Subversion of the Day- Prayer, a Series: Part IV

 

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Wow, its been quite awhile.  A lot has happened over the last month in my life, which has been the reason for the absence in posts.  But I have now gained some power, love, and sober-mindedness from living in the love of the Spirit of God.  And so, it is time to be intentional about this being a blog with a legitimate focus on subversion, you know, everyday.  So with that in mind, lets get back to subversion through prayer!

Returning to the passage in Matthew 21, we see that as soon as Jesus got done Hulk-ing out on everybody, he did the very next thing you would expect a pissed-off saviour to do: he healed people.  Wait, that’s not what you would expect.  But this was what Jesus was about; afflicting the comfortable, and comforting the afflicted.  And the religious elite did exactly what you would expect the religious elite to do: they were pissed that He did amazing things.

Wait… Oh, wait, that is what most people expect the religious elite to do.

I don’t say that with joy.  It is unfortunate that many of those who represent the “one’s who got it right”, at least in America, are the one’s who you could imagine in this situation getting mad at Jesus for healing people, muttering that they only came to get healed.  Or getting mad at kids for yelling “Save us, Son of David”, cause they’re kids.  They need to wait until they are older and have something of substance to contribute instead of just being loud.  Please take them to Children’s Church.  So like some today would possibly say to Jesus, they say “Do you hear what these are saying?”  I can imagine Jesus saying with a you-really-don’t-hear-what-you-are-saying tinged “Yeah, yeah I do.”  And then he quotes from a Psalm which says out of the mouth of babies you have prepared praise, and then leaves.

Cut to the chase.  What’s this got to do with prayer?

Right.  The Greek translation of the word praise is ainos, and it means a saying, proverb, praise, or something said out loud.  So easily, you can see that Jesus, by defending the blind and lame by healing them (these disabilities were typically attributed to sin in their lives) and defending the children, he was saying that in My Father’s house, a house of prayer, even the ones you don’t welcome are welcome.  In prayer, we must consider and defend those who are pushed down and oppressed by others.  To further show this, when you look at this passage that Jesus quotes as translated in the Psalms, it reads more like “you make strength come from babies that silences the enemy and the avenger.”  God’s strength resides in those without strength, and by defending those without strength in prayer and in action, we silence the oppressors.  Subvert the powers today.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
The words of Jesus, Matthew 5:5

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Subversion of the Day- Have No Fear

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With it being Halloween, I thought it fitting (like I am sure a thousand other people) to tackle the subject of the day.  Though this may end up sounding a little bit like a past post, I want to take it in a new direction.  The Subversion of the Day is to have no fear.  On Halloween, fear and fun, or trick and treat, rule the streets.  I want to be clear on the onset of this that I am not out to bash Halloween.  I think that is kind of a fool’s errand, and there are much greater, much more evil of social institutions to throw my weight against… like Christmas or Easter (I kid… sort of).  But there is that common theme of fear that is associated with this holiday, or holy day to some.  When the night creeps in, and strange noises began to tear a part your mind, thinking that some crazed maniac, some ghastly specter, some evil-possessed entity is about to descend upon you…

But how often does that actually happen?


I think there could be something cathartic about the fear induced around Halloween, if we allow it to challenge our desire to flee from things that cause us fright.  But the fear I am speaking of is much more sinister, much more insidious, much darker.  Everyday we go through life carrying certain fears and doubts and uncertainties.  Fear of the unknown, fear of those different than us, fear of change.  We are often crippled by this.  And this is the realm that I think the real evil, the real darkness, the real demonic finds the fruits of it’s labors.  This Halloween stuff is chicanery, slight-of-hand.  The real powers of darkness want you to look the other way, while they are convincing you to walk through your life in fear of really living.  Because when we do that, we disconnect from relying on the God that truly loves us.

So how do we fight the real darkness?

 

I good place to start in subverting the darkness is not to wage an all out war on all things scary and Halloween-like… but maybe just take it out of your life.  Don’t watch so many movies, read so many books, think so many thoughts that relate to terror.  Instead, think about things that are good, holy, of great worth.  Think about how Jesus changes the world, and brings light to cause darkness to hide wherever He goes.  And then, when you are really ready to tackle the true strong holds of darkness, question the fear that society, and yourself, implant in you:

Fear of other nations/ ethnic groups

Fear of other religions

Fear of other orientations

Fear of other ideologies or political affiliations

Fear of failure

Fear of loss

Fear of death…

When we question fear to its face, it usually doesn’t have much to say.  When you carry the light of Christ with you, the darkness, and fear, has no other option but to flee.  Subvert the powers today.

PS:  I may talk big game, but the picture at the top of this page gives me cold chills every time I think of it, lol.

There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.  So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.

 1 John 4:18

Subversion of the Day- Ride a Bicycle

So, I rode my bike today.  And it was really great, but I felt pretty terrible at one point.  I am pretty out of shape.  But, necessity calls for one to do things to meet one’s needs, and I needed to get to school.  So bike it is.  However, i am thankful because riding a bicycle really is a great way to subvert the powers and principalities of this world.  Here are some examples:

– Biking saves you money on gas, which other than helping you save, it prevents you from buying gasoline, which most assuredly is acquired through the blood of others.

-Also with gasoline, the burning of it leads to further destruction of the world as we know it, and riding a bike helps to reduce that, or at least your involvement in it.

-Riding a bike is an easy way to keep your health in check.  Daily exercise is hard to come by, but allowing yourself a half an hour before and after work/school/whatever to transport yourself assures that you stay healthy

And in one of the most interesting things that riding bikes does is cause people to think clearer when they are driving.  Most people are prone to road rage.  So, if you ride a bicycle on a busy street, you really force those around you in a non-coercive way to think about how they react to others, and challenge their hearts and intentions.  That is very Christ-like.

So, ride a bike today, and spread the Kingdom of God.  Subvert the powers today.

American Idols

Here is a song that I wrote that falls in the vein of yesterday’s suggested subversion.  Let me know what you think-

 

American Idols

 

Well the talking heads are talking their heads off

About the latest fashion and who was wearing what

And I tried to speak my mind but I couldn’t get a word in

They said if it didn’t “pop” i should keep my mouth shut

 

So I climbed up a mountain to tell a dying world

That Christ died and rose again to bring us peace and love

And as soon as I thought my brothers were shouting with me

They told me to be quiet as the turned their TV’s up

 

So let’s tear down these American idols

And build back in their place an altar to the Lord

So let’s tear down these American idols

And build back in their place an altar to the Lord

 

 

Well they shake it on the Left and they shake it on the Right

So it seems there ain’t no middle cause everyone wants to fight

And politicians are wishing no one senses their precision

At collision and division so there pensions don’t go missing.

 

So there’s battles of the rich going up against the poor

And the black folk and the white folk are still engaged in war

And the genders are in combat but neither one of them are right

Cause there’s no Jew or Greek or slave or freak cause we’re all one in Christ

 

So let’s tear down these American idols

And build back in their place an altar to the Lord

So let’s tear down these American idols

And build back in their place an altar to the Lord

Subversion of the Day: Worship Only the One True God

 

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To begin, this is not a critique on other religions.  That is an issue to discuss, but not one for this day.  No this daily subversion strikes a little closer to home.  The axe is laid at the trees in your own back yard, not in your neighbors. 

This is about idolatry.

So what, you may ask, does idolatry have to do with subverting the powers on a daily basis.  Everything, dear reader, everything.  This is an issue of Kingdom and the king that we serve. You see, most people have this understanding of an idol in a biblical sense; idols are figures that are used for the purpose of worshipping a deity that may or may not be in that object, but does bear a resemblance to the object that is created.  So, if I worship dogs, I have a little dog statue.

But many take a different understanding than this ancient one.  I actually pose the question “what is an idol” on my Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/joshua.coffman.5 ) recently, and received several interesting answers.  One person said:

“Anything or anyone that u put before God….Sumthing u can’t do with out or live without….anything u put first or is ur first priority over God”

I think that is pretty much spot on.  I especially like the statement of something you can’t do without or live without.  Don’t take this out of context and say that we all idolize food, water, and air.  But the truth is that if we said each of these were more important than God, or that we decided we would rather have any of these than God, then we have pretty strongly indicated that which we worship.

The interesting thing is things that we say we don’t need, but act as if we do.  If you read yesterday’s post ( https://everydaysubversive.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/subversion-of-the-day-rest/ ), you could see that I acknowledged something that had the potential to be my god, which was the computer/internet access/ whatever.  I decided to take a break from it one day a week.  I am conveying to it, myself, and the whole world that I can do without it, but I cannot do without Christ.

So what is your idol?

This is where we have to really assess ourselves.  We can really idolize anything, and the fact of the matter is the more we perpetrate this false worship, the more we give room for the powers of this world to consume and control us.  We have to take a stand, and dethrone our miniature kings, and tell them there is only one King.  The possibilities are endless to what we can idolize:

Clothing

Money

Friends

Family

The Government

Celebrity (ies)

Prestige

Security

Convenience

Low Cost

Self

 

That last one usually is at the epicenter of the others.  We make ourselves our own God, and prescribe to ourselves worship.  So, figure out what you worship other than the one true God, and tear it down.  Subvert the powers today.

 

“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!

“No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.

Matthew 6:19-24