In this country, more than any other, you have to make your mark. You’re not going to be treated like something special until you are.”
–Louis L’Amour (Over on the Dry Side)
“Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.”
–Deuteronomy 8:2 (NLT)
Once upon a time there was something known as the “American Dream.” It was a goal that many, if not all people, strived for to one extent or another. There was a time when people believed in a theory of “inevitable progress.” “Onward and upward”, was the slogan. Mistakes might be made along the way, but people, and nations would strive to go forward.
Richard Kern wrote the following: “Today we are not so sure. In spite of all good intentions on the part of man, ours remains a world of war, poverty, hunger, and uncertainty. To an uncounted multitude the words of Paul still sum up their own daily experiences: ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.'” (Romans 7:19)
In fact, today there is more of a downward spiral. Agendas have become more important than principle and truth. Protesting seems to be the norm to the day. And to protest it must be against some established value, policy, or institution. I will say it is true that all of this is not really new, but simply new twists to old means and ways. However, now the country’s values have eroded more than ever, so there is no real foundation to stand upon. People misconstrue the Constitution and how it operates. They want more and more given to them, no matter that socialism has proven to be a poor means of government.
We honor traitors and those who commit treason and disregard the heroes who sacrifice. We honor those who bow in protest, but scorn those who bow in prayer. Read the words of Paul and see if they fit today.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
–2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)
If this does not sound like the newscast I don’t know what does. The days are evil, make no mistake about it.
We must be determined in this hour to live for Christ. Failure to make this determination will weaken us and we will not be able to stand against the conforming powers. Remember, we are not to be conformed to this world; in other words, do not take on the shape of the world. The Phillips’ translations puts it this way, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” (Romans 12:2)
Maybe another way to put it–who are you? Do you talk like a Christian, do you walk like a Christian; do you act like a Christian? Many people have been baptized and all they do is come up as a wet sinner. When we are converted things change.
I’m not a real fan of the Message, but I do like the way it puts Romans 12:2, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” This world is not our home, we’re just passing through.