Sunday, September 27, 2009

Random Thoughts

It has been a long time since I have posted anything to my blog. There's really no good reason. I just have not been especially motivated to write much lately.

I am totally depressed over the political landscape right now. I see nothing good happening in Washington. I refuse to join the rant over all the things wrong and I don't have the time to write a truly reasoned dissertation on the many ways in which our government has overstepped its bounds and moved dramatically toward despotism.

My work has required a level of intensity for the last several months that has left little energy for pursuing other interests. We are in an expansion mode. Yes, through the economic storm and the politically motivated attacks on my chosen industry, we have grown. Of course, most people don't realize that it takes twice as much effort to obtain the same amount of business in a downturn as it does when times are good. So, growth means about three times the effort. But, I consider it good.

I think that through the last year of political and economic turmoil my spiritual growth has been evident -- at least to me. Of course, the big event was the trip to Africa. Such a trip would be a turning point in anyone's life I would hope. It has become very evident to me that God works in the lives of those who are faithful to Him -- those who seek His will. That doesn't mean that we perfectly follow His will -- it means that our focus is constantly turned toward, or is seeking Him. The pursuit of worldly things becomes secondary -- a subplot if you will -- to the pursuit of God. Our fleshly nature continually tries to assert itself in our daily lives, but we are reminded that such things are not pleasing to Him and we seek to subjugate such desires to His will. We become aware of just how "messy" the Christian life can be. We fail. We get up and try again. We cry out to God for strength. We fail some more.

In fact, that's a subject worthy of expansion -- the "messiness" of Christianity. The world expects Christians to live exemplary lives. Not all of us do so. In fact, none of us do in spite of our public face. War is messy and that's what the life of a Christian becomes -- a war. It is war at the Spiritual level. It is a war between the "systems" of the world and our desire to live according to God's will -- which is completely outside any earthly system. It is a war between our fleshly nature -- that is, the desires of our "natural" self -- and our desire to live as God would have us to live -- that is, subjugating our fleshly desires to His will. And it is a war between the very source of evil -- Satan, the Devil, or whatever you choose to call him -- and our desire once again to live a life pleasing to God. So, the Christian fights a battle on three fronts -- 1) the "systems" of this world, 2) our "natural" self, and 3) the Evil One who desires our allegiance in opposition to God the Creator. It's no wonder so many fail and it's no wonder so many choose the ways of this world. To follow the ways of the world is easier.

However, there is one thing we must remember. Jesus the Christ has already won the war. By faith in Him alone are we saved. We must always remember that it is not our efforts that are rewarded by Salvation -- it is our trust in the Saving Grace offered by Jesus Christ that we receive mercy as our reward rather than what we truly deserve based on our pitiful efforts.

OK. Now what?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to share about the trip to Africa with my Sunday School class. I began by telling them, "Go! Just go. If you ever get the chance to go on a mission trip anywhere, go!" I ended the same way. "Go!" That is what Jesus called us to do in Matthew 28. "Go!"

And now, I must go. May you go in peace and may the God of Peace touch your life with His love. I will try to do better with my posting -- no promises though.