely uses righteousness and the reconciliation of wrongdoing because He is a good Father that wants to see Heaven principles flood that of Earth’s. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.” Isaiah 42:1 ESV Isn’t it interesting in Isaiah 42 that it says the Lord puts His spirit upon him, and he will bring forth justice. One of the purposes of the Spirit in us it to bring forth Justice. It’s a spiritual mandate. The poor and needy on this street? We are carriers of solutions for them. The oppressed and silences? We are hosts of reconciliation for those people. No exception.
Our God is a multiplier. When we read in Exodus the story of the Widow who has no money, and the prophet instructs her to get as many jars as she can find, and pour the little oil she has into those jars, and what she discovers is that the Lord multiplied that oil to the point that she had a vessel to contain it. God wants justice to “pour like a river” over our cities, over our churches, over our education system, over our families. He wants to see it pour to point that we can carry it.
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17 NIVUK
I have been discerning in this season that our Father needs our voices more than ever. We have heaven solutions to worldly problems, and we need to be present. We must fervently seeks what is right, boldly declare it over society. We must defend those that cannot defend themselves, fight for the orphans and widows. When we read “on earth as it is in Heaven” — that’s what He’s talking about. Bringing the redemptive nature of God’s atmosphere into the lives of those that see no redemption, no hope, and no future.
God needs your voice. Our voices have been buzzing with Facebook posts, political opinion, and it’s gotta stop. He needs us in position to become a catalyst for His goodness to fall on all. Justice is not a political rhetoric or social semantic — it’s a mandate of the Father because Justice flows from His holiness. You serve a God that is greater than your political preference, whose kinder than our social ideology. God’s taking us somewhere, and I am going to grab the hand of every black, white, poor, rich, democrat, republican person I can touch. It’s God’s House... and all are welcome at His Table. Justice is abundance. It’s righteousness. It’s mercy. It’s your role. It’s mine. We are March Saints... and we pursue Justice.
The political climate is almost palpable, choking out even the most committed, passionate, and resolved of us. People are battle-weary and exhausted. The last 18 months have been a constant fray. Whether it be the pandemic, racial upheaval, government overreach, the shutdown of Churches and businesses, education reform, or ludicrous legislation — it seems that the array of fronts for faith-filled parents, pastors, and community members is never-ending.
We are here, several months later with the creation of a vaccine that continues to divide the thoughts of even the most devout evangelicals in our Nation. With further Government ‘mandates’ which potentially violate a person's deeply held moral beliefs and opinions, we are faced again with the question: What does the Lord ask of us in this season?