Mar 06 2010

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Refugees or Revolutionaries?

by Pastor Michael McDonald, New Covenant Fellowship, Penfield, NY

“Are you a refugee or revolutionary?” That’s the question the Lord keeps asking me. How about you? The issue is critical to our effectiveness in God’s call on our lives. Are we refugees from a sinful and decadent world or are we revolutionaries seeking a change of government where we live.

Refugees are an interesting lot. Wherever there is war, there are refugees. Why then should we be surprised when we have refugees from the spiritual war in which we are involved? These folks are easy to find. Usually they are licking their spiritual wounds and talking about how big the enemy is. “We were like grasshoppers compared to them,” they say, and many become frightened by their testimony. “If these valiant warriors can’t stand up in this war, then how can the rest of us last?” The interesting thing about them is that they escape to a region where peace prevails and think that the enemy no longer controls them. But where are their homes, their land, and their future? Their hopes and dreams have been stolen and they are usually unwelcome guests in a country that is not their own. They are homeless and hopeless because of their enemy, but feel they have escaped his control. What do you think?

Revolutionaries are found in their homeland. They do not leave the land promised to them or seek peace at any cost. Refugees usually are not comfortable around revolutionaries and will try their best to persuade them that running to safer ground is the only hope. Revolutionaries are enormously impractical. The numbers stacked against them don’t seem to register, and they seem oblivious to the size and equipage of the enemy troops. The refugees usually think that revolutionaries are arrogant and superior in their attitude. The revolutionaries, for the most part, don’t think much at all about refugees except during occasional recruiting drives when they try to convince able-bodied and gifted refugees to become revolutionaries. Most refugees will not change because they would have to be humble enough to admit they are wrong. Their thinking about themselves and the prospect for victory would have to change dramatically. The revolutionaries live in the constant face of battle, yet seem strangely at peace. They are in a country seemingly controlled by their enemy, but are not oppressed. If anything, their attitude is that the enemy better flee.

The final difference between these two groups is their attitude toward The Commander. The refugees, though derisive toward revolutionaries, always are respectful in talking about The Commander. They consider Him of admirable character and talk about His exploits and how He showed them how to get away from the enemy. However, they never pay attention to His commands. When He calls them to return to their homeland and fight, they look at the people on either side and assume that it is the other person He’s talking to. The refugees know stories about The Commander but don’t really know Him. He is not with them in the camps; He is with the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries have come to dearly love The Commander. They know Him as one who would lay His very life down for them (and has). All He asks is that, as any good soldier would, they obey His commands. Why do the revolutionaries fight with such confidence? They have learned from experience that The Commander’s strategies are perfect and that if they obey they can never lose. The enemy will always flee before them, regardless of how big he seems.

Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul – these and many others were revolutionaries before us. What are you? Will you obey when The Commander says:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)

Pastor Michael McDonald

Pastor Michael & Linda McDonald pastor New Covenant Fellowship in Penfield. They are parents of 5 adult children and the proud grandparents of 7. They’ve been married for 41 years and speak not only from the perspective of biblical truth, but also from the practical, lived out experience of those truths.

Pastor Michael & Linda were saved as children and graciously baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1976 and have joyfully walked in His guidance since then.

Pastor Michael is a graduate of the University of Scranton. He worked for 24 years in the business world before entering full-time ministry in 1992. He became Senior Pastor of New Covenant in 1993 a position he held until 2009. Linda is a Registered Nurse. In addition to raising 5 children she has served in a number of ministry positions. She now serves with Pastor Michael at New Covenant.

Pastor Michael continues on staff at New Covenant in a support role while seeking out other ministry opportunities. Pastor Michael and Linda are available for ministry and meetings throughout the body of Christ. They most often minister together with a focus on drawing closer to Jesus, exhortation, healing and deliverance. To schedule a meeting please email ncfmichael@aol.com.

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1 comment

  1. Penitent

    An interesting analogy. I would say that all followers of Christ are refugees at one point or another. Typically, the period of time that we are refugees directly follows the point in time in which we view ourselves to be refuse.

    As for the perception of the import of the size of the opposing army, I think it is more a matter of perspective. Shadrack Meshack and Abednego knew of the power of God. It was not the knowledge that God would win, but rather that He has the power to indemnify us for any losses incurred while working for Him. S. M. and A. knew that they would be delivered. even still, they said, “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods” Daniel 3:18

    I believe that this is what defines the revolutionaries. These are they who will fight for the just cause, even without the assurance that the Lord provides. These are they who do the right thing for the sake of it being right. These are they who serve out of love for their fellow man, rather than out of love of self and a desire for rewards. As we know, when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.

    Thanks for your thoughts. If you get a chance, I would appreciate your thoughts on the Blog I am writing about my journey from refuse to refugee, and the ongoing journey towards revolutionary. Take a read at http://penitence.wordpress.com

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