As I was praying this past week, I was awed by the thought that I need to write this down. Now I don’t mean the prayer, but I do mean the thoughts I was and continue to have from my prayer.
When I pray, I always start out acknowledging God. His attributes, power, love, and the list can and does go on. It causes me to recognize from the beginning of my prayer who I am speaking to at that moment. With the utmost respect and reverence, I will go before my God and my Creator.
I don’t know where you are in your prayer life but I can tell you where I am. Rarely do I ask anything of God that is personal for me. Please understand, what I am asking is for Him to use me as a witness. To give me opportunities to minister for Him. However, I am not asking something for me. Elaine and I are blessed by God and we certainly don’t need anything but His grace and mercy, good health for ourselves and our family. So I am not asking God to give me something. Only for God to use me for His glory and bless our family.
I pray for people and their circumstances in which I am aware with regularity. We are instructed to do so by the Scriptures. In 1 Timothy 2:1 the Apostle Paul told Timothy that First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, ESV. We need to pray for one another. For all people including those in which we may not agree. Sounds like we are talking about our elected officials and well it should. They need it and God may do a miracle in their lives and they could certainly use one.
I find that my prayers and my thoughts are regularly dealing with the condition of the world in which we are living. The direction of our country and moral decay that is so apparent. I have said on numerous occasions that the only hope for this world is Jesus Christ. He is and I know that we are sending missionaries and teaching people to share Jesus Christ. We should always do these things and do them as unto the Lord.
Yet, I am observing and listening to what is happening all around us. I am reminded of something I noted last week in the blog.
In Luke, we read-
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” Luke 17:26–27
We are in times like we have never seen before as a nation and as a world. That is nothing new because the nation and the world are constantly changing and not for the good. That is why Jesus made the statement we find in Luke. His statement was true then and it is true today. However, because there have been over 2,000 years since He made the statement the world is even more like the days of Noah. As a matter of fact, it may be even worse. I say that in that we have certainly taken sin to new levels. Listen please, the sin was always there but we are seeing it now in our face. Actually, in a discussion with our son Erik the other day he used that very phrase. He was commenting how he just doesn't want it in his face. He knows that it exists but would rather not have it forced on him or his family. It is on the social media we follow, the movies that are made, and the shows we watch.
Years ago a Christian would say “we hate the sin but love the sinner” and that is still the case. However, in the world today it is concluded if you hate the sin you hate the sinner. As wrong as that is, it is still the belief of many today.
I want in my heart of hearts to have hope in people and them knowing the difference between right and wrong. I do believe that many still do know the difference. It is interesting though that it never seems to come out that way. The one who is doing wrong is doing so because the one doing right is wrong. I know that is a hard thought process to follow. We see this every day and I know I am amazed by it.
Listening to the conflicted logic of some causes me concern. There is much I don’t know and if there is an explanation then I would like to hear it. Laws are made by the legislative branch in our system of government. There is an executive branch that has the job of enforcing those laws. It is the judicial branch that has the role of making certain laws and enforcement is done in accordance with the Constitution. This is the manner in which national, state, and local government is based.
So a prosecutor doesn’t agree with the law of the legislator. They then choose to redefine the law and thus interpret it in the manner they believe. At some point, it will hopefully find its way to the judicial branch for its consideration. Then we wait to see if the correct logic and understanding are used to consider the Constitutionality of the law in question. This will take time and is not necessarily the only way and certainly does not guarantee a good outcome.
So there is another way and it is called the ballot box. There are times when elections are held and we as the citizens are asked our choice as to leaders in many different roles. One of those will be a prosecutor. It will be the commissioner or the governor and yes even where we live the person in charge of mosquito control.
My purpose in going through these observations today is to remind us all that we live in a world outside of our own 4 walls and property line. We are in this together as citizens of these United States who have common relationships. I am a Christian and have made that clear on numerous occasions. I am also a baptist in my belief system which has aligned me with Southern Baptist. There are things that I agree with and disagree with within all of these. So what do I do, what do you do about what is happening, and what do you agree and disagree with?
There is an answer and it is as real as the nose on your face. We will say it but will we do it? We will acknowledge it but will we invest the time and energy in seeking it out? Because until we determine to do it, acknowledge it, and invest time and energy, we have done nothing. That's right nothing.
Now I really would like to tell you that I have this all figured out but I don't. I am determined as I have acknowledged the problems. I am investing time and energy into understanding more. If I stop here then I have done nothing. However, if I stay the course and wait on the Lord, I know He will reveal to me what I should do.
Last Sunday I was preaching on "The Presence of God" from Psalm 139.
1 Lord, You have searched me and known me
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
I asked the question is there any place where God is not? The answer was-No
It reminded me of the song by Don Moen from "God With Us" entitled "God Will Make A Way"-
God will make a way where there seems to be no way,
He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide, hold me closely by His side,
With love and strength, He will make a way, He will make away.
I think you get the idea that I am sharing with you today. This is all about God and not about you or me. You remember what Rick Warren said in "The Purpose-driven Life", don't you? It is the first page of the book and all that is on the page are these words-
"It's not about you"
Life is difficult and hard. We face, at times, what appear to be insurmountable obstacles. Well, insurmountable for us but not for God. Moen has another line in the song that says-
By a roadway in the wilderness, He'll lead me
And rivers in the desert I will see Heaven and Earth will fade But His Word will still remain
He will do something new today
So here we are wanting to do the right things and trust God. There is more to think about and we will do that next week. Let me close today with the last 2 verses from the Book of Jude, as we are reminded to give God the glory-
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
I look forward to thinking more with you next week about what is happening around us.
In God's Grace,