It is approaching midnight in Dallas but darkness fell hours ago in my city.
At least two snipers in elevated positions fired “ambush-style” on officers, killing 5 and wounding at least 6 others. At least one of them is a personal friend, brother in Christ and member of Watermark. Videos are flying on social media that make downtown Dallas look like a war zone.
It is a war zone. It always has been.
Tonight the war has become horribly visible but every hour of every day an invisible war has long been ongoing for the souls of the citizens and therefore for the city and country that we as its citizens create.
As part of that war, darkness has been growing in our country because for some time leaders and citizens alike have mocked the light that God in His kindness “has brought into this world, which alone enlightens every man.” (John 1:9)
While the sadness of these events will continue, surprise that they are happening should not.
We reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7) We have sown unwisely and so now we weep bitterly. But we should not be shocked. Darkness breeds sadness. To paraphrase a wise man, “We have made men without chests and have still expected from them virtue and enterprise. We have laughed at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” Peace is abolished because of the abolition of man.
We should not be shocked. And we, as God’s people should not despair.
This trouble is not surprising or overwhelming to the spiritually appraised. Jesus has told us that we would have trouble in this world and He has reminded us that He has overcome it. (John 16:33) Our privilege as His people is to be an expression of His light in this city, confident that the darkness ultimately will not over power it. (John 1:5)
Proof of that truth is manifesting itself even as shots continue to ring out a short distance from here where I write. The church is already coming together, leading, providing hope and working to be God’s light and reminder of God’s way. This is how we will return to peace, begin to reconcile and learn to love one another again.
Ready to work with you friend. https://t.co/Sqgcq59exv
— Todd Wagner (@wordsfromwags) July 8, 2016
It's times like these that the church and community must be the catalyst for the kinds of change we want to see. pic.twitter.com/x37oxQErQa
— Bryan Carter (@BryanLCarter) July 8, 2016
It is in dark times like these that the light of God’s love is most needed and it is in dark times like these that it can most easily be seen. I am praying the increasingly constant darkness makes men long for the light.
A few short days ago I posted this on my twitter timeline.
Good & upright is the Lord-He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in justice, & He teaches the humble His way. Ps 25:8-9
— Todd Wagner (@wordsfromwags) July 2, 2016
Because that tweet was God’s word, it will not quickly fade away like some inane fact about some soon to be irrelevant Hollywood Star on a constantly refreshing time line. Because it is constantly refreshing eternal Truth it is as relevant today as when it was first written and when it was last tweeted.
The sun will soon rise in Dallas and when it does I will rise with it and go to war again by walking in the light of God’s word and doing all I can to invite a startled city and nation to that eternal Truth which is their only hope. I am not shaken. I am not shocked. I am saddened and I am certain that the church is the hope of the world. If you are a part of it…rise with me and serve your risen King. The future of your country and eternity of the citizens that comprise it is at stake.
Make war. Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14