11/7/18 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Some say that if Trump’s people do not win on Tuesday, then America is doomed. Others are saying, if Trump’s people do win on Tuesday, then “there will be blood in the streets.”
As I draft this blog, people are voting around the country for men and women that will lead this country forward. Chances are, when you read this blog, there very well may be races that are still undetermined. Some are saying that it might be days before we know the outcome of every race.
Judy and I just returned from being on vacation for two weeks. We had a wonderful and restful time, I just wonder why it took so long for us to figure out that a two week vacation is so much better that taking it one week at a time. Anyway… I digress.
During our vacation I was able to watch more news that I normally do. (Crazy? I know!) As I watched the news, I thought… if you were to describe the news in one word, it could be fear. People are living in fear. Fear that my person will not win the elections; fear that if the other person wins, then the world will immediately self-destruct. Fear that my person, or my party, must win or there is no hope for the future of my family.
And it seems to be the same fear on all sides, whether you are a conservative or liberal, whether you are gay or straight, whether you are a millennial or a baby boomer, whether you are white or a minority. And sadly to say, this same fear seems to be permeating God’s family, the body of Christ.
It reminds me of a time in the Old Testament when God’s people, the people of Israel, were fearful. Instead of placing their trust in God, they too placed their trust in politics, in Kings, as well as in their financial and military might. Oh, these Israelites knew the words to say: they gave lip service to God, they were even involved in religious activity, but their actions told God that if things did not go their way (i.e. if their king, their military, their finances, or their plans did not come through), they were doomed.
They may have thought that they were trusting God. They may have even convinced others they were trusting God. But God knew better. That is why God said to them… “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” Jeremiah 17:5
Can I ask you something? Who are you trusting? Who is your “go to guy?” Who or what do you run to when you are fearful? God told Israel (and He is telling us): We are doomed! Not because our party doesn’t win the elections, not because Trump is or is not president. No, we are doomed because we have put our trust in something, or someone, other than God.
How do you know if your faith is in something other than God? Ask yourself these questions, and then be honest with your answers. Have I been living in fear these past few days or weeks, thinking that my person might not get elected? Who or what am I running to with my broken relationships? How am I trying to alleviate my financial problems? Am I handling my wayward children Biblically, or have I chosen another way to reach them? What is the first thing I do when I become discouraged or overwhelmed? The answers to these questions will tell you and me if we are depending on God, or if we have redirected our heart away from the Lord.
As I listen to people talk, as I watch people’s actions, I believe there are some in the church that may believe they are trusting God, but their actions say otherwise. We say we are trusting God, but are we spending time working on a back up plan if God doesn’t come through, or if He doesn’t do things my way? We say we are trusting God, but we chose to live in fear, or we chose to complain, or we inadvertently shift our focus from God to something more tangible.
As the Babylonian army approaches Jerusalem, and as trouble surrounds us, God watches, and He watches as His people desperately look for a person, another outside source, a nation or even an army to rescue them. They only realize after it is too late, that their trust was misplaced. They had rejected the only One who could have delivered them.
As troubles, the cares of this life, as discouragement approaches you, where do you place your trust? As Christians we would do well to remember the Israelites, so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. My dad used to tell me, “Brian, it is a good thing to learn from your mistakes, but it is a better thing to learn from the mistakes of others.”
Now, is it important to vote? Yes. Is it important that we know what our leaders believe and stand for? Yes. Is it important to be part of our community? Again, yes. Is it important to pray for our leaders, whether we like them or not? God says yes… I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
And by the way, I have good news: we are not doomed no matter how the elections turned out, because God has it covered… Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1
If you are living in fear, about the elections or anything else happening in your life, may the words of this song encourage you today…