There are so many things in life that require our decisions. One of the great things about being a follower of Christ is that the Word of God lifts the fog on many important decisions. Common sense says there are some things that are clearly the right thing to do.
So what do you do when common sense is abandoned for expediency? What do you do when a culture “stiff arms” the parameters of God’s Word and considers His perspective antiquated and irrelevant?
The convictional people of God must express courage. Courage is not merely the absence of fear as much as it is the tenacity of leading through a crisis.
Sometimes that means standing still with strength that is not your own. Sometimes that means expressing wise principles in the face of those who love their narrow-mindedness more than inquiry of the facts. Sometimes it means asserting energy to push back an enemy’s advance. Sometimes it means extraordinary prayer. How much prayer is that? More than you are doing now.
Let’s remember that peace and prosperity are in abundance when a culture’s understanding of what is right aligns itself with Scripture (read Deuteronomy 28, blessings and cursings). We like the blessings.
Part of being a blessed people is illustrated by the people of God treating people with respect; showing compassion to those who are wounded by the world; telling the truth; loyalty to one’s spouse; respecting the conscience of others; celebrating the dignity and purposeful potential of every human life.
January 17 is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This day did not appear on our calendars until 1973. Now we use this day to mourn the 61 million children killed in the abortuaries of the United States. The blood of the innocent is on our hands and we cannot fix the problem on our own or we would have already fixed it.
One reason this holocaust continues is because there are too many people who think that eliminating the consequences of their sexual choices is somehow justifiable. Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court reinforces this mindset. However, we deny the reality that every abortion denies the choices of the baby’s life. Life is God’s choice, not man’s.
What happens in a culture where the majority of its citizens claim to have some kind of Christian connection or Judeo Christian values yet does not consider obedience to God as a priority? Our rebellious choices open wide the cursings that are described in Deuteronomy 28. When you are in trouble with God, you are in big-time troubles.
“The LORD will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me” (Deut. 28:20 ESV). Note it is the “Lord” who sends the trouble on a nation. When God troubles you, the only solution is God.
There is hope!
The God who lifts his protective hand to release the cursings is the same God who loves and is merciful. While He hates our pride, He listens for the humbled, repentant heart.
This is the time to cry out to God.
That is what we are told to do: “Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD” (Joel 1:14 ESV).
In January, all across this nation there are people in evangelical churches focused on “crying out to God.” It starts in our personal prayer closet or “war room.” Then it transitions into our churches setting aside time to fast and pray and confess our sin.
This week in a gathering of leaders who influence one-third of the evangelical churches in the United States, a statement was made that pierced my heart. “Bend the church, save the world.” How true. If disciples of the Lord Jesus would set aside time for cleansing and humble restoration, God’s Spirit would empower us in a fresh way to reach our communities and the world with the transformational gospel.
February 4-5 are the dates of the Evangelism Conference – Desperate for Jesus. This is the event that brings together people who are hungry for God’s manifest presence in our churches and our culture. I hope you will prioritize those dates and come to Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield, prepared for God to move in an amazing fashion. Learn more, and register, at MoBaptist.org/evangelism.