When we get news that a severe storm is headed our way, most of us don’t decide that the thing to do is to gather in a group and condemn the weather patterns that facilitated it. Neither do we call our friends and neighbors and plan a series of meetings to reminisce about how great it was when the sun was shining and there were no threatening storm clouds in sight. When the weather satellites reveal the size of the storm and its potential for devastating impact, we don’t generally tend to break out the antidepressants, retreat to our bedrooms and hope we aren’t killed by falling debris. Most of us still believe that God has authority over all kinds of storms and can stop or start them as He chooses. So, while we may pray for Him to intervene and stop the one coming our way, we also know that He may decide not to. In that event, wisdom dictates that we develop a defensive strategy and initiate plans to deal with it.
A Challenging Week ~
And speaking of storms, for some of us, this past week has been unusually challenging. There are clear indicators that a major political and ideological storm is looming on our national horizon, and it appears inescapable. It isn’t atmospheric pressure fueling this storm, it’s the increasing pressure to abandon traditional social norms. It isn’t wind speed concerning us this time. Instead, it’s the rapidly accelerating move away from our nation’s foundational principles and values. Together, they represent a harbinger warning us that impending policy changes are coming with potentially disastrous impact. But whether an impending storm is meteorological or ideological, moaning and groaning about it has a really poor track record of stopping it. There are better ways to invest our time, energy, and resources.
Major meteorological storms are displays of incredible atmospheric power, and in a similar way, major ideological storms tend to be displays of political power. The one currently beginning to blow with renewed force through the land is no different. We should make no naive assumption that politics in this day and age is about anything but power, and power is all about control. Power is created and nurtured in political environments like bacteria in a petri dish. It’s bought and sold like some kind of commodity because possessing it provides an easily adaptable means to service other lusts like greed, envy, personal ambition, and public recognition. Power inherent in the legislative world, like power in the atmospheric world, has incredible potential, and the forces it can unleash are overwhelming. We can often feel as helpless in the face of oppositional cultural storms as a frail human being would be standing alone against a Cat 5 hurricane. But God’s people have been in this kind of territory before, and He has provided us with counteractive measures to abate the storm.
Borrowing a Phrase ~
We may feel a bit shaken and disoriented right now, but the One we serve isn’t rattled or confused by any of these events. The hope and prayer of many of us is that the frightening challenges of these days will be the catalyst needed to stir a spiritual awakening in the land and unleash a fresh spirit of revival in the Church of Jesus Christ. In that regard, I want to borrow a phrase that we’ve heard ad nauseum lately. We’re bombarded with talk about the “transition of power” that took place this week, but I want to suggest that there’s another kind of “transition of power” on a personal level that we desperately need.
Unfortunately, the seductive influence of the world’s value system has led many to gradually make the same disastrous choice that Esau made when he relinquished his birthright in exchange for a bowl of stew. He sacrificed something of tremendous value on the altar of his appetite. He soon discovered that the appetite he was so intent on satisfying in the moment would do what human appetites do. It would return again and demand more. The world’s system promises all those things our fallen nature loves and that our appetites crave, like convenience, ease, personal acceptance and approval. The siren’s song that it sends without ceasing has led multitudes to willingly sacrifice priceless things, like freedom of speech, spiritual convictions, and the right to think for themselves.
Time for a Transition ~
It’s time for a personal transition back to the power that lives in the omnipotent One who loves us in spite of the many ways we have dishonored Him. Both as individuals and as a nation we have abandoned His principles and ignored His directives in our obsessive quest to indulge our insatiable appetites. It’s time to reject the lies of a deceitful and corrupt world system and return to the one dependable source of truth, the one fountainhead of wisdom, the one foundation for a healthy and stable life, and the one trustworthy mirror into which we can look to see ourselves, the Word of God. The transition of power that can repel the storm we’re facing begins by reinstating the Word of God as the power source for truth about ourselves and the world around us. As the writer of Hebrews declares:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12–13 NKJV)
The stormy power struggle raging in the universe and permeating the atmosphere these days is a manifestation of the struggle that goes on inside us. The battle in both realms is over who and what will ultimately gain control of our lives and be granted authority to guide our attitudes and behavior. Two opposing power sources are calling us. One offers unlimited carnal pleasures, but the head of it is the father of lies and the embodiment of deception and betrayal. The Son of God, on the other hand, offers eternal life, undying love, total forgiveness, ultimate perfection, and a world without pain and suffering. He is the embodiment of grace, truth, love, and righteousness.
The final decision regarding who will rule our lives is ours alone to make, and that decision represents a transition of power that ensures our security and opens both life and world changing possibilities.
Looking for a Secure Place ~
When storms are threatening us, we look for a place impervious to their threats of death and destruction, a place that will remain unshaken by their fury. God has expended incredible power on our behalf to offer us exactly that in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul reminded the Ephesian church of that in his prayer for them:
…that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. (Ephesians 1:18b–21 NKJV)
No onslaught of ideological opposition and no oppressive mandate can diminish or remove the power God has extended toward us today. If you don’t have that secure place in Christ, maybe a personal transition of power would be a wise move.
“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to tweet and share from the pull quotes below. Each one links directly back to this article through Twitter . . .
- “The hope and prayer of many of us is that the frightening challenges of these days will be the catalyst needed to stir a spiritual awakening in the land and unleash a fresh spirit of revival in the Church of Jesus Christ.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The siren’s song, sent without ceasing by the world’s system, has led multitudes to willingly sacrifice priceless things, like freedom of speech, spiritual convictions, and the right to think for themselves.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “It’s time to reject the lies of a deceitful and corrupt world system and return to the one dependable source of truth and wisdom, the one trustworthy mirror into which we can look to see ourselves … the Word of God.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The stormy power struggle permeating the atmosphere is a manifestation of the struggle that goes on inside us. The battle is over who and what will ultimately gain control of our lives and be granted authority to guide our attitudes and behavior.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The final decision regarding who will rule our lives is ours alone to make, and that decision represents a transition of power that ensures our security and opens both life and world changing possibilities.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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