“GOC”

“‘God’s Own Country’ that what this is,” one of the gentlemen who works in the residence office in the basement of my flat told me in his thickest Yorkshire accent. I smiled as I thought about the beautiful country in this urban area of Leeds. Yesterday I had the chance to see many old church buildings along my walk down to the city centre. They were all well kept up, but I wondered about the congregations inside. Surely they serve God, but what about the many church buildings here that have been turned into clubs or bars? I was sorry to see them in such disgrace.

I know that God’s spirit is still present in this country, but fewer and fewer profess to be Christians. As I prepare for my semester at the university, I find myself reconsidering where I stand with the Lord and where my boundaries lie. I need His strength to resist temptation, as I would in any university, but I wonder what it is that is different in the young people here who are so friendly and open, yet lacking any respect of the spiritual.

Ephesians talks about the spiritual realm being real. Ephes. 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Both in verse 11 and 13 Paul tells us that as Christians, we are to “take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (13)

There are spiritual princes set up over different parts of the world to war for our souls. I wonder who is the spiritual prince over England today? Is he one of God’s angels or one of Satan’s? When I went out with my flatmates the other night, I could sense as we moved closer and to downtown and the crowds got younger and increasingly more drunk, that the “night out” to have fun was taking on a different course. Often I want to ignore what is going on around me and see only what I want to see, that it’s “not that bad” because sure, I want to have fun and not totally isolate myself from the other students here, but sometimes I cannot go along with them. What I felt was a fake sense of belonging all the young people were trying to make, that they all believed in or wanted something that tied them together – and that something was what they don’t know. They can’t find it in alcohol, sex, drugs or each other. When I stopped to listen to what the reverberating chant of all these young Brits was really about and stopped pulsing to what I just wanted to be music, I realized we were in the midst of a screeching riot. “I won’t do what they tell me!” The thing that supposedly would bring them together in purpose was their defiance of authorities. They wanted to define themselves, but don’t know how and end up defining themselves in rebellion alone.

The presence of both good and evil are evident, as both forces are evident over our own states. Great Britain seems to be slowly but surely sinking into the mentality of its European brother and sister countries. Will it too be swallowed up in deception and immorality? It is well on its way there. I pray that God will sustain His people in England and multiply them. What can we do? Pray.

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