Checking the Box

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Okay, so many crazy things have been happening in the world.  Earthquakes (Guatemala), hate speech spewing, horrible demonic stunts being explained away and tolerated.  All in the name of progress.

But I can see it coming, and so can you, I’m sure.  God is finally getting fed up with the way we are handling things in our country.  And we as Christians should be well ahead of the curve ball.

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Christians today have become reactionary people.  We aren’t on our knees pleading with God, praying for our country.  No, this would be proactive.  And we aren’t there folks.  There is a remnant that is, don’t get me wrong.  But the vast majority of people who call themselves Christian really just don’t think this work truly applies to them.  We are so busy doing “Christian” things and helping out with this ministry or that ministry, that we don’t take the time to stop and have the relationship with Jesus, with God by just conversing with Him daily.  And we sure don’t pray about things unless they are affecting us personally.

Some of our churches have even taken to preaching that if you can imagine or dream it God wants you to have it.  This is so NOT the case.  God is not a genie in a bottle to be conjured up when we want a little excitement.  Some churches have even come to fake this in huge ways such as gold dust in the vents.  And some people just want this excitement all the time.  They don’t realize that God is also in the mundane, the every day details of our lives.  Now, don’t get me wrong, when God shows up in physical ways, it is exciting.  And we do crave that as children of God.

So here’s the point.  We are so consumed with all of this because we are not on our knees before God our Father.  For ourselves, for our loved ones, for our country.  We aren’t out in front of that curve ball.  Ever.    I can hear it now: “God understands that I am busy”.  “God knows I didn’t have time today because I was busy getting things ready for vacation Bible school or I was writing this blog.”  I for one, don’t want to hear “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”  That really scares me in a huge way.  That I could live my entire life doing things for God and yet He never knew me because I didn’t take the time to meet with him.  To just sit with Him and listen to what H has to say to me today.  To pay attention to His direction and leading.  And it should scare you, too.

But, really back to the beginning – the world is hurting and growing more and more sinful by the second.  And we are letting it down.  It gets worse and worse every single day.  All this hate speech being spewed by one side of our political process started with a thought.  And then grew to being a spoken word.  And then grew to be a stunt.  And finally, as of yesterday, has grown to be violence by one side of the political spectrum.

I go back to Daniel’s prayer in the first 19 verses of chapter 9.  The situation when he was crying out to God on behalf of the country were this.  He was in exile in Babylon.  He was tasked by God to live his life there.  To be set apart for God’s use there.  To bless the city because God loves the city.  (Read God’s instructions here.)

Sound familiar?  We are in exile.  We live in Babylon today in the United States of America.  And God loves the world.  He loves the world so much he sent His only Son to die for it. And here we are, picking it and each other apart.  I’m sire it breaks God’s heart.

And here is Daniel.  He is set apart and being used by God just like we can be.  And so he prays.  Not only does he pray for the city, Babylon, he confesses the sin of Babylon as his own.  We have sinned, we have rebelled.  All of Israel has sinned.  He pleads as one of a group; one of the sinning children of God.  And beg for a changing of God’s plan for destruction.

And here we are making excuses, claiming we have no time.  What could be more important than this!  What greater work could we do than to plead for our country, for our people.  First things first – we pray.  We should cry out to God.  We should have a relationship with the God who saves, who comforts and who is love.  And we should definitely be pleading for the spiritual welfare of our country – and the very survival of our country.

We have become reactionary to every little thing, to every terrorist attack, to every earthquake, to every bad thing that happens.  But we need to move the check in the box to proactive.  And we need to do it today so we can get out in front of that curve ball.  For our country and our world.   For the unsaved people in it and in our lives. Why?  Because God told us to.  Because we cannot and never will be able to see every little thing coming.  Because our survival and the survival of our loved ones depends on it.

And so I pray today that those of us who are truly listening to God’s voice will fall on our face.  Confess our people’s sins, and beg God for a change in His plan for our nation.  Our kids future depends on it.  And so does ours.

Let me end with this verse you have heard ad nauseam but in a different translation that you may never have heard…

11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Did you catch that?  A future with hope.

“looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:2a