Thursday, November 11, 2010
I Have Set You Apart
I've been feeling this ache in my heart over how every time we turn around there are headlines about corrupt businesses, organizations, leaders, the list goes on. It feels overwhelming.
I think about how many people are just lost and walking down paths that only lead to destruction. I think of the hundreds of thousands of hurting souls that don't know Jesus. The ones that do, that are also hurting. The hurting people that are hurting others.
You see glimpses of it everywhere. At the grocery store when a customer is rude to the checker for no good reason. On the road when you're trying to merge and someone speeds up, so you won't 'get ahead' of them. From giant corporations, to neighbors who don't even say hello. We are called to love, to be a light, to be different, to not cave into these worldly ways.
I hear startling statistics of young adults turning away from their faith. I hear it from pastors, on Christian radio, from my bible study teacher.
We just began the book of Judges, following after Joshua. I am astonished at how often the Israelites repeat the same cycle. They have a time of peace, they become complacent, they break God's rules, and do evil things like the people around them. God no longer fights for them and they fall into destruction. They cry for help. The Lord hears their cries and rescues them. He provides someone to help and a way out. They are pulled out of their destruction. They are in a time of peace and then they fall into the world's evil ways once again. Over and over and over.
The elders, those who personally saw God's faithfulness in crossing the Jordan into the promise land, did not keep their testimony alive. They did not share with their children the amazing power God showed in delivering them out of captivity. They didn't embed in their children's hearts a sense of awe and thankfulness for his sovereignty and the many blessings he gave them.
"After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel." Judges 2:10
It's convicting isn't it? I've heard some say this could be exactly why those in their 20s and 30s are turning away from their faith. Are we making it a habit to show how active God is today and how faithful He is to us today. Are they growing up learning bible stories, and memorizing scripture, but without an active faith that is alive and personal to them? Let's make sure this generation grows up knowing how faithful He is, with specific, very personal stories that show the God who rescued Israel rescues us too.
Back to the Isrealites. Looking at it on paper, I'm thinking, "Man why don't they just get it?" Don't they see their wicked ways and see how simple it is to stay in the path that God has clearly laid out for them.
But then I think about how many ways our society today does the same exact thing. People get lazy during times of ease. Standards slowly slip away as little compromises are made, that lead to bigger and bigger compromises. The worlds ways blend together until you cannot tell the Christian apart.
I know I'm sounding kind of heavy. But even just driving the roads I have to take to get my kids to school they see billboards with images their eyes shouldn't take in. Driving to ballet this weekend I looked over to see something I shouldn't have. I don't even want to explain what it was and sadly it wasn't the first time this has happened. I was struck with the feeling that we are living in a wicked and perverse generation.
My initial feeling that day was I just want out. But really there isn't an 'out' until Jesus returns or I go to be with Him. I also know we are not meant to 'run away' even though sometimes I feel like it. We were chosen to be in this time for a purpose. God ordained our days and he has called us to stand strong and to stand apart from the world's ways.
Sometimes I don't know what to do with the frustration I feel about things. When I'm stressed or anxious or working something through, I find I need to create. It's a release. I pray and talk to God and listen to praise music and as things come together I feel a peace wash over me.
This idea had been mulling around for awhile and it seemed a fitting way to express how I'm feeling. We are to stand high above and take the narrow path, set apart from the circus of the worldly nations around us.
Oh, please join me in standing strong against the world's ways, and praying for repentance and changed lives. Because we too have been set apart, and are chosen to be His own. This isn't an exclusive club either. He loves you even if you don't know Him yet. He's tapping on your heart, hoping you'll be His own too.
P.S. I'm linking this to gitzen girl's 'You Create' this Thursday. Feel free to go over there and check out the other posts.