Monday, August 12, 2013

Without Excuse

   Wow, it's been a long time! Longer than I realized. I suppose I could use the same tired old excuse that I use for everything else: I've been so busy!! It's true, but not true enough that I feel justified in using it. :/ Too late now, though, the time's gone. I've spent the morning praying about what I should write about, since it's been so long since I wrote I have so many topics and "things" all stocked up to choose from...but for some reason I don't think any of them are right for today. Instead, I just want to share a few quick thoughts. Maybe more for me than anyone else, I don't know.
   I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that I am not the only person who feels stressed out, out of time, and somewhat at loose ends right now. I'm not saying this to complain or elicit sympathy, it's just true. And it's life. The last month or so, I have had weekly visits to see my midwife. As usual, she runs through her list of questions for me to make sure I'm staying healthy and without complications. It has always included "are you stressed?" and I have been able to pretty honestly answer that I really didn't have that much stress. A few weeks ago, I answered differently, and was subsequently asked how I was handling it. (I don't think I've ever been asked that before. It kind of throws you for a second!) My answer was pretty simple; I pray about it. My midwife and her assistant were surprised that the stress hadn't resulted in any negative changes in my fact, no changes at all. And I was surprised to realize my own little epiphany: I am without excuse. I have no excuse at all to be worried, a.k.a. "stressed out." God is always faithful, He always has been and always will be. He is still sitting on His throne. He even remains faithful to us when we are not faithful to Him. If I truly believe that the Lord is faithful to provide then I have no excuse to hold on to my worries.

 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:25-34

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13

    Another thought that has been lingering in my mind is along a very different strain, and yet tied in. I in no way think that facebook is the be-all and end-all of life, but I do think that it pretty accurately depicts the general thought processes and priorities of today's population - both Christians and unbelievers. And over the years that I have used facebook I have noticed a pattern: witty statuses, funny or inspirational video clips, and surface-level, cute, everyday statuses generate a plethora of "likes" and encouraging comments. However, posts that are political, or controversial - either "religious" or just thought provoking on any number of apparently touchy subjects - are either ignored or bashed. Why?! I find it very disheartening that Christians do not show any greater inclination to delve below the surface and to critically and Biblically evaluate what is happening in the spritual and political realms around them. I realize that I am guilty of this too. It's much easier and more pleasant to "not know"- ignorance is bliss and all that.  But I think that if we're honest, that is not the way we are called to think according to Scripture. As believers we are supposed to be constantly on guard, testing everything against the litmus test of the Word of God - including current events and teachers within the Church. We are without excuse. I am not saying that this can and should only be happening on facebook. That is not the point at all. I also am not suggesting that Christians should live in a constant state of doom and gloom. However, I do believe that what people are thinking most about and concerned about are typically evidenced in what they post or comment. The Church, as a whole, has dropped the ball. The sober-minded vigilance that is mentioned so frequently in Scripture seems to be getting more and more lost amongst the more pleasant frivolity of today's culture.

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,  redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

"Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—" Ephesians 6:13-18

"But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers." 1 Peter 4:7

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." 1 Peter 5:8 & 9

 "These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:11

   I hope that somewhere in these thoughts of mine, you were able to see the point I was trying to make. As believers, we are without excuse. Yes, the Lord is absolutely 100 percent faithful and on the throne, all the time. Does that negate our responsibility to be vigilant and watchful? To be watching for signs of the Lord's return? I don't believe so. Because His imminent return is evidenced in the way that the Church is becoming more and more apostate, and also in the ever downward spiral of the "political world." We have no reason to worry, as He has promised His faithfulness to us. And on the other side of that coin, we have no reason to be ignorant on the important subjects, as we have been instructed to be watching and wary.