Ok – it’s time again for my pre-election stump speech entitled “Where are the Christians”
I guess if I were to say the ONE thing that bothers me about politics and spiritually minded folks is they don’t seem to be able to exist together. When I listen to a discussion about politics between Christians – I don’t hear or see anything different coming from them than I do unbelievers or the talking heads on the news. Doesn’t something seem wrong with this picture? Where are the joyful followers of God who feel a peace that passes understanding?
Most of us are pretty comfortable with going to the Bible as an example of how to live today – so I thought I might share a situation that I think applies to this.
There was once a man who terrified God’s people. He taunted them 2 times a day – calling attention to his power over them. He thrilled at their fear. He gloried in it.
“This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other! (1 Sam. 17:10)
While we are certainly in the threat of trying times – we aren’t having our lives nor even our pocketbooks actually in eminent danger. We don’t have taunt-ers advertising they have America by the shorthairs. We don’t have people on the news laughing at the predicament they have America in. Nor are they blaring in our streets over microphones, laughing as we are living in their grip of their terror.
Yet – that is exactly what Goliath was doing.
When Saul and his men heard the Philistine’s challenge they were terrified and lost all hope. ( 1 Sam. 17:11)
I wonder how our reaction to supposed fear compares to a man of God – David’s -reaction to a real one. It seems to me we fit more with Saul and his men. Did David complain, demean, organize hate groups, pass information around to ruin the name of Goliath? Did he take matters in his own hands, get numbers on his side, pass around bumper stickers that said “Vote like an Israeli” or “Get your 'Rally for Rocks' t-shirt here! Join our ranks!?”
David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (1 Sam. 17:26)
David’s initial response to this real, impending problem is to talk about God. I don’t see the others around doing the same. They were too busy quivering. David’s mind goes to God immediately. It reminds me of Proverbs, “Acknowledge me in all your ways and I’ll direct your steps.” I wonder if Solomon’s words came from observing his father David’s life? His life with God and the faith he had were lived in his reality – not just his email posts or in bible class discussions.
Now the next part is something that’s particularly interesting to me. Ask any Christian and he/she will tell you all about the times that God has been involved in his life. They generally talk your ear off. :) Prayers have been answered, mountains moved, lives changed, hearts touched. The product of these experiences should be faith – a faith that is rooted deeply in experiences. But our faith does not seem to exist during times like these. God, who was strong enough for us to depend on in all those prayers and insurmountable life experiences, just doesn’t have what it takes in the serious governmental issues facing our country today. We need to wrest it from His hands and handle it ourselves.
“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:37)
Have you heard this from the discussions of Christians during this election and times of financial troubles? I haven’t. Why not? Where is our faith?
I love this next one:
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Sam. 17:45-47)
Another point I like about this is WHY David called on God. It isn’t to save David’s skin. It isn’t so the Israelites can quit being terrorized. It’s not so they don’t lose their retirement or have lower taxes. It’s so the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. However, why are we calling on God today? (Those of us who even are taking that step at
David is God centered. Everyone else is Goliath centered.
Where is your center?
And the deal is – it’s ALL up to us. God doesn’t ask for the world to follow Him. He doesn’t demand numbers or percentages before he’ll step in. He says “However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear [their prayer] from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14)
My question is – why aren’t we witnessing this today among God’s children? Where are the humble, the pray-ers, the folks who change their wicked lives and beg for mercy? Where are those whose hearts, minds, and voices turn first to God – because He has proven Himself to us in the past through the experiences of our lives?
Where are those whose hearts, minds, and voices turn first to God – because He has proven Himself to us in the past through the experiences of our lives? Is our trust in the Savior who has faithfully delivered us from the lion and the bear or the carnal giant political system that never keeps its promises?
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