Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fear of the Future

"For He Himself is our Peace."  Ephesians 2:14

I've had a handful of sleepless nights lately worrying about the future.  I barely watch the news and I only open the newspaper to get the Sunday coupons out, but it's still hard to escape what is happening in our country and our world today.  Still, I can see daily how anything related to God is seen as offensive, mean-spirited, and hateful and how any mention of Him is slowly being pushed out of society.  If God is the offending party, then why are times getting worse and worse the more He is pushed out?  If the Lord is really all that they are saying He is, then shouldn't the world be a more peaceful place without Him?  But it's not.  It's worse and the world is blinded to see the Truth.  Instead, they shout "Crucify Him!"

Dwight L. Moody said, "A great many people are trying to make peace, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all we have to do is to enter into it."  We say we want "world peace" but the only way to have it is through Christ because He is our Peace.

So I find myself looking at a world that hates Christ and nations rising up against nations and governments controlling every aspect of people's lives and what that has the real potential to lead to, and it sometimes robs me of sleep.  But it also leads me to the Word of God.  I remember when my own personal world was falling apart and it was all I could do even to function and walk through the house, the only thing that gave me any kind of relief was God's Word and His supernatural peace.

That's because only way to combat fear is the Word of God.

I was watching Charles Stanley on TV last night and he did a great message on discernment.  He also reiterated the importance in being in God's Word.  What should we read?  He said it doesn't matter.  "The Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."  Hebrews 4:12

I have been reading my Bible a lot more lately and I can testify to the fact that it does give me a peace beyond all understanding in the midst of a world in chaos.  I don't like living in fear.  I feel like having a fear of the future robs me of joy in my today.

I have also been trying to memorize more scripture lately and have also been teaching my kids to memorize scripture.  The way things are looking these days, there may come a day when we are not allowed to carry a Bible, the way things already are in other countries.  However, no one can take away what is already hidden in our hearts.  In fact, that was my kids' Bible verse from church last Sunday... "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee."  Psalm 119:11.  We are making preparations now for this "Godless" future.

It really is a scary world out there, capable of inciting crippling fear.  But He is our Peace and clinging to God and His Word is the only way to have peace in a dying world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Facade of Freedom

"The wrath of God is being revealed... therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of the world."  Romans 1: 18, 24

Have you noticed lately that the popular worldview (or at least the media worldview) these days touts Americans as having the freedom to live they way they want to live?  Really?  I find it interesting that a woman should have the choice to do with "her body" what she wants, however she should not have the choice to drink a large soda.

I recently started doing a study on the book of Romans with a friend of mine and we've both been journaling our thoughts on the different chapters and verses after we read.  As I was reading through a few of my notes on Chapter 1 this morning, I just realized again how relevant the words of Romans are to today's postmodern culture.

Verse 18 says that the wrath of God is being revealed.  Verse 24 goes on to say that God gave them over to the sinful desires of the world.  Could it be that the wrath of God is in allowing us to have our own way?  We think true freedom is having our own way.  However, later in Romans it talks about the fact that there is no one righteous.  We are all sinners.  When I look at the way of the world today with all of the violence and hatred and desire to do whatever we want without regard, it's not so much that God is doing this to us, but that we are doing this to ourselves and His wrath is being revealed in the fact that He has not stopped the things that are happening (yet).

We think we have freedom having things our own way.  But our own way is sinful and being allowed to reject God and do things our own way leads to being a slave to sin.  The campaign to choose for ourselves what we want to do with our own bodies, relationships, etc is disguised as freedom but is really an invisible road leading towards slavery.  This disguised freedom is in fact, bondage.  "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14 KJV)

God's law is not close-minded and harsh.  It is there to save us from ourselves and protect our freedom through Christ rather than becoming slaves to sin.  His Word tells us how we should live, but we reject that saying it is intolerant and restrictive.  I don't hold my kids' hands in the parking lot because I want to restrict them.  It's because I know they are boys and they like to run around and play and I want to protect them.  I'm not judging them for being boys and I don't hate them for wanting to run and play.  Holding their hands may seem restrictive but I set boundaries for them for their own good because I love them.

We live in a culture that calls good, evil and evil, good.  It calls slavery, freedom and freedom, slavery.

"The wrath of God is being revealed... therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts."

Just something to think about...