Ever since we started the renovations at our place in the country, it has always been a treat to go sit on the back porch and soak in the beauty of the Texas countryside. I can sit out there in the morning and listen to the birds awakening with the dawn and then enjoy the croaking of what must be ten thousand frogs and crickets in the evening. It is peaceful, quiet, and still – the way I long for my heart to be in the midst of the chaos of life. And it is in those quiet moments – when I am "still and know that He is God" – that God speaks to me and calms the storm within. That is what I want to share with you in these posts. I want to share my view from the back porch. Some of my posts will reflect a few of the things I have learned in my journey through life. Some will simply be statements of what I see in our culture and how we as Christians should respond. I teach a Bible study class each week to an extremely eclectic group of adults and some of the posts and videos I share will be taken from those lessons. I have no delusions of profundity but rather I hope to cause you to think, to laugh, to ponder anew your life as Christ would have you live it. Furthermore, I hope this will be a conversation and not just a monologue. I would love to hear your thoughts, hopes, fears and anything else you would feel comfortable sharing with me. It's wonderful to relax here on the back porch enjoying the view, so pour yourself some coffee (or the beverage of your choosing) and let's talk.
When things were heating up in the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Ben Franklin called the body to prayer. Without this submission to God’s providence we might never have become the nation we are today.
Likewise, things are heating up in our nation and we must once again listen to the words of Ben Franklin – not for the founding of the nation, but for its continuation.
As we are admonished in 1 Peter 5:5b-9a, we must dress ourselves in humility and not pride as we relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (Proverbs 3:34)We must humble ourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift us up in honor. We must give all our worries and cares to God, for he cares about us. Furthermore, we must stay alert and watch out for our great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. We must stand firm against him, and be strong in our faith.
It is true a nation cannot rise without the power and aid and supervision of the Almighty Creator. “He removes kings and raises up kings.” (Daniel 2:21) Therefore, can we expect our nation to continue without Him? At this time of the year when we celebrate our Independence we must also acknowledge our total Dependence on God and call on Him to once again intervene in the public and private affairs of the citizens of this great nation. Then and only then will we experience in 2022 that which Abraham Lincoln declared in 1864 in his Gettysburg Address “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Scripture has much to say about the relationship between Christians and the governments under which they live. We are told in Romans 13:1 that no authority exists except by God and that authorities that do exist have been established by God. We know we are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s, but we must also remember that we have been given a roll of support for those in governing positions. In 2 Peter 2:17 we were told to honor the emperor. In Romans 13:1 and in 1 Peter 2:13 we are told to submit to the governing authorities. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 we are told to pray for those in authority over us – for those who are in high positions. We are to intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. This last one is rather hard to do when our personal beliefs and opinions are at times the exact opposite of those in authority and yet, the command is there and we have no choice as followers of Christ but to submit to that command.
However, an even more sobering thought is that, in America, We the People are the ultimate authority. We the People are the ones in charge. We the People are the ones who decide who comes and goes in those higher places. We the People are responsible. The buck stops with us. So if we pray for those in authority, perhaps the most significant prayers should be offered for ourselves – We the People. Until we the People are on solid footing in total subjection to our Supreme commander, the Lord God almighty, then our decisions as the governing authorities in America are flawed at best and disastrous at worst. We really can’t blame the governing authorities because the governing authorities are us. We can’t point to Washington or to our state capitals as the source of our societal evils when we ourselves will not acknowledge the sin that so easily entangles us.
It’s time to pray for America and those who are in positions of authority. It’s time to pray that We the People will come to recognize God as the one who has placed us in this position of leadership in our country and act accordingly. May God Bless America and may god bless us as individual Americans who must assume our God-given and constitutionally-mandated responsibilities as the governing authorities of our great nation.