I thought it was funny the other night as we were watching a news clip of Donald Trump making a recent speech. In the segment he was joking with the audience and telling himself repeatedly that he needed to “stay on message” or “stay on point.” If you’ve followed any of his campaign over the last year you know that he loves to go off script and ad lib. Many times the satirical comments he’s uttered while off script have been made to look like offensive jabs or taken out of context and used against him. It is amazing to me how someone can pick and choose comments said in jest or in line with a greater context of information and create and advertise a false image of another individual.
I was reading an article from CNN just this morning that pointed out that Mr. Trump has been successfully “staying on message” for the last couple of weeks and has refused to take the bait that his competition is desperately trying to put out in an attempt to plug the overflow of harmful information that seems to be coming out against her on a daily basis as of late.
It dawned on me when I thought about this, that this is a similar lesson for all of us Christians to learn! The idea of “staying on message” should be the goal of every son and daughter of God. I’ve been shocked to learn this lesson the hard way over the last few years! In the initial time after we finally received an accurate diagnosis of what was happening to my wife, we seemed to have our new and growing stand of faith for her healing attacked from almost every front!
For a while there it seemed like things I said were being misconstrued, added to and then misrepresented by some folks very close to home! I also learned very quickly that the enemy of our souls will use any trick in the book to steal whatever faith you are working to develop… in an attempt to get you to go “off message.”
As I look back now, it is easy for me to burst into laughter when I think about some of the over-obvious antics he used against us, some of the ill-timed and insensitive comments that were made and how many things said were clearly based on incorrect information. The clip of Mr. Trump’s speech and his need to “stay on message” caused a bit of that laughter yesterday and I turned to my wife and chuckled that “God sure must have a great sense of humor!”
I must admit though, at the time of these events I wasn’t laughing… but I was aware of how unusual these attacks were. Like the time I emotionally shared the information I received from the first heart to heart discussion with Piper’s new brain specialist in San Francisco concerning the natural timeline of events for the disease affecting Piper. In an almost immediate response, the close relative of Piper's that I shakily shared this with replied, “Well, do you know how you are going to support yourself after Piper’s gone? (at the time Piper was receiving SSI benefits and I was being paid through a county program to care for her)
Today I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of that comment… but back at that time… well, let’s just say that I had a number of feelings… and most of them weren’t too positive!
When I finally came to my senses about that and other such comments, I began to realize how serious the enemy of our souls was fighting against us and our faith. And although I didn’t know the term like I do today, I quickly realized that it was of the utmost importance for Piper and I to stay focused on our faith and to do whatever we needed (and still do) to stay on the message found in the truth of God’s Word concerning His timeline and plan for Piper’s health, instead of allowing ourselves to take the bait and go “off message” and find ourselves in trouble, wallowing around in doubt and unbelief!
Romans 1:16 in The Message Bible calls it the “extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan…” Later on in his writings found in I Corinthians 9:23, Paul declares that he did all he did to lead people to Christ and teach then about the kingdom of God “…because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” (Message Bible)
I think that statement sums it all up perfectly! As believers we should stay alert and do all that we have to do to “stay on message” so that we aren’t just talking a bunch of empty words, but are actively participating and reaping the rewards of His Message!
If you haven’t learned it by now… you soon will come to understand that the Deceiver is out there and he is gunning for your faith, just looking for opportunities to get you distracted and go “off message”… away from Papa God’s message, away from His will for your life!
So what will it be for you? How hard is it for you to “stay on message” and not be distracted by others actions of doubt, unbelief or unfamiliarity with the promises of God’s Word. I’ve come to learn in the midst of the battle we are endeavoring to win, that I have a responsibility to “stay on point” with the vision of God’s message. It is important that I fight to keep it strong, active and ever present before Piper and I if we plan to finish the race that we were called to run in this life! Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” and I for one plan to not have anyone in my family lose the race before they get to the finish line!
…And speaking of finish lines… If you’re in America, please make a point to go out and vote this coming Tuesday, November 8th. I truly believe that this is one of the most important presidential campaigns we’ve had in years. If you’re not happy with either of the candidates, then as a Christian, I would encourage you to check out each of the 2 party’s platforms and vote for the one that supports our Bible based beliefs.
Have a great weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Am I expecting to ‘stay on message” today?