As a blogger, I understand the importance of using my platform to bring awareness to these types of issues. However, I have been praying on what exactly to say and how to say it because people fail to realize that when you have a platform, you have to be very strategic with how you deliver your messages. Yesterday, I was led to download Periscope after not having it on my phone for awhile. Little did I know, God was about to give me the message that I needed to get out. About 30 minutes after the app downloaded, I received a notification saying that one of my favorites, Tiphani Montgomery, was broadcasting and the title was "Please Stop Announcing Your Fears and Word Curses for Your Children on Social Media!" When I say Tiphani hit the nail on the head with this broadcast, she did! (You can watch the full broadcast here.)
During her broadcast, Tiphani hit some major points that I need to share with my readers (as well as a few of my own thoughts). If you have been on social media these past few days, you have probably seen posts saying things like, "I fear for my sons and husband," or "I am scared to have sons now because they may be a hashtag," or "I may be the next hashtag." You may have even seen this picture floating around:
In her broadcast, Tiphani pointed out how people on social media have basically lost the faith. Everyone who posts these types of statements are falling into the trap of the enemy. I understand this may seem a little extreme, but think about it. If you are scared of the fact that you have a black son or husband, you are letting the devil know that he has won. You are letting God know that despite His promises, you choose to live in fear rather than in faith. True believers of God do not and will not allow the current state of America to create fear in their hearts. If we are true believers, then why are we allowing the tactics of the devil to be successfully executed? It is hard to deal with the fact that ANYONE could become the next hashtag; however, we should not give the devil what he wants. He wants us to envision our names next to a hashtag. He wants us to fear the police and to not want our families to go out into the world. He wants us to mourn the lost of our sons and husbands while they are still breathing. Instead of enjoying our time on earth with our family and loved ones, he wants us to live in fear that we may lose them to hands of a police officer. He wants us to jump on the bandwagon of the fear that nonbelievers carry. It is time for us to take back our faith and rely on the promises of the Lord in order to get through this tough time. I'm not saying it will be easy, but it is necessary if we want to see things turn around for our community. 2 Timothy 1:7 states,"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." God created a powerful and mighty people that even in the midst of adversity, stand tall on the promises of the Lord.
You Have POWER
It is time for us to denounce the spirit of the enemy and speak life into our black men and women, even ourselves. "Your words have power." I think we tend to forget the power that God has given us through our tongue. Declaring your fear for your life and the lives of others increases your chances of falling victim to the wiles of the devil. This is a serious time; a time to operate in His power and not to operate in fear. It is a time to use the authority that God has given us to declare change and freedom from the enemy.
Our battle is not against the racist police or even racist whites in general. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This lets us know that it's not the physical beings that we are wrestling with, but it's the devil who is using these people to try to tear our community down. I know you've probably heard your grandmother say we are "soldiers in the army of the Lord." This is spiritual warfare that we are facing and God needs us to have faith in Him in order to strike down the devil. He also needs us to COME TOGETHER because an army cannot thrive without being on one accord.
Prayer WITH Action: The Absence of God
One of my main issues with this entire situation is that so many people are saying that we should "stop praying" and start taking action. What about "PRAYER WITH ACTION?" If we take God of the equation, I can guarantee that we WILL fail. We will not get anywhere if we do not consult God on what He would have us to do. During the Civil Rights Movement, our people marched the streets while PRAYING, had meet-ups while PRAYING, conducted sit-ins while PRAYING, got beat and battered while still PRAYING. They put God in everything that they did and because of that, change occurred. Did it get completely better? No. However, there was progress. Imagine if we had continued to fight for our rights while putting God first... We can yell "BLACK LIVES MATTER" until we are blue in the face, but until we acknowledge that we need God's help to save our black lives, we can forget ever seeing a complete turnaround in our country.
I also want to point out that we live in a world that is becoming so anti-God that He is becoming more and more absent in our communities, our schools, and even our churches... We live in a world where people are spending more time trying to justify their wrongdoings by twisting God's word around, than they are actually following His word. I had a thought the other day that maybe all of this is God's way of reminding us that we NEED Him. Maybe He is seeing that His people are getting so far away from Him, that He is trying to pull us back to Him. I think we forget that God gets hurt too and I can only imagine how He feels seeing His children turn against Him. Personally, I think God is shaking things up to get us to open our eyes to the real issue...the absence of His presence in our lives. I don't think God is evil and is killing His people, but I do believe that God allows certain things to happen instead of blocking them to prove a point. However, instead of realizing that this may be a wake up call for all of us, we are allowing the enemy to trap us in fear. God wants us to be bold and stand fearless against ALL OF THIS. I think we are missing the point and until we get it, things will NOT change.
What Will It Take?
I don't know all of the answers, but I do know who my God is. I do know that the ultimate answer to our issue is GOD. We don't need MLK and Malcolm X to raise up out of their graves to help us get on track; we need GOD. We don't need Obama to stay in office for a third term (even though that would be nice); we need GOD. We don't need to keep looking for the world to give us hope when we can simply hope in GOD. We need Him to guide us through all of our protests, movements, etc. We need Him to protect us and help us channel the power that He has already given us. Black lives do matter, but let's not forget that God matters too.
My Challenge to All of My Readers
During her broadcast, Tiphani challenged us all to remove any posts on our social media that were posts of fear and lost faith. I challenge you all to do the same (including all of the blank hashtag pictures, the pictures with your name behind a hashtag, fearful tweets and status updates, etc.). Cleanse your social media, your mind, and your heart from the fear that the devil is trying to instill in all of us. I challenge all of you to encourage yourself and others (especially your children), get on your knees to call on God, educate yourself on these issues, come together, take action together WITHOUT FORGETTING GOD, and be patient while the Lord does His work. We may not be able to see it now, but we're going to be alright if we just trust in Him and move when He tells us to move. The world WILL know that #BLACKLIVESMATTER.
Black Lives Matter Prayer
We stand before you because we must.
We stand before You because truths that should be self-evident are not so evident in our country.
And so we turn to you to breathe ever more of Your Spirit into us because we find we cannot breathe, the arms of armed forces wrapped around our throats when we call out for justice.
We call to you in defiance of of a national system that betrays our noble ideals, where tanks and blood fill our streets, where every Black man, woman, and child is twenty times likelier to be killed by police.
We shout to the Heavens with one, unified voice:
Black. Lives. Matter.
We are called by scripture to pray for the day when we will beat swords into plowshares and study war no more, when the surplus of war led by greed and deception will not spill into our streets, where swords and tanks and rubber bullets and tear gas will be beaten thinner and thinner, the iron of hatred vanishing forever. (Amichai)
We pray to you because, as our prophets have taught us: human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.
We call to you, O God, because Your Image was abandoned on rainy concrete for 4 and a half hours.
We call to you, O God, because Your Spirit was choked out of a father who called out 11 times’ “I can’t breathe.”
We raise our hands to you, knowing that the work is ours to do, black, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, young, old, gay, straight –
These are your images, battered by those sworn to protect and serve.
We are all responsible for what happens next.
And so we pray to You, Source of Life, raise up our eyes to see You in each other’s eyes, to take risks for justice, to bring through our unified prayer today more Love and Compassion into the world.
Ignite us to combat the hidden prejudice which causes police to open fire in fear, which transforms a child in a hoodie into a hoodlum, a person into a threat.
We pray today not for calm but for righteousness to flow like a mighty river, until peace fills the earth as the waters fill the sea.
Comfort the families of all who grieve.
Strengthen us to work for a world redeemed.
And we say together:
I welcome all discussion, so please comment below with your thoughts on this situation, encouraging words, etc.