Peace family, have you taken time lately to ask God some hard questions?
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I am easily overwhelmed by current events. I’m troubled by unrest, dissension and disunity. I’m troubled by the rampant rebellion from God and hurtful choices in our country and in the world. I’m really troubled by sin in the church, especially when I see church leaders condoning things that are clearly stated as sin in the Bible. None of these sources of distress are new; the struggle of humanity versus God has been going on for as long as humans have existed (and even that length of time is debated.)
However, one of the things I find most stressful, is when there are conflicting opinions within the church about things that aren’t so clear. We know that God cares about the orphan, the widow, and the outcasts. We know that God cares about the poor, that he values disciplining children, and that he instructed the Israelites to be kind to the strangers that are in their land. But how do we know how God wants us personally to apply those values in our daily lives? Many of us assume we know what God thinks, but do we take the time to simply ask him, or to seek it out?
Whether people are talking about President Trump, racial discrimination, women’s rights, or the Syrian refugee crisis, every day on my Facebook feed, I see person after person passionately stating his or her opinion, many claiming that their personal ways of interpreting and reacting to the world’s problems are the only Biblical attitudes or solutions (and shame on anyone who disagrees.) I see sarcastic memes and modernized, re-written scripture superimposed over old Sunday-school illustrations of Jesus, claiming to express what Jesus actually meant, or what he would say if he were physically present today. I see people pulling verses of scripture and interpreting it in opposite ways (sometimes it’s even the same scripture,) and many times ignoring other verses that would alter the overall meaning of those words. I see people whom I respect on both sides of each of these issues, but also people with bad, self-righteous attitudes on both sides.
Peace family, today, I want to challenge you: instead of looking to society, let’s directly ask God the hard questions. Instead of spreading memes, let’s pray about the situations. Instead of merely swallowing what a side says is THE way to deal with something, let’s take it to God. Let’s read the Bible and examine it in an informed context, with a sensitive heart towards the movement of the spirit. Say, “God, I know that your Bible says such-and-such. I know that you care about this issue. I know that I want to honor you with my life. What specific ways do you want me to deal with this situation? What wisdom and perspective can you give me about this issue? What areas do I need to repent or to forgive others regarding this issue?” If you give some focused time to God, you really do take time to examine the Bible and know the scriptures, and you spend enough time reading about and knowing God in order to understand his character, he will give you clarity that is much better than anything people can give you.
Peace family, these issues are complex and big, but God is bigger. Let’s trust him with these issues, and when we feel lost, let’s take them directly to him. No matter how lost you may feel, if you keep your eyes on the Guide, you will be headed in the right direction.