Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Freak Out!

During all the craziness of the past several weeks with the market doing what it’s doing, and the Presidential race heating up, I’ve been inspired to write about our hearts. It seems that no matter who you talk to, they have some input on what’s wrong with America and the world. Many are even convinced that the End Times are right around the corner! Revelation does talk about "right will be wrong, and wrong will be right" though, doesn't it? Between gay marriage being “the norm” and considered “ok” by lawmakers, abortion being legal, our free-enterprise market being influenced by greed, the adult entertainment industry making money hand over fist, murder and kidnapping becoming an every day headline (that we usually skip over and don’t even give a second look), the threat of terrorism controlling our thoughts, consumerism being marketed to anyone age “0” and up, and several other morally reprehensible things taking place, I begin to wonder where we are really?? Is revelation around the corner? Are we really, actually, finally there? It seems like people have thought it was right around the corner with almost every generation though, so I guess that fact brings me back to the reality that it might not even be that bad yet! When I consider all of the craziness going on in the world, the only peace I have comes from knowing God is enough no matter what happens.

Here are some questions that have been posed to me regarding the current state of our economy, what’s around the corner, and the state of our country as a whole.

1. What is God trying to teach us?
2. What is God trying to get us to do?
3. How can we come along side those being impacted worse than us to help comfort them?
4. What role are we going to take in turning this (perhaps long term) into a change where God will be glorified?
5. What immediate steps need to be taken to set the stage for achieving God's long term plans for each of us and the country?

These questions are good ones, and I firmly believe that they are questions that need to be addressed. They get to the very core of our beliefs and our existence while we're on this planet. I also think that the best way to tackle these questions is through a Godly perspective. What I mean by that is this (answered according to the questions posed):

1. God is teaching us that we must seek Him in everything we do. He is obviously trying to teach us to rely on Him, and to get us to realize that He is ultimately in control. I'm sure there is more to it, but I'm pretty sure it starts with us humbling ourselves and realizing that we cannot do anything apart from Him. We start this process by reading, studying, and taking to heart James 4 (all of it) and move through the rest of the Bible from there.

2. Also, we must seek to live as Christ lived while He walked this earth by reaching out to those who are hurting. Christ came alongside those who were hurting and those who needed love. In fact, He still does and always will! We are lucky in the fact that many times He chooses to use us (Christians) as His hands and feet. I think that God is trying to get the attention of Christians across this nation, and that He's giving us a bit of a shove out the door to get off our rumps and start making an impact for Him! For way too long we Christians have been satisfied with going to church, being “good,” and more often than not being complacent and luke-warm in our walk and with the Great Commission.

3. We must not only provide for their physical needs, but also show them the truth and love of Jesus Christ. I'm not saying hit them over the head with a bible, but showing them the love of Christ and telling them why we act in that manner, speaks to something much deeper inside the human spirit. Now, whether they reject it or not is up to them, but it is our responsibility to show others the way to Christ (see Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-16, Luke 24:44-49, John 21:15-17, Acts 1:8). We are supposed to reach all the nations of the world for Christ!

4. Again, I don't know what we're going to do as a country, but I sure know what would make a HUGE difference! Can you imagine if everyone in the United States who calls themselves a Christian truly made the commitment to live for Christ every day and every hour?!? Better yet, what if we all spoke the Name and message of Jesus out loud for people to hear? What if we started to show the love of Christ to every person we came in contact with? You talk about a revival of morals, and the revival of a nation! I can't think of a better way to rejuvenate the judgement of our elected officials. When our country was originally established the general populous was of (mainly) the same moral standards. Today, we have moral standards that run the gamut! What we lack are moral values, and there is no better way to revitalize those moral values than holding to biblical values!

5. In the famous slogan from Nike: Just Do It! We need to quit being afraid to share Jesus. He's the greatest thing that ever happened to us... why do we hide it?? God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and a sound mind! We need to quit accepting the issues that require a sacrifice of our morals. Tolerance, in love, can be beneficial to a point, but it should not push our moral values back; our morals (hopefully God's laws) are what should guide the tolerance, and love can sometimes be tough!

We must exalt God above anything else on this earth, which includes country, family, job, money, and anything else this world has to offer. The answers are actually obvious, but they are tough and we often don’t want to deal with them. They are tough to hear, and even tougher to carry out day to day. But you know what? It's doable, and it's necessary for our world to straighten up and fly right. I think that, rather than fighting the issues that everyone sees on the surface, we need to start fighting for the hearts of men so they can start fighting for the heart of God!

What's happened to the "American Christian" (myself included) is that we've become comfortable and soft! We go to church on Sundays and offer empty praise, maybe even sometimes real praise, to God, but a lot of the time we don't even think about God the entire week leading up to the church service! After the service we go out to lunch (some go “out to lunch” during the service), we are served food from those we pay to do it(which is a telltale sign of being rich in most countries), complain about the service we're receiving, maybe even complain about the service we just attended at church, pay the restaurant what is due(probably after scrutinizing the bill), maybe give the server a tip if they were "good enough"(who are we to judge?), get in our vehicle that burns fossil fuel(also a sign of being rich), drive along paved and painted roads, arrive at home where we have a pantry full of food that we probably could've eaten instead of going out (but it's easier to pay someone else to do it), open the door into our home (be it a house, apartment, condo, etc.) which is something that about 60% of the world's population only dreams of living in, then we'll sit down and watch TV, read a book, play a game, or do some other activity and dread the next day that we have to go to work so we can pay for all this. That gets us through about 4-5 hours on one day of the week. The rest of the week consists of going to work, hanging out with friends, catching a movie, talking about how to spend our money(HAHA! Our money!), planning for events in the future, going on vacation, driving to and from work, soccer games, baseball games, dance practice, piano recitals, talking on our cell phones, emailing, and whatever else might take up our time. That doesn’t leave much for God now does it! How about this? How about we start our day with God? How about we keep God’s rules the presiding factor over all our decisions... all day? How about we keep God at the forefront of any discussions we might have... all day? How about we go to God before we do anything... all day? I mean anything! Why not? We know it’s where we need to be, and we even know that life seems to go a lot better when God is our center, yet we rarely remember to even include God in our daily lives.

Let’s get a revival going by exalting the Most High God above anything else that may capture our interest on this planet! Let’s get our hearts back to the core of God’s principles, and abandon the world’s standards that are thrown in our face every day! Let’s get ourselves on the same page as God by reading our Bibles, studying His Word, and getting on our knees! Let’s STOP doing what we’re doing and turn to God... I mean it... Right now! This is the end of this entry...Go pray for God’s heart to become your heart!!