Are You Nuts?
Pastor Armstrong beat me to the punch today with his excellent post concerning the Presidential Election. While I was sleeping on the article below for fear that its tone was perhaps too harsh, he was seizing the day. We have the same message from different approaches, which is sometimes helpful to those of us who operate from the other side of the brain, so I hope you’ll pardon the redundancy while I beat a half-dead dead horse.
So my husband was in Vegas recently for a conference. While he was there he took great joy in sending us photos of all the decadent food he was eating. I'm not sure why since it was nothing short of torment for us. Maybe that was why.
All of the food on the buffet line was identified with little signs so you wouldn’t confuse the catfish with the chicken strips (have mercy!!) and so that you were aware of any potential allergens. One day he found this little sign in front of a bowl. It read:
Yeah. That’s what he thought. It just is what it is, right?
The world has a buffet line of gods from which to choose. For the unbeliever, your God is just one among many and you, Christian, are the little sign in front of Him. People want to know what they’re getting before they choose and they’re looking to you to make that clear. So, as the Presidential Election (finally!) comes to a conclusion this week, ask yourself what you’re advertising about your God.
You claim to be a follower of an almighty, sovereign God who created the universe, holds it in His hand and keeps it spinning. You claim to believe in a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps, who has purposed good things for His people, whose son died to give you hope. You claim to believe in the One who was and is and is to come, and yet you despair, publicly, while the world is watching, and what you reveal is a god who is altogether different from the One you claim to serve. One who is not entirely trustworthy. One who is not wholly powerful. One who is asleep at the wheel – or worse – is capricious. One who has abandoned His people to hopelessness.
But we are not a people without hope! We have a Hope that does not disappoint! Where the election is concerned, we prayed, we fasted, and we voted our conscience. But God ultimately had a different plan (assuming you voted for the guy who lost.) God has His own plans and they don’t always look like ours. Will we trust Him anyway? Or are we offended because He didn’t follow our plan? (Surely we are wiser than God, right?)
Maybe it’s time to reexamine the contents of your bowl. Maybe until now you haven’t really stopped to scrutinize the ingredients, and this election has served a valuable purpose (if you choose to let it) in revealing a lot of filler and imitation flavor in your faith. It’s easy to proclaim the wonders of God in the good times, but what about when He disappoints you? When you chew that up and swallow it, is it the same God you believed in before things got hard? Or do you have a god of your own making, from whom you expect obedience, and by whom you feel betrayed?
Hard times will come. The world will crumble around us (have you read the end of the Book?!). These things should not take us by surprise! At the end of the day, when the world considers the God we’re offering, the sign of our lives should read:
Unshakable, unsearchable, unchangeable
From everlasting to everlasting
Our Blessed Hope
Our Savior, Redeemer and Friend
Our Sovereign Lord and Master
The One in whom we trust
Post Script – I’ve found reading through Judges and 1st Kings to be extraordinarily helpful recently. These dark books we tend to avoid have helped me understand that:
1. God works through all kinds of people to accomplish His purposes.
2. His reason for allowing moral decay is ultimately to drive His wayward people back to Him. (He excels at saving people from themselves!)
3. God will not rob ANY man of his own will, but will continue to work through the circumstances to bring Himself glory.
Even though “my” candidate did not win this election, I am eager to see what God intends. And I feel an urgent need to be “ready”. The world may need us, fellow Christian, to hold out a Hope they have not yet considered – do we have One to offer? One who is what He is?
I believe God has already used this to reveal something to His people. I believe that our collective despair reveals a dangerously shallow and misguided “faith”. One that will not stand when tested. One that has, indeed, not stood this test. I believe that we need to be seeking God’s face (to use a trite Christian cliché) about our personal spiritual conditions. From brokenness, we can build (read Ezra and Nehemiah for inspiration and instruction). So if you find yourself convicted because your faith faltered and you now realize that the god you have believed in has, in part, been a god of your own making, take heart! And get busy rebuilding on the foundation of the Word of Truth! Time’s a wastin’.