Lay it Down

Once again I stare at a blank page with so much on my heart and mind, but not knowing how to get it out.  I’m afraid this one’s gonna be one of those rambling, winding butterfly chasing posts that hopefully makes sense at the end.

Every now and then someone will write a comment, or a few folks will discuss things that seem to fit somehow and get interwoven into my mind with all the rest.

A conversation I had at work the other day left me wondering the same thing I have been trying to figure out for a while.  I don’t talk politics much anymore- not online or in my daily interactions at work or other places. It’s not that it’s never on my mind, but I’ve come to the conclusion that none of what I think matters to everyone else who have strong opinions of their own. Yet for quite a while I’ve tried to figure out just how someone who had done her share of politicking in the past, severely outspoken, actively engaged and spending more waking hours on promoting, exhorting, complaining, fighting… you get the picture… has taken a complete 360 degree turn and now pretty much forgoes all things political.

It seems to be a combination of things, which I won’t deny, God used to shake my world… which also shook my world view.  When I began writing online, most of my topics were political but from a Biblical worldview. More of my topics where towards a lukewarm or apostate church (all denominations) and apologetics.  Other topics dealt with our Founders and Constitution. Somehow it drifted into more political during the 2012 election, and eventually with the creation of CFP, politics took up more and more of my thoughts and subject matter.

Not that there’s anything wrong with being involved- we’re actually meant to be involved and mostly pray for our leaders.  But it became a form of idolatry because it took precedence over our Sovereign Lord. It even in some ways took precedence over my family as I became more involved, yet as I look back, it brought Michael and I closer in a few ways as he’d never been political and he began to pay attention more.

When he got sick, I thought he could get better. I began researching and kept track of symptoms and other information I thought could help as I realized how severe his illness was. I just didn’t realize how fast it progressed and when he died, I knew God would be with the boy and I.  But the whole time surrounding his death and the things that happened during the months after just left me numb and going through things I had no clue of what I was doing, but having to do them anyway.  Which made me depend on God more and more every day. Even now for most simple things, I need that sense of God  helping me get through every day. And, in some ways, my writing now reflects more of that. It’s like He used my experiences of the past few years to bring me back to what’s most important.

In the conversation at work, I mentioned that it was around the time Michael died when the Ferguson riots began.  And that I saw two Americas then. That which the social justice warriors, media and politicians tried to describe us as, and that which I was experiencing with people from all over the country, from different walks of life, who were encouraging and helping me, someone they had never met.  That to me was the real America.

But even that America became divided and continues to be shattered and it’s been hurting my heart to see. As we saw a contentious and vicious primary season begin once more, and the level of mean spiritedness between people who had once been fast friends and compatriots… and especially between those who are Christians, it just left more of a numbness for all things political and caused me to look to Jesus, because He’s the only One who can heal us…

Despite the start of this, this article is not about who voted for whom, how, why, or how much so and so does politically, or how this and that is good or bad for our country. I am neutral, I have seen good things and a lot of not so good, but all in all, I am pretty much removed from most of it, whether or not it effects me personally or not. This is not an argument for, against or reasoning the state of politics or our nation.  This is more of the reasoning of the heart, an exhortation maybe, or a lamentation. I really don’t know- I guess this is for all of you who read it are to figure out.

An article by TexasBullFrog has been on my mind, as also one from SJmom… both of which have a lot to do with what’s on my mind and has been for a couple of years now. But then something Walter said in a comment about a week ago sparked yet another thought….

I am better off if I do not involve myself in the turmoil that reigns on the boards. Am I right to distance myself from the fray?? Then I think to myself, if we all take a holiday from the fray, what will become of the message that we are trying to convey??

As you can see, I am conflicted. Some days like today leave me flat, unable to decipher what I should do. All I can do is hang on tight as the Lord is in control, yet I feel that I have failed the Lord.

I am still angry that people have so little regard for our veterans. Just where do they think their freedom comes from? The freedoms we enjoy are there only if we are willing to protect them.

We can raise the Lord’s banner, but the world at large has no desire to either join us or even hear the message of hope that we are trying to convey.”

I am conflicted too most days, as I’m sure a number of folks are. Even those of us removed from most political things these days, there is still the underlying knowledge that ours is a nation filled with hateful, spiteful, divisive people, and that while many of those are lost and willfully blind of the Gospel truth, preferring the darkness of the worldly selfish things, others are Christians and yet again I have to wonder what kind of witness are we being in acting so much like the lost when it comes to politics, opinions and constant daily bickering and arguing?

Whether or not people agree with the politics or social issues, we need to understand that these are not the enemy, and they are not what we should be fighting over.  Do I hate much of the anti Christian ideology in our society these days? Yes. Do I hate many policies our government has promoted in our nation, such as tax payer provided abortion and promoting Homosexual marriage? Yes. Do I despise how quickly so called tolerance has morphed into accept it or else?  Yes.  Is it worth fighting in the political realm? No.

Wait, What?!

Sure things can improve politically- fact witnessed just days ago that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Christian baker in Colorado who wouldn’t go against his conscience to bake cakes for homosexual weddings.  Yet the decision was based on anti-religious bias, not whether someone has a right to conscience when it is in conflict with society’s civil rights. Does the ruling make people stop fighting each other?  No.  It was a win for religious freedom from being called a bigot for sure, but in the long run, how is this going to help the lost to know Jesus?

In his article, TX  asked the question Do you love your fellow man?  In my own personal wrestling with this, I have got to go one step further. Do you love those who are on the opposite sides of politics, beliefs, lifestyles?  Those who mock and fight against things and people you hold dear… Our Constitution, those who have fought and still  fight for it, our God given rights… Our God?

Mom’s article reminded us of how much our world is in desperate need of our Lord and Savior, because as much as we’ve removed Him from our society and lives, love has been replaced by a growing cynicism, mean spirit, divisiveness and hate.  We are living in a world without love because we have done everything to remove Him, who is love.

Some days I feel as young as the 23 year old I am in my head. Other days I feel as ancient as can be… but in the scheme of things, I’m not that old. Yet within my lifetime we have  removed God from our schools and replaced Him with truth is relative, as are morals, where if it feels good, do it. With God still allowed,  younger generations might just learn that He who is “I am the truth, the life and the way....” proves there is a moral lawgiver, and while He loves us, He is Holy and will not tolerate sin. And that His Truth is absolute.

The western church has watered down the Holy Word of God to keep from offending people and yet those people remain lost because of it.  We went from a nation which sent out more missionaries than any other country to a self centered, comfortable god that custom fits one’s lifestyle, and now we have two generations who’ve never heard Who Jesus is? Even with churches on every corner, we have so many who have never heard the Gospel message. How can this be?

And what are we doing about it?

We’re fighting each other and arguing over a temporary system and growing more bitter toward each other- while ignoring the heart of it all.

And the enemy loves it.

Why are we doing this? Because of the same thing that drove the devil out of heaven.

Pride takes form in many ways, but for politics it’s because we want to be proven right and others wrong. In society, it’s because we think our way is best for society, or that we can do things better than those who’ve tried before but failed.  In our personal lives, which does have an effect on society, we’ve trusted ourselves as being our own gods, in control of our own desires.

During so many political events, national prayers and religious right political solicitations, the same scripture verse is used almost as if praying and reminding each other of   2 Chronicles 7:14  will cause a republican political landslide and our country will be great again.

And yet, does anyone actually consider that there must be some pretty significant actions done by Christians first before God will even hear our prayers? Humble themselves.  Turn from their wicked ways. Seek His face. Seek Him.

Which brings me to what Walter wrote.  We can raise the Lord’s banner, but the world at large has no desire to either join us or even hear the message of hope that we are trying to convey.

Maybe because we’ve not only failed to convey it, but we expect results, and if people refuse to join us, we get bitter and argue with them.

With so many thoughts rambling through this head of mine, I’ve finally figured out, it’s not meant for me to get anywhere with arguing and politicking.  God never calls His people to do any of that. He calls us to be salt and light to  a lost world.  We can’t do that with our constant bickering and mean spirited pride getting in the way.

Satan knows words and arguing won’t make a difference in changing our world for the better, neither will politics, but he’ll keep on using these things to try and distract us. It’s not for us to worry and join in the arguments- but to do what God asks us to do, raise His banner- His Truth His Love and message of Salvation,  in love, mercy and grace, just as He has shown toward us.

But before we can raise God’s Banner, we must lay our own down first.

I hope everyone has a blessed day.