The following is not a transcript of the talk but the way I filtered the message for us.
7 ‡ Lift up your heads, you gates;† be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King† of glory† may come in.† 8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty,† the LORD mighty in battle.† 9Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 ‡ Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty†— he is the King of glory.
Ken Costa, a retired investment banker and former chairman of Lazard International and currently the head of Alpha International (the Alpha Course), spoke this morning, a very powerful message. He began with a quote about William Wilberforce -- that Wilberforce "changed the character of the time" -- as the background theme for his morning message. To change the character of the time means to change how people think and live. Before Wilberforce in England slavery was accepted; after Wilberforce in England slavery was rejected.
To change the character of our time is our calling, if not necessarily as individuals then certainly as the church, an "anointed network" who together will bring about God's transformation as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
How do we get there? We need to see, first, where we are as a generation. We are a "heads down" generation, our heads and eyes pointed downward addicted to our smart devices. (There's now a physical condition called "tech neck," our necks permanently bent slightly to that optimal angle to read our devices.)
We are addicted to Twitter feeds and other digital feeds. But what is feeding the feeds? It's the constantly changing stimuli of the world. We have become addicted to Stimuli. We need to be addicted to something else. We need our heads pointed in another direction.
"Lift up your heads" Psalm 24:7 begins. The answer to our "heads down" condition is a "heads up" condition of looking up at Jesus, the King of Glory. Instead of the constantly changing worldly feed, it's the unchanging eternal feed of God's love and wisdom that we will feast on.
And if this divine feeding gets difficult, what will we do? As way of an answer a short story: in 2012 the Euro was on a dangerously downward spiral, threatening not only the European Union but the world. As the currency headed down, reporters asked the head of the European Central Bank what he'll do. He said three words. Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes for the currency to recover, whether drawing on the strong financial resources of Germany or belt tightening of countries more susceptible to the financial tumble. After uttering those three words, on that day the stock markets all around the world began to change direction.
Whatever It Takes.
Will you do whatever it takes to keep focussed on Jesus? Will you do whatever it takes to stay hope-filled in God? Will you do whatever it takes to stay grounded in God's love and wisdom?
Lest you get discouraged, remember that there's One Who Will Do Whatever It Takes for you.
Hebrews 12:2 -- 2 ‡ fixing our eyes on Jesus,† the pioneer† and perfecter