I find it easy in certain seasons to sit back and watch the world turn and do that thing that it will inevitably do; consume. I have seen it consume hearts, minds, families, marriages, finances, and so much more. I have prayed that it wouldn’t, but I have watched it happen anyway. I have seen the poison as it takes hold of people’s hearts and corrupts what was once beautiful and good. I have been haunted by dreams involving people I have not thought about in years. I have watched as friends who were once close to me fade away. I had been rocked to the core as my best friend took his own life, without reaching out to me first. I let it affect me… I needed it to affect me. Yet surely over time I have felt it dissipate into a numbness… into a memory. I can find comfort in telling myself that it is what the world does, it consumes… but at the same time I have these nagging questions… “where were you?” Spiritually I mean, where was I? Spiritually, where am I? Spiritually, where should I be?
You see, there is this place that every Christian knows about. We talk about it, we have experienced it. We have been in it, we even want others in it… but we step out of it thinking it will give more room for them to find it. Maybe we lose faith in our footing and become confused on where our placement should be. This space, however, is a necessary one. It is necessary for a start and is necessary for the finish. This is the grace between us.
Allow me a moment to establish some scriptural context. In the book of Numbers, chapter 16, there is this passage of scripture (one of my favorites in the entirety of His Word). God’s people have continuously played a tug-of-war game with their Maker. At this point in the passage (verses 41-50) the people have been murmuring and blaming Moses and Aaron for the death of the people. God had finally had enough, and asked Moses and Aaron to step back and let Him put an end to the murmuring. The response to this shows us the exact location where we should stand in our spirit.
Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked. Numbers 16:47-48
This is the grace between us. We have experienced an atonement made for us through the man Jesus Christ. This was the atonement that paid for our sin and cleared our debt. This payment sends us on a collision course with a divine moment of transformation. You see, according to the perspective, this place of grace may look like a place of death, or one of life. On the side of death you are surrounded with bodies, facing you is Aaron, pleading for the atonement, pleading for you to come to God. On the side of life you are surrounded by others who have experienced grace. Facing you also is Aaron, pleading for the atonement, pleading for those on the side of death to find their grace.
Then there is the viewpoint of Aaron. Now, he had heard the murmuring, the complaining, the distrust from both sides. On one side is a group of the dying, undoubtedly reaching out toward the side of the living. On the other side there is a group who is alive, too scared to move and step in to plead grace for others. Either one of these two places is the wrong place to be. Where Aaron stands is the closest place to death, and the closest place to life, at the forefront of the spiritual battlefield.
In too many ministries now, the focus is shifting one way or the other, too far focused on the living and forgetting the dying, or too far focused on the dying and forgetting those that are alive. These ministries are resulting in spiritual homicide, pushing away men and women, having them trip over us into the disease. I believe in following God’s calling in our lives… However, if the “will of God” in your life is resulting in spiritual murder… You might want to reassess whose “will” it is! It’s about time his people start worrying about that trail of bodies some ministries are leaving behind.
I want to be in the place of Aaron. As terrifying as it is to be that close to death, it is comforting to know that life is right there with you. This is the same place that Jesus stood, between the living and the dead. We are called to reach out for the lost. It may not always be comfortable, but someone HAS to do it. We also are called to be there for others of like, precious faith. We should never have to stand alone as Aaron did, not when so many are called by God.
So… Spiritually, where are you? Spiritually, where should you be? On the side of death looking towards grace but never making it? On the side of life, looking back at those that are dying and being too scared to move? Or in the space between, reaching out for the dying, and reaching out to connect them to the living?