When we see the kinds of challenges facing our country these days, it’s tempting sometimes just to give up. I’m not surprised that some people have quit watching or reading news reports altogether. We may not know exactly what shocking new images will be shoved in our face on any given day, but we can be confident that whatever they turn out to be, they will have been carefully selected and edited to make us feel anxious, enraged, horrified, brokenhearted, depressed, despondent, or hopelessly overwhelmed. With every new day, it seems like another paragon of economic and scientific idiocy declares that the human race cannot possibly survive unless we quit driving cars, turn off our air conditioners, stop eating meat, expand the killing of inconvenient babies, ban plastic straws, give up using toilet paper, and force every awful, atmosphere polluting cow in the country to eat Gas-X. The emotional drain can get to be just too much to handle.
A “Progressive” Epiphany ~
It comes as no surprise that many want to just bail out when we hear ridiculous proposals made with the absolute confidence borne of personal inexperience combined with boundless ignorance. Faced with a mountain of debt we can’t even understand and an influx of millions of illegal immigrants demanding to be sustained at our expense, we hear progressive politicians declare, “No problem! We’ll just give every man, woman, child, and gender-confused humanoid who can’t figure out what they are, an automatic free salary! Not only that, we’ll sweeten the deal with a free “education” at the party school of their choice, and we’ll throw in some free electronic stuff to play with when they get bored in class.”
When most of us imperfect followers of Jesus see purportedly “intelligent” elected officials proposing policies that lie somewhere between total foolishness and hopeless insanity, we instinctively utter a heartfelt cry for “someone” to do something about it. But it’s hard to know where to turn or what to do when those hundreds of people sent to Washington, DC to represent us can’t even seem to agree on exactly what the problems are, much less what to do to correct them. Maybe we’re looking for the answer to this confusing and frustrating mess in the wrong place. Maybe we ought to take our questions to the One who knows everything–and just to be clear here, I’m referring to God, not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. or any of America’s liberal college sophomores or their self-deified professors.
Divine Clarity ~
God isn’t confused at all regarding what lies at the root of all our problems, and He isn’t looking for another charismatic, camera-loving political leader to rise up with all the answers. America’s arch enemy isn’t an ideology or a political party. God said it quite simply,
Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)
At a point in their history where the national attitude and behavior of God’s people mirrored our own and they were hoping for a hero to come to their rescue, God delivered this sobering response:
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. Isaiah 59:1-4 (NKJV)
Home renovators sometimes notice a crack in the plaster or drywall. It’s relatively easy to simply patch a crack, but those cracks are often the result of a problem much deeper. Sometimes those cracks develop because the foundation has begun to crumble or shift and just patching the crack will only produce a temporary cosmetic improvement. If the real cause is not addressed, the entire house is in jeopardy. Quite simply, that’s where we are in our country right now. The major cracks we’re seeing in political, economic, and social issues are only a symptom of a much deeper problem, and the answer doesn’t lie in a political strategy. God had a much more effective plan to deal with it.
Individual Focus–International Impact ~
God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to establish victory over evil forever and to begin a global campaign against sin in every form that it takes. Jesus came into a world embroiled with problems that were overwhelming, and he initiated a counteractive program that wasn’t dependent upon governmental approval or political acceptance. It was focused on individual redemption, individual transformation, and individual victory over sin. That individual, one-on-one relational way of dealing with the horrific implications of sin contained the transformational power that would change the world and alter the course of human history. Before returning to the Father, He made it crystal clear how He would deal with the ongoing problem of evil in the world. He would send ordinary people who would choose to follow Him.
As You sent Me into the world, [Jesus said to the Father] I also have sent them into the world. John 17:18 (NKJV)
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21 (NKJV)
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
It’s time for each one of us to admit that taking on the evil in the world has never been something we can blithely allocate to some nameless “somebody.” The power in the commission we were given by the Lord Jesus Christ has always resided in the application of the personal pronoun. Its transforming work is unleashed, and impossible things become possible when each of us declares that the mission, is really my mission.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.
- “America’s arch enemy isn’t an ideology or a political party. God said it quite simply, Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV).” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “At a point in their history where the national attitude behavior of God’s people mirrored our own and they were hoping for a hero to come to their rescue, God delivered this sobering response – see Isaiah 59:1-4 (NKJV).”
@GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The major cracks we’re seeing in political, economic, and social issues are only a symptom of a much deeper problem, and the answer doesn’t lie in a political strategy. God had a much more effective plan to deal with it. @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “Taking on evil in the world has never been something we can blithely allocate to some nameless “somebody.” The power in the commission we were given by the Lord Jesus Christ has always resided in the application of the personal pronoun.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth.”
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Well said, Ron, and convicting words. I am as guilty as the next person. I pray for the situations I see around the world and in our own country but I don’t always acknowledge that God’s answer to my prayer might be. “Do something!” God saved us and created the church as an instrument of His action.
Thank you, Sherry– I so grateful for your comment, and the insightful personal reference. When we who are prone to feel so small and insignificant step up to stand with the One who is omnipotent, our weakness gets lost in His strength and it’s amazing what He can do. Your courage and faithfulness has already borne the fruit of encouragement, and it will continue to inspire others. God bless you for sharing.