Music has been an outlet for me to deal with a lot of things over the years. Playing guitar is relaxing and is nearly medicinal at times. I can sit down angry and frustrated, anxious, depressed, grieving, or feeling lost, and when I am finished, I usually see myself, my world, and my God in a new perspective. I walk away with a good idea of where my relationship with God currently stands. It’s easy to judge really. What songs did I play? What was I thinking about? Was I primarily thinking about myself, others, or Him? Did anything change in that time? When I am finished, do I wish I could stay and play for another hour or two?
I believe our closeness to the Lord needs to be the most important area of focus in our lives. For me, I gain that closeness through prayer, the Word, and worship. The world is only becoming more complicated and demanding day by day. We don’t need government mandates to tell us that we must accept something when it is our very own personal choice. We don’t need anyone telling us what or how we should think and believe. We don’t need others telling us what should be taught and how it should be taught to our children. These are real issues that are here today, not tomorrow, or some distant future. How do we handle them? Where is God in the midst of this?
I think there are a couple of thoughts to look at in helping us navigate these situations and prioritize our actions. The first is knowing beyond all shadow of doubt that God is with us. We are reminded several times throughout scripture that He is indeed with us.
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalms 46:1)
- What shall we then say then to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
- The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: What can man do unto me? (Psalms 118:6)
- Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)
We can see clearly what is said about God’s commitment to the relationship. God’s love for us is so great, not only did he sacrifice and suffer for our sins to never be remembered again, but also to heal us from addiction, shame, and suffering. There is a saying that God is a verb. God is movement, energy, and action. I tend to only view Him this way when I need something physically, emotionally, or really struggling spiritually. How tragic and short-sided that is. He is not idle. He is not dead. He is not our slave to serve our every whim.
The second thing I think we must do is clarify our commitment to the relationship. Are we with God? Do we stand for Him, or keep our heads down to play it safe in the world’s eyes? Are we stepping out and walking in the faith and love of Jesus? Do we hate sin and evil enough to stand against it as Christ did? Or do we get a free pass because that is His problem to deal with? Are we focused so much on ourselves, that we don’t even have a clue what we even need to think about, much less actually put the work in to do? Stop and think for a minute about the time we spend on social media boosting ourselves, trying to get more likes, shares, and followers. For what purpose? Christians are abducted… crickets. Movie set mistake and the social media posts blow up. Why? Because where our treasure is, our heart is also!
God has given each of us a platform to spread His love and encouragement to one another. Do we take advantage of it? We are even commanded to go spread the gospel into all the world. Meaning, go tell and share the goodness and love of Christ. Encourage those around us, even when they aren’t at the same place we are at. Are we, as the Church, going to stand for God? Are we going to allow the evil of the world to penetrate the Church more and more? Can we not get back to loving the sinner without having to tolerate or accept the sin? Or must we compromise to fill the coffers? When does the Church say enough is enough! No more! Church is where we all, who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, need to go to repent, repair, restore, and resolve our relationship with the Father, through Jesus Christ. The world we live in is upside down. Church, let’s not follow suit.
I’ll leave you with this scripture to ponder:
Romans 13:9-14 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14But put ye on the LORD Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
— Written by Lee