“But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” ~ John 3:21
When I post political articles and current event pieces on Facebook it is usually because something rises up within me to shout to the world, “Open your eyes, look what’s going on!” It reminds of the song “Stop Children What’s That Sound” The words could easily apply to today’s headlines.
Most people live their lives with their head in the sand They think they can keep living the life they make for themselves without being effected by what is going on in the world. They think they are immune to the crime happening in their community until it happens to them. They think the scandals and the lawlessness of our government has no bearing on their day-to-day routine until they lose their job due to a new law that has been forced upon all Americans. They pay no attention to the news of the day until they hear it is about someone they know. They scoff at the post about conspiracy, corruption or rumors of war. They become so busy they have no time to do their civil duty such as vote or call their local representative about an injustice or accountability. Then they get angry because someone got elected that they do not like but have no one to blame but themselves for their lack of interest.
People plan the next activity or event without stopping to look at the souls around them struggling to get through the day. They feign their interest in the suffering of others but have no time to help out the neighbor or friend they know need words of encouragement or a hug. They want to be comforted but have none to give, they want to be entertained and made to feel good but have no interest in serving others. They think by giving money to a group or a good cause they have done their part but do not want to leave their comfort zone. They call themselves “Christian” but have no interest in being “Christ-like” nor do they know what that even means.
The truth is many who have known Him for many years have fallen asleep. They have gone numb from the noise of the world. Where is the fire? Where is the revivals? Where are the men and women in the United States who would give their hearts, minds and souls to help another find His way into eternity? The ones who live facing death daily in other countries are dying for their faith. Literally by the thousands. Just click on this link and read the stories: Persecution If those do not convince you that Americans are asleep then I do not know what will.
You can listen to the conservative/Christian talk shows and you will hear them go round and round about the problems our country is facing. The commentary and arguments in the media are spewing out words that have changed their meanings over the years. Facebookers post the recipes, humorous phrases and spiritual thoughts for the day all the while the powers and principalities are wreaking havoc in this world. Most folks never stop to really think about the words they put out into the infernal internet clothesline or do they?” What difference does it make?” as in the words of one who cares nothing for making a difference in anyone’s life but their own or for the lives who made a difference by laying down their life to save others.
Now before you think I am not including myself in any of the transgressions above please realize that I, myself have been wrestling with all the noise of the world as of late. The thoughts running around in my head have been very, very eclectic to say the least. Politics, religion, Jesus, children, ministry, finances, love, marriage, sickness, death, family, fear, drugs, military, salvation, war, law, citizen, teenagers, win, fail, weight, prayer, health, spring, vacation, reunion, future, recipes, bills, serve, honor, past…..it just goes on and on. I have not been able to focus on one thing other than one simple question that is causing me to wonder what God is speaking to me about. What difference am I making in the world? My world, this world or better yet, your world?
Now that might seem to some like a question I am throwing out there for others to answer. Not at all and please don’t. Truthfully I would like to hear the answer from God. For it is not man who will judge my works or my heart when I leave this planet earth to enter into eternal life. There are times when I believe I am asleep at the wheel, so to speak, when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I have taken inventory and discovered that the times I was gleaning an enormous amount from God’s Word and time with Him were in my loneliest and darkest of days. Why is it then in our bright days of day-to-day living that we don’t seem to have the same intensity of relationship? Is it the focus or the intention of the heart that is slightly off kilter? We can blame it on distractions, responsibilities or circumstances. In truth it is ultimately our choice. We choose to make our walk a priority, the TOP priority!
I admit there are days when going about my business I will throw up prayers to God without stopping to get quiet, bow my head or my knees. I will say things like: “God, stop me if this is not pleasing.” “God, am I being selfish here?” “God, are you seeing what’s in my heart right now?” “God, I can not do this on my own.” “Thank you, Jesus! You are sooo good!” But over the course of time throwing up prayers does not a relationship make and I am not so sure that is what is meant by living with godly purpose or walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Spending time quietly waiting for Him to speak, praying our hearts cry, reading His Word back to Him, meditating on His goodness, praising and worshiping Him in song, those are relationship builders with Christ. And those I have done but not always consistently.
But oh, it can be disconcerting to try to examine the motives or responses to each and every moment I did not turn to God, but instead to other things such as internet, a movie, a book, busy-ness or the conversation of others. When I do turn to those things on a regular basis I become agitated, irritated and cynical. Even angry at times with what I see others doing. Then I become a judge instead of an edifier. I want others to know what I love not what I hate. I want to be the peacemaker instead of divider. I want to encourage instead of the one who criticizes. But most of all I want to be the salt and light. I want to be Christ-like!
I recently was a part of an effort to reach out to some teens that happen to go to school with my son, who is in high school. He has been inviting his friends from school each Wednesday evening for almost 2 years. At first it was just one friend. And then a couple came with him. Now he may have 4 or 5 any given week. Our very small church took them camping to connect with them by unplugging and removing most of the distractions. I felt so inadequate to be there. I felt old and had absolutely nothing to say they could relate to. The one moment I did speak it felt flat and without power to move any of them to seek Him.
However, there were moments when I witnessed them listening to God’s Word. I do not know if they actually heard what was said or if they took it in long enough to remember it. I do know beyond a shadow of doubt that God’s Word does not return void. And I know from first hand experience that He fills in the gaps where we as humans fail to be what we need to be in the face of ministering or witnessing to someone for eternity. After the weekend was over I gave it all up to Him to do with it what He will. Even if the teens were not moved over the 3 days I can certainly say I was. It left me desperately wanting to see Him move in those kids and in me.
I have made more of an effort to stop, look and listen to Him rather than to keep moving forward without heed to God’s will. Which is why writing has been so difficult for me lately. If God does not give it to me I do not want to write it down. For the Bible says we will be judged for every idle word. The world is a different place than when I first accepted Christ as my Savior. Back then, some 22 years ago, we could talk face to face to someone who would look us in the eye. Now there are so many ways to communicate without ever laying eyes on another human if we choose. We have to turn it all off. We have to separate ourselves from the noise of this world. We have to surrender our hearts to silence for a bit and get back to face to face. And knees to ground. Because until we do we will not make much of a difference in bringing others to Christ. In bringing others with us into eternity.
Oh, heavenly Father, I pray you open my eyes wider to the reality that our time on this earth is short for none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Lord, help us to see past the distractions of our day, to hear beyond the noise of the world, to reach out to those who can not see. Help us to be the light to them that they may find their way to you. Give us wisdom to apply the season of salt to the conversations we have with others that they might understand the love that comes from your son, Jesus. Put a fire in our hearts, repentance on our lips and bring revival to our land! Thank you, Lord for hearing our cry! In Jesus name, Amen!
Grace to you friend for stopping by!