Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Oh That We Might Live!
“They think it strange [they are surprised] when you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge…” 1 Peter 4:4-5.
We only have to look at our political landscape to see that this passage is completely relative in 2017. Over the past decade or so, we have witnessed a dissipation like no other. A dissipation is defined as the process of slowly disappearing or becoming less. The decade of dissipation has been the slow and painful disappearing of God in our country and the things on which it was founded. It should come as no surprise that our country is divided and torn in half. There is unity where the Spirit is and chaos where evil reigns. But our country IS surprised and in complete shock at the state of America.
But, I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. While there may be a national flood that feels as if everyone has plunged into this acceptance, there are those who still splash in the living waters of Christ, standing for Him and with Him. There are still those who understand where they should bathe… where the water is clean and the goal is righteousness. I do believe that the time has come for this country to be judged, but we must remember that He who judges is motivated by love, not hate…desire not spite. God has been sending judgment into mankind’s choices since Creation with the goal of reconciliation and restoration. We can’t fight the process, and must understand that these times require us to swim against the current of the flood of hate, anger and disharmony. We can’t count God out and deny His power to restore…redeem…reunite. It is to no value to 'have a form of godliness but deny its power' 2 Tim 3:5. But it will NOT be acquired through heaping abuse on the other side. Our anger towards each other highlights our underlying lack of confidence that God is still in control. If we are living in the tension of my party or your party, my issue or your issue we have missed the big picture. This is about the journey back to God as a nation. This is about standing in love and patience through the workings of an omniscient and omnipetent God. We cannot fix what we did not create. Only the Creator has the wisdom, power and knowledge to accomplish this.
Bringing order to chaos is in God’s capabilities and will be accomplished with or without us (‘For God is not a God of disorder but of peace’ 1 Co 14:33). It’s all about choices and how we reconcile our experience in 2017. I am reminded of a quote by Charles Dickens (which I had to Google to remember its origin) that will describe our experience in 2017. On which side of the experience will we be?
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
‘Today I have given you the choice between life and death, blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live!’ Deuteronomy 30:19.