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.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Voting is both a right and a privilege here in the United States. But whether you live in the U.S. or in some other county, the admonition Paul gives Timothy applies to us today. Here in the U.S. we have begun to think that our future is determined by the vote. As citizens we should be salt and light within our country and, consequently, we should be involved in the political process as much as is in our power to do so. However, our faith must be in the One Who establishes and allows governments to exist. Our hope must be in Him. Only then can we walk in wisdom and in peace in the midst of a political storm, a geo-political conflict, or a peace–squelching effort on the part of any human or institution.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.
“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.” Psalm 146:2-5 (NLT)
I will pray and I will vote for the candidate and party whose platform best aligns with my Christian values, but I can never put my faith in human institutions and human office holders. Joyful are those whose hope is in the Lord their God. Disappointment awaits those whose hope in the leader of our country.
It seems that with all the noise going on it’s hard to tell who to believe, who to trust, and what to do with what little knowledge they seem to bring. One health expert gives their opinion based on their experience in their research, but another health expert says just the opposite. One politician tell us what he believes and what his constituents believe is the best course of action and another politician says just the opposite. One scientist gives a report on what is happening and another scientist says just the opposite. One mental health expert explains why people act the way they do and another mental health expert says just the opposite. One sociologist says why people act the way they do and another sociologist says just the opposite.
So who do we believe? Why, the one(s) we agree with the most, of course. No need to balance and reconcile opposing views of others. Quite frankly, we don’t need to even entertain their thoughts. Ridicule them? Yes, but we need not carefully consider them or what they say. After all, their ideas don’t align with what we want to hear.
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3 NLT) When Paul gave this admonition to Timothy he was warning him about false doctrine coming into the church. My concern is that false information is guiding Christians because many believers choose to act relying solely on the knowledge provided by humans (even experts and/or authorities) while ignoring the wisdom of God. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice. Proverbs 15:22 reminds us that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” However, there is something wrong – disastrously wrong – with seeking advice and not seeking God. Psalm 118:8-9 says it this way:
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
May we, as believers, always take refuge in the Lord; always trust His wisdom: always rely on Him for our safety, understanding, and peace. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3