I quite vividly remember laying awake at night, staring the ceiling and wondering what in the world was going on. At that time nearly 40 years ago my bed was located in Jos. Nigeria and I found myself in the middle of seemingly unresolvable misunderstanding related to our ministry.
It was probably around that time that 2 Corinthians became my favorite book as it is such a personal account of Paul’s challenges in ministry. For my quiet times – or priority times as I’ve come to see them – I still prefer a good old Bible with actual pages and both of my Bibles used over these past 40 years have much of 2 Corinthians well marked up.
So, image my surprise when recently a never-before-underlined verse exploded off the page with whole new meaning: “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground out from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.” (2 Corinthians 11:12)
Isn’t that quite a verse? Upon reflection it struck me so powerfully for two reasons:
- “Keep on doing what I am doing” seems like such a powerful commitment today when the world is in chaos. To look beyond the chaos and keep our eyes on the prize really takes God’s grace, doesn’t it? In the midst of relative isolation and seemingly endless Zoom calls we are asked by the Lord to persevere; to “keep on doing what we are doing.”
- “To cut the ground out from under the enemy” (my paraphrase). I was reading this verse in the midst of a two-week class on Apologetics where we really focused on the devastating impact of post-modernism. It’s an insidious and well embraced worldview of hundreds of millions in Europe – and increasingly so in the US. It presumes that God, if not dead, is at least irrelevant . . . and that kind of thinking is the spiritual force that we are up against.
So what do we do in the midst of chaos? How do we move forward when the spiritual forces of this world seem to be aligned against us?
Like the Apostle Paul, we keep doing what we’re doing and we plat to cut the ground out from under the rising tide of post-modern thought.
Wow, that’s a tall order. It’s going to take heaps of prayer.
But the Lord can do it. And we can count on it!