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Focus: Following the example of Jesus
Luke 6:27-29 (NKJV) But I say to you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.
There is a lot of political unrest in America these days, as one party blames the other for the problems with the economy, the government, the need for peace, healthcare, and the national debt. It’s all to be expected. We are living at the end of the age and things are heating up. Conditions in our country and the world are not going to improve, according to scripture.
What bothers me right now—even more than the stuff going on between the political parties—is the attitude I see in so many Christian people; the ‘righteous arrogance’ against our president and everything else they don’t agree with.
Don’t get me wrong, I may not approve of everything the liberals are doing—and of course it hurts when the ‘religious right’ is radically accused of being a potential terrorist threat and things to that effect—but I don’t think the response on display from a vast number of Christian people and leaders is what scripture shows our attitude should be. It’s as though some of us have forgotten the example of Jesus.
I don’t think we should be turning our head from what is happening to our freedom, but on the other hand, the way to win the battle is “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts (Zechariah 4:6 KJV).” The way to win is by turning from our own wicked ways and falling on our knees—not pointing the finger and finding fault.
There was plenty Jesus could have said in His own defense when He was brought before His accusers. He knew all about the corruption going on behind the scenes during His time on earth. He could have exposed the whole mess—but it had nothing to do with His purpose, so He didn’t waste His time. Jesus humbled Himself and prayed.
When His accusers mocked Him and questioned Him—trying to get Him to argue with them—He didn’t even answer. In the hour of His most extreme pain and trial, Jesus prayed for God to have mercy on the ones who persecuted Him.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) says, “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”
That verse makes no reference to us doing anything but humbling ourselves and praying, seeking God’s face and turning from our own wicked ways.
God isn’t pleased with arrogance. He gets no glory over our ‘righteous rebuttals’. I think He must be sick of hearing us talk about political problems and our criticism of the government. What He is looking for is for us to change…and we haven’t.
An interesting scripture in Zechariah says, Thus says the Lord of Hosts: “Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother. But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of Hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of Hosts. “But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate (Zechariah 7:11-14 KJV).”
God is not asking us to fight His battle during this age. He is calling on us to humble ourselves and pray. Are we so focused on world events and politics that we can’t pay attention to the basic things He appointed us to do? By shrugging our shoulders and stopping our ears to the Word of the Lord, we have hardened our hearts to Him.
We should be asking God to forgive us for ignoring His Word. We should be asking Him to soften our hearts so that we would execute true justice by caring for people with true needs—the widow, the fatherless, the alien, and the poor. We should be spending our time seeking His face and asking His forgiveness for our own personal wickedness.
Declaration: I will find new strength by humbling myself and spending more time in prayer. I will examine my own wicked ways and turn from them. I will stop with all the ‘righteous arrogance’ that gets all of us absolutely nowhere and get on my knees.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.