As American missionaries in the geographical heart of Western Europe, our American friends and family often forward on to us links for articles that they’ve just read about the current “spiritual state” of France (where we live) or Europe in general. We see these articles ourselves from time to time as well. These articles give them a window on a world that largely doesn’t enter into their consciousness and connects them with us to a greater degree.
This has happened over the last several years many times and, of course during that time, we’ve actually lived, experienced and are actively “working on” the spiritual state of Europe.
What I’ve noticed is that though these articles are focusing on the “same thing”, their conclusions are widely divergent.
Why is that?
Well I think there could be a number of factors which play into this range of perceptions including probably a few pre-conceived notions of the authors that they are setting out to prove or some goals that the authors perhaps need to support with their articles…all of which can even be more sub-conscious than subversive. I’m really not trying to accuse anyone of anything.
However, my conclusion…about all these conclusions…is a little different…
I happen to think that, regardless of any less-than-neutral motivations that might exist, and could skew the conclusions of various observers, it is completely “normal”/”logical” that there be such a wide range of conclusions about the spiritual state of Europe right now.
I believe that the Bible speaks directly about this in Matthew 13:24-30 in the parable of “the Wheat and the Tares” where Jesus says that as the Kingdom of God is increasingly manifested on the earth (the Wheat), non-Kingdom growth (the Tares) will also become more apparent. Later in Matthew 24:12-14 Jesus indicates that at the same time that the Gospel of the Kingdom’s proclamation will increase at the same time that lawlessness increases. In Psalm 2, David writes of himself but at the same time prophetically of the time of Jesus and of the end times. In this scene that David describes, he sees that nations and leaders are not simply ignorant, apathetic or even amoral, they are enraged against Jesus. In contrast to this, God the Father indicates that Jesus is already declared and installed as King and that God mocks their fury.
With the scene in Psalm 2, we see the crux of the issue…there are two kingdoms in conflict here. That’s pretty much “old news”, as Satan’s opposition to God is well-documented since the Garden of Eden. What perhaps is not so clear in this conflict is the two basic stances that Satan takes in this conflict.
- Satan is very content to be subversive or behind-the-scenes in the promulgation of his kingdom on earth…so long as he’s not opposed
- When God’s Kingdom begins to manifest in some sphere of earthly life, Satan begins to fight a very overt battle. He rages against the anointed of God.
In Psalm 2, we also have an indication of how the Kingdom of God is breaking out…exactly what it is that is making Satan so enraged. I like the way the King James Version states it in verses 10-12:
Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.
David is admonishing those he sees in the vision…those who are enraged against God’s Son. He’s telling them that they are caught up in a War of Worship. This is serious business. This is no longer, “I really don’t want any more of that religious stuff.” This is, “Get off the fence and choose whom you will worship!”
Ok, I’m getting a bit carried away here from my first topic…
But…it is relevant.
I chose the topic title: Europe – Wanted: Dead or Alive
The reality of the situation is that Europe is wanted…by both sides. Satan wants it dead and God wants it alive. A better picture of the reality that we will be living until the full manifestation of God’s Kingdom is: Europe – Wanted: Dead AND Alive. Until the time when Jesus’ Kingdom is fully established, the more Life that is stirred up by the Spirit of God, the more death that will be stirred up by Satan in enraged retaliation. It’s inevitable. One will be able to prove increasingly that Europe is a spiritual wasteland and that Europe is a hotbed of the activity of the Spirit of God, because both will become increasingly true. Middle-ground apathy will, however, become more difficult to find.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry…