What will it take for us to wake up and see what is going on with the world? Can’t we see a pattern that has been around for the longest time? Tragedy hits…we mourn for a very short time…then we throw blame in any direction that will help us intellectually understand why the tragedy occurred…then we start spinning our wheels and spending millions of dollars on working towards a “real” and “lasting” change so that this type of tragedy never occurs again…we rally…we lobby…we convince the world and ourselves that there really is “good” in every human heart. We get our new laws passed. We get new grant money for new systems of care. And once again, we proclaim ourselves as victors with the mindset that we, as good and capable human beings, have yet again conquered and solved our problem so that we can progress forward without the help of anyone, but ourselves.
We refuse to let the thought of “perhaps God is trying to show us something” enter our minds. The only thought we attach to God is “if there even is a God, then He must be some sort of sick being to allow these things to happen.” And since we can’t imagine such a being, because after all, we’re all “really good” people on the inside, we easily dismiss and reject the idea that there is a God who may be orchestrating and using circumstances beyond our control. So, with no thought of God and the possibility of accountability to His greater moral ways, we march on to our own victory and pat ourselves on the back when we see our new laws passed and our new grant money hard at work bringing “change.” Then, what happens? Another tragedy strikes…we mourn the allotted time and no more than that because we can’t waste time getting a new plan of action put into effect…we cast the blame…and the whole cycle repeats itself all over again. Sounds pretty insane if you ask me.
And if we really took a good, inward, and honest look at ourselves and humanity, can we really say that we are marching forward towards victory? Has the murder rate significantly decreased over the last 100 years? Has the suicide rate decreased? Has the drug and alcohol abuse decreased? Has the violent crime rate decreased? Has the political scandal rate decreased? Has the poverty rate decreased? Has the divorce rate decreased? Are we so dull of hearing to continue to force ourselves to believe that we really do have the right formula for change, but we still just need some time to see results?
You know what I think? I’ll bet you do. I think that any “formula” for change that has completely rejected God from the picture is a formula that is destined for a repeated cycle of failure upon failure. I think we are lying to ourselves and to one another saying that things really are getting better. I think we are like ostriches with our heads in the sand while the world is deteriorating all around us. I think that God has allowed these things simply because He loves us and wants us to wake up from our slumber and see that we are going completely in the wrong direction. And that we will be doomed to utter destruction if we don’t wake up and turn to Him.
Our formula says, “We can do it. We don’t need God. There is goodness in every human being. We don’t need a higher moral code to answer to. We don’t need to be accountable to anybody, but ourselves. ‘To thine own self be true’, says one of our poets. We will succeed and make the world a better place.”
God’s formula says, “You cannot do it because your hearts have become darkened and wicked because of your own selfish pursuits. Instead of looking to me, you have turned away and have only looked to yourself. You need me for life. I am the vine, and without you connected to me, you will surely die. There is no internal goodness in anybody because of sin. The only goodness that you will find in the human heart is a goodness that was put there by me. But if you do not acknowledge me and turn towards me for life, I will continue to let you slip further and further into destruction until you are all utterly destroyed. Because of your darkened selfish hearts, you don’t have a moral code in which you can truly live by. That is why everybody is doing ‘right’ in their own eyes and you are all destroying one another and yourselves. You will not succeed without me. You will fail. You don’t need new laws passed by your government…you need a new law in your heart that will govern you from within. And I am the One who can put that new law in your heart. But you need to repent (turn away) from your sin, confess that you have done evil, and then return to me. I have made a way for you through my son Jesus. Repent and turn to me. I have promised that to those who do so will receive a new heart and a new law to govern that heart. Without me it is hopeless. Stop trying to do things apart from me…it just won’t work!”
Yes, that is what I believe God is trying to say to us. His prescription for the world is perfect. But it is certainly different from our prescription. If we will turn to Him and seek His ways, He will heal our land. But even more so, He will give us passage into the promised land, which is Heaven and then the New Earth where we will live with Him and all the saints for eternity. Please open your eyes and see that the Lord’s plan is good. Our plan stinks. We can’t get it together. We continue to fail. And the only dumb thing that we are able to do with our intellectual processing is to cast blame on something or someone that caused the system to fail. Wake up! We are to blame! Nobody else. We have rejected God’s ways and have sought our own ways, and now we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Hasn’t this been happening since the beginning of time. God gives a prescription for good that has a promise that will bring life. Man instead chooses to reject God’s plan and as a result brings tragedy, suffering, and death.
Adam and Eve were given the promise of life as long as they followed the ways of God. They rejected it and as a result death and sin comes into the world. The people of Noah’s day are living for themselves and doing as they please without any thought of God (sounds like us today) and what happens? God sends a flood to destroy them all except for Noah and his family. God tells the new human race to spread out over all the earth and repopulate, but what happens? Man decides to reject that plan and seeks to congregate in one area and build their own tower that will reach the heavens. So, what happens, God sends utter confusion among them so that their plans fail and they end up being scattered. Israel is brought into the promised land with the promised blessing if they continue to seek the Lord. What happens? Israel starts worshiping other pagan gods and idols, and so what happens? God raises up nations to invade Israel (God’s beloved), destroy their land (God’s promised possession), and carry them off into their own countries (enemies of God) But why did God do this? And yes, God is the One who did it. So that Israel (God’s beloved people) would open up their blind eyes and recognize their sin and would repent and turn back to God.
Has God changed His ways since then? No. So, is it possible that God could be allowing enemies to strike us and spoil our good plans in our good land, but for the purpose that we would wake up and see our need for Him? Absolutely.
Hasn’t their been a pattern since the beginning of the world of man trying to do it his own way, yet God causing man’s plans to utterly fail? We see it all throughout the Bible, but then, as my friend who studies world history pointed out, this has been happening all throughout history.
I think of the latest tragedy that received national attention and is now the big buzz in politics…the shooting in Newtown, CT. That hits home because I am from Connecticut and have driven many times through Sandy Hook. But what happened there and the results is the same thing that has been happening forever. Contrary to popular belief that there is decent goodness inside all of us, this young guy with a darkened heart walks into a school and kills all these children and some teachers and then kills himself. And we put it all over the news for its short life as the nation “grieves”, but then immediately the cycle begins. Because we still refuse to look to God and ask Him what it is that He wants us to do, or learn, or see as a result of this, instead we are off to the races casting blame so that we in our tiny little brains can make some intellectual sense as to why this happened, and then we jump right in to our self-created plan that will bring about the necessary change and reform that is needed for humanity to march on victoriously.
So, once again, we have passed over the issues of God, morality, sin, evil, etc. We have not learned to ask the right questions. We have not even grieved enough, not just with and for the victims of such a wicked act, but for the fact of wickedness alone. We have not allowed God to show us the abhorrence of evil, the effects of a sin stained world, and how we ourselves, if we are not turning towards God and seeking Him, are no better off than those who commit such atrocities. If we would open our hearts to God and ask Him to show us what is there and what it is that He wants of us, then perhaps our grief would run much deeper…perhaps it would lead to our own repentance and real true “change” for the good of not just humanity, but for God’s eternal kingdom.
But instead of taking the time to rend our hearts open before the Lord, we throw blame everywhere else. And we storm the grounds of Washington D.C. and convince the powers at be that the solution to such wicked acts is gun control…its all about gun control. Oh, how blind we still are. Gun control is the furthest thing from the solution of preventing evil murderous acts. Don’t get me wrong, I am not making any comment whatsoever about the issues and laws of gun control, but I’m just saying that to think that better gun control laws are going to aid in stopping such wicked acts just proves how blind we are. Wickedness is a heart issue, not a political one. To see humanity progress requires one thing, my friends…and God spoke it so well and clear so long ago: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)
May the Lord open up our eyes to see this truth… – Cody