Laurels of your Forefathers

It is a new day, the election is over, the people have spoken. Are we stabilized or destabilized? Are we happy or fearful? How will we respond, is it time for the prayer to cease? I hope not. We can no longer rest in what those before had provided for us. We were given an inheritance of a country that loved God. But rather than take up that relationship for ourselves we rested in the laurels of our forefathers. We skirted on those laurels for so long that the only thing left was a slightly gold residue on the bottom of our boots. God is calling to us again, “Know Me.” He was saying this all along.

A call to return to the way things were will not be enough. We have to recognize where we are in history and carve out a new relationship with God. Now this does mean that certain values may be reversed but it doesn’t mean we have to go about it the way we did before. It can be done apart from a political party. It can be done, with a humble and contrite heart. God always listens to a humble and repentant heart. The church needs to be the church despite a political victory. We cannot rest in a politic to bring about change. The Gospel does this. If we haven’t learned this, then we will be here again.

In 2 Chronicles where the people rejoice and honor God and by the very next King they throw off all restraint and chase other gods. Mannessa is a great example. His father Hezekiah sought the Lord and created a massive revival and returning to God. But then the son decided to completely go the opposite way from him.

How easy it is for idolatry to return to the land. There is an enemy at the gates, always seeking entry, always testing the security measures.

Mannessa restored the pagan rituals, he restored the pagan alters, he brought back false gods and incited the people to sin. God sent messengers to draw them to repentance but they ignored it so he sent the judgment. The thing is when Mannessa came to himself in Assyrian captivity he humbled himself and repented and God restored him. This is that shall I forgive up to seven times thing? “No I did not say up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven”. God is a forgiving God and he is calling us. God is amazingly merciful.

In America we have a rich Christian heritage. It has literally made a wonderful country in which to live. Some would argue the best in the world. It created safety and caused us to create schools and hospitals and orphanages and to care for the poor. Ministry upon ministry gives for the people. The very idea of a non-profit makes no sense unless a care for people were greater than money.

But things continued not because they are godly, but because they were there, and when we could no longer make appeals to God, stuff started to crumble didn’t it?

We cannot rest on what our father’s did. We cannot rest on what other pastors and theologians did. We cannot rest on what a political party did. We must call on the Lord and establish our own relationship with him. God is calling. Will you return to him? Will there be a place for God to find rest among this people? A people who think they have accomplished something? All God ever needed is a humble heart, not a republican in office. There is still much work to do, and prayer is still our lifeline.

It is for each king/president, each generation, each election cycle, and each person to know God. Do you know him? I made the mistake as a youth of believing that I was a Christian because that was the kind of kindergarten I went to. When I switched to a secular elementary my facade was revealed, I didn’t know God at all. Being so young I thought that because we went to church as a family we were Christian, that I was a Christian because I went to church. I can remember hearing the Bible stories and thinking OK I know that one now, I am good. I was living in a home with increased Christian speak, but my heart was confused. Don’t make this mistake with our heritage or politics.

I had to have an encounter with God. I had to have an encounter with the Gospel. I had to establish my own relationship with God. I only began to grow when I realized I was supposed to have a relationship with Jesus that I obviously did not have. When we live on residual spirituality we get a false sense of security when God actually wants us. When a country does this, infrastructures eventually begin to crumble. Morality begins to fall, storms knock over the building that has continued upward without any thought of a once solid foundation. Don’t make the mistake that everything is better now that a particular candidate won or didn’t win, we are still in the business of the Gospel, the business of love. The business of reconciliation.

God wants to reach out to us. Drop the history, drop the politics, drop the personas and facades and come into his presence and establish your own loving relationship with the King of Kings. Do this and then minister. Come boldly to the throne of Grace to receive mercy. But come as who you are, God isn’t interested in your affiliations or background or the things you like and dislike or the ways you have voted and the ways you have protested and the people you know and the people you opposes. God wants you.

God wants us.

Others have sought him and found him to be good. Have you? Others had a great time with him and lived in a land that thought better of him, but what are you doing? Is God worth knowing, worth seeking, when the landscape has so dramatically changed? Do you trust him? Or have all our prayers already been answered? Some are excited, some are depressed while others are scared. There is still work to do. So find where true hopes resides and let’s not simply do it the same all over again. Our forefathers went a certain way, but how about we find the way God is leading?

So what will we become? Well look to God to find out, it is time to stop looking to our own creations for the answers. A polity can be good, but a humble relationship with the creator of life is better.

thanks

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