Good morning friends! Happy Thursday and welcome to a new year (and a new blog host) with Cultivating Jewels! I pray your New Year is off to a good start and am excited to continue on through this year with you.
I was meant to post about setting Christ centered goals, and while that’s a topic I would love to write on, with the events of our country lately God has directed me to talk about something else today. I am not here to speculate, to point fingers or to fear monger, honestly right now aligning myself as either a republican or democrat seems a little dicey. I am a conservative Christian living under the dominion of Jesus Christ. This post is not to gain political followers, I have no desire to write on the topic any more than I absolutely have to. Having a calling to equip women to cultivate deeper relationships with the One True King, I simply cannot bury my head in the sand when hard or uncomfortable situations come to pass.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Ronald Reagan
This storming of the US Capitol was unprecedented. It was not, as some would like to believe, done in the name of God nor did it produce any spiritual fruit for God. It also did not take God by surprise, He knew this day would come since before He hung the stars in place. My guess is, you find yourself in a similar place as the rest of us, wondering what actions to take to move forward, how to live in a world that feels like it is daily falling apart at the seems.
I will be the first to tell you I do not have the answers. It doesn’t matter what Amber has to say. We must seek not our favorite blogger, friend, family member or neighbor’s opinion in this time (or any other) but God’s opinion – always. So then the question becomes, what does God want us to do? The old, “what would Jesus do” cliché, really isn’t so cliché anymore. My favorite answer to this question is H.W.L.F –He would love first. First and foremost before we get any further we must remember that everyone involved here is an image bearer of Christ and must be treated as such. We may not like or agree with what they are doing – they might be responding in ways that do not represent Christ but to strip them of their image bearing would be a mistake on our part. Jesus loves. Does it break His heart the place our nation (as well as many other nations around the world for one reason or another) are in?? Yes! He weeps with us, but He loves. For God SO loved. This can be hard to wrap our minds around – a good place to start would be to remember we too sin.
The next bit of advice I would have for you in this is to pray. Pray like your life depends on it – because the life of our country and subsequently the life you have always known and loved does. Freedom isn’t free, freedom isn’t something that is inherently ours. Its worked for, its fought for and the absolute best way of fighting is on our knees. Pray for the leaders of our country, pray for protection and peace, pray for knowledge and wisdom and that the plans of the enemy would be thwarted. Yes God reigns, yes God already has established plans but prayer avails much. Prayer is our weapon against an enemy that wants to take us out cold. We must also remember that as much as we love our country, America is not our Sovereign Hope – God is. America is not our forever home – heaven is.
In this time I also want to encourage you to become bold. Get into your Bible, know the word of God, a time is coming when Christians will likely be persecuted and knowing the Word of God, having it written on our hearts, may be all we have. Let His words wash over you and cleanse your life. Allow His word and the work He is doing in your life to shine brightly, do not hide your light under a bushel – under the fear of what is happening in our country or what others may think if you speak out. For, if we stay silent the rocks will cry. (Luke 19:40)
I want to encourage you, especially if you are a mother, to do what you can to keep the peace in your home. Listen, I know this is hard. We are living in times that make history feel all that more real. However, peace is important – important enough that God included it in the 9 fruits of the Spirit. If you are prone to anxiety, turn the news off. I can honestly tell you I had no idea what was happening yesterday until a dear friend visited and filled me in. I don’t play the news in my home to purposefully protect my mental health. Now, I do think its important to stay informed of course but there are ways of doing this that do not steal your peace. If you find that social media is challenging during these times, step away. Allowing the fruit of peace to continue growing in trials is an excellent way of following the example Jesus set forth. Our children (depending on their age of course) need to be protected from what is going on. My two year old for instance does not need to know (nor would he understand) that the capitol was stormed, or that there is a virus causing damage to peoples lives. We can continue to pray with our children about the “health” of our nation while keeping them sheltered from the chaos if you will. Becoming all worked up and then more easily on edge in our parenting is not far to our precious children the Lord has blessed us with. And when we wake up tomorrow and hear more news, we work for that peace all over again, remembering staying close to Christ is the way these fruits will go in our lives.
Transitioning a bit I would like to take a deeper look into a few sections of Scripture that speak to what is going on in our country.
Daniel 2:21-22 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
I think its safe to say we all have our own opinions on how this last election unfolded, that is not what I am interested in discussing today. Rather, this verse tells us that God is not taken by surprise as we might be. Again, God has known of this presidency since before He breathed out the stars and – while it may not be our first choice – it is HIS choice. It can be hard for us to understand why God chooses the people He does for positions of power, let’s be purposeful to remember we do not see the entire picture, God does not reveal every last plan to us. He knows and that has to be enough for us. We have to have faith in Him even when circumstances leave us questioning. Does God support and align Himself with the beliefs and practices of corrupt leaders? Far from it! As we read through the Old Testament evil men were put into power when the nations needed judging.
Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
No matter where we find ourselves placed we are here for such a time as this. I am that girl that loves Little House on the Prairie and the idea of living back on the prairie without social media (funny that I should find my work online). I can romanticize the “Mayberry” era when time went slower and the problems of our world today did not exist. However, God did not create those of us who live today to be pioneer women (surely with their own set of problems). We were created to live right here, in this moment, in this era. Knowing that, we then must embrace our courage and have the faith in God to speak out against injustice. I do not for a second believe we are to be passive as Christians, I think in fact we have been passive for too long. It’s time to let our voices be heard, to preach the truth and to do that we must of course walk by the Spirit as Paul instructs in Galatians 5.
John 11:35 – Jesus wept
Again, as I talked about above you can be sure that Jesus is grieving over this situation. It is not something any of us can take ‘pride’ in. Our country is hurting, unspeakable things are happening and we must be on our knees crying out to God. Judgment and repentance are near. Don’t you dare for a second think that God is in any way shape or form fooled by the sins of the world. He is not. God is just and a just God must execute justice but He is also a God of love and He is brokenhearted at the sate of our world as we talked about above.
I recently read the story of Abraham pleading with God to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if even ___ amount of people were found to be righteous there. It was eye opening to me in regards to our country and who will be counted among the righteous. Are we taking this seriously? I think of the bride grooms mentioned later in the Bible who have oil in their lamps – are we “running door to door”sharing the news of Jesus’ coming return with those in our paths making sure they too have oil? Ladies, Jesus IS coming back and He will take His remnant with Him when He does – let’s do what we can to make sure that not only we but also those we know and love are a part of that.
Jude 14-16 14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.
I create the Scripture Writing plan for my friend Rebekah’s ministry, and in that we are currently writing our way through Jude. So many of us have clearly seen the parallel between the people this short book talks about and those we ‘know of’ today. Because evil exists, there will always be people who practice evil. This is no surprise to us. We must be always on our guard, praying and continually cultivating our relationship with the Lord lest we succumb to the ways of evil ourselves. Sister, do not be fooled, you have an enemy that hates you with such vitriol it is enough to bring me to my knees. He will do -anything- he can to see you turn from God. Do not let that be the case!
It is my prayer that this post was a blessing to you. We are walking through difficult, unprecedented times – but remember, God knows. Cling to God, hold tight to His promises and remember that He has already won the war.
Soli deo gloria!