Some Random Thoughts

13Aug10

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster, spiritually. I’ve succeeded, then failed, then recovered, only to fail again. I’ve spent a lot of time in the metaphorical sunshine, only to fall gain and feel like a failure. In all of it, I’m amazed at God’s forgiveness. His mercy is new every morning. I’ve literally spent a lot of time on my knees asking God for patience and mercy and begging Him not to give up on me. There’s a scene from a movie that has been ringing in my ears this week, and it’s become a mantra of mine. It’s from The Book of Eli goes like this:

Antagonist: “God is good, huh?” [insultingly as he triumphs over the protagonist]

Eli (protagonist): “All the time.” [sincerely, despite bleak circumstances]

“God is good, all the time.” God has given me wisdom to defeat my pride, which tells me to reject God’s grace in favor of earning my right to be ‘on His good side’, so to speak. I’ve been remarkably able to humble myself and ask God for His forgiveness and He’s been quick to give it. He is good, all the time.

A lot of my defeats center around a lack of discipline. Failure to abstain from anger and pride. Failure to get up early and spend time with God. Failure to spend time with God in favor of video games or other hobbies. Failure to view my life and resources as tools to be used for God to further His kingdom. Failure to honor God by making Him and His kingdom the most important thing in my life.

New Topic.

One of my favorite verses lately has been Matthew 3:9. John T. Baptist is talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees about the wrath of God. Okay, ‘talking’ is an understatement, ‘scolding’ is better. Essentially, the Pharisees and Sadducees are behaving as if they are untouchable by God because a long time ago God promised Abraham many descendants (some of which are the Pharisees and Sadducees) and so God can’t destroy them. John says this: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do no think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones, God can raise up children for Abraham.” In other words, God doesn’t need us. He’s not at our mercy. He truly is all mighty. Omnipotent. God doesn’t owe us, he allows us to participate in His work–he’s not obligated to us. He’s God, we are (wo)men. He is Holy, we are dirty.

New Topic.

It drives me crazy when I hear Christian people insulting and disrespecting our President or complaining about him, etc. Or at least it bothers me when they do that and then use the Bible to make a point. The Bible is extremely clear that we are to respect those God has placed in authority over us. Romans 13:1-2 (titled “Submission to the Authorities”) says:

Everyone must sibmit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have ben established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

The Bible makes no exception for leaders with whom we disagree or those of a certain political affiliation. The leaders God endorses aren’t the leaders we want, they are the leaders that are currently in power. Whether they lead well or not is between them and God. We needn’t fear ‘bad’ leaders because God is willing and mighty to deliver we from their wrath or inadequacies if we trust in Him. It’s called faith. We are kidding ourselves when we justify our rebellion.

Biblically, the only times God is okay with rebellion against authority is when he orders it, or when the authority commands us [followers of God] to break God’s own commands. God gives David permission to slay Saul (Saul is chasing David, trying to kill him), but David refuses because Saul is the Lord’s anointed. Saul is a terrible leader, but David doesn’t use it as an excuse to kill him and take the kingdom God promised to him. He’s content having faith that God will deliver him from Saul and give him the kingdom in His own time. In Daniel 3, the Babylonian king commands all those under him to worship an idol, and when some of his Jewish subjects refuse, he orders them thrown into the furnace. They are perfectly submissive to him in all things that are sacrificial to them, but they refuse to sacrifice the honor that belongs to God. Read Daniel 3, it’s great and it’s short. Read Daniel 6 for more on obedience to bad rulers.

The core of my frustration is the hypocrisy that we have, using our religion when it benefits us, but not when its costly to us. Our actions say that God’s commands are less important than our financial well-being. We are staining the Gospel of Jesus Christ through association. As it is written, “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” (Romans 2:24). This could easily read, “Our hypocrisy is why the non-believers don’t take God or this Gospel seriously, to the point of blasphemy” for this generation. Read the context and tell me if I’m wrong.

We behave as if God can’t save us from heavy taxes or something. Yeah, it might be bad economic policy but God is bigger than the economy. I promise. Jesus says if we have faith, we can ask for anything in His name and it will be given. He doesn’t say, “anything except for taxes, God’s not powerful enough to compensate for taxes”. He actually says, “render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what is God’s.” And to the best of my knowledge, no where in the Bible is it okay to complain about our circumstances. Complaining is the surest sign of a lack of faith.

This is faith:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:31-33

Did you catch that promise? I bolded it for you. Put God’s kingdom and righteousness before your worries for yourself and God will resolve your worries for you. Have faith. Trust in God. You don’t need to worry and complain about your leadership because God is big enough to supplement you. If you are concerned about being too heavily taxed, just obey God by obeying your leadership and God will take care of you. He knows your needs before you ask him.

Alright, that’s enough ranting for now. Enjoy the weekend. Peace.

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