America, This Has to Stop

This is a call for American Christians to turn their gaze from the things of this world to the things of God. We, as a collective body, have to return to our Father.

I will begin with an honest question:

What if we spent as much energy drawing near to God as we spend on politics and social issues?

Rest with those words for just a minute.

What if every ounce of energy you spent watching the news, scrolling your Facebook feed, debating co-workers, worrying as you lie in bed at night, getting angry as you sip your coffee, what if you channeled all of that energy on drawing near to your Father and focusing on what is true?

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” —Philippians 4:8

Those words from the Apostle Paul weren’t intended to be a hallmark card, they are a commandment from God.

Why are we so quick to disregard it?

I have become increasingly convinced that the enemy (and yes, I’m referring to Satan) has become so entrenched in our discussion, he has infused it with so much emotion and anger and hatred and negativity, that we have lost sight of all that is noble, all that is right, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is admirable.

And in the absence of those things, politics and social issues have become our idol. We now worship gold-plated elephants and donkeys, social agendas, and political platforms hoping that they will become a sort-of faux savior. Which is exactly why we become so defensive of our positions.

Deep down we have become so subtly dependent on our government to restore, to confirm, to strengthen, and to establish us that we have lost sight of the One who restores, confirms, strengthens, and establishes.

It has to stop.

Yes, Hillary Clinton wasn’t indicted for her blatant disregard for national security. Yes, Donald Trump uses demeaning language. Yes, we have a terrible problem with gun control. Yes, racism is still alive. Yes, terrorism on American soil is a threat. But none of these things diminish the promises of God.

Maybe the law of the land has failed us, but the greater laws of our God will not. The laws of the land will never be our savior, you cannot legislate a changed heart. Our Savior, our Hope, is Jesus Christ.

In the midst of the ungodly hatred that fills your news feed, be reminded that God is bigger than political parties, He is bigger than racism, and He is bigger than this great nation. When political parties, social agendas, and your fellow man fail you, bear in mind that God’s kingdom is unshakable.

In a world that is driven entirely by fear, we must recognize and remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-control. While fear is in direct opposition to God, power, love, and self-control radiate His being.

Think on these things.

Brothers and sisters, take heart, God’s word has not changed. He is good and He is bringing about His kingdom in His time. As we face this tumultuous political and social environment, we cannot lose sight of our calling. We, as followers of Christ, are called to be salt and light. We are called to bleed daylight. We are called to be joyful and give thanks. We are called to persevere. Those aren’t suggestions, they are literal commands on the pathway to peace in your life.

If you find yourself in a state of turmoil today, return to the source of peace. If something draws you away from God, it doesn’t deserve your emotion or your energy. Period. Choose His light instead. He promises rest for the weary and comfort for the brokenhearted. Call Him on His word and fall at His feet. When you get caught in a firestorm, make a conscious decision to choose the calming waters of the Holy Spirit.

And this doesn’t mean we negate the importance of politics or our right as citizens to speak freely. But we the people need to understand that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were endowed by our Creator, not created by a government.

If our words and our actions are based in our own emotions, we are contributing to the growing problem. Instead, our words, our thoughts, and our actions need to be laden with the grace of God. As we find community with Him, we bring hope and life and light to the world around us. That is our only hope.

He must become our refuge. It is time for us to return to the Father.

MH

 

If you’re looking to deepen your faith and engage in a conversation that will shed light on the Christian life, check out our new podcast “Wake Up Our Faith”

 

About the Author:

Matt Ham is an author, speaker, and small business owner based in Wilmington, North Carolina. His first book, Redefine Rich, is aimed at reframing the way we view and pursue wealth. His RICH Principles provide a framework for challenging our perspective, helping us understand how to live whole. Redefine Rich is available on Amazon and a limited number of first-edition hardback copies can be purchased here.

Matt Ham speaking

Matt Ham speaking

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  • Great thoughts Matt. A couple of weeks I wrote a post on why Christians are not called to protest. We are called to a life that really a radically different from this world. And that life is lived 100% for the glory of God. A God who has called us to something greater than our side winning the next election. Sure we should get out and vote but like you said, what if we really did put the bulk of our energy drawing near to God. Peter called the church to submit to an Emperor that was feeding Christians to the lions. Paul while in Jail never once prayed or asked for prayer that he be set free. He said pray for me that the doors will be open for me to preach with boldness. What if……

    • Amen, Jon. What if we had that heart. Asking God for it along with you, brother.

  • Megan Lee Webb

    Matt, thank you for being light.

    • Thanks, Megan. Hope you’re doing well. Have missed not seeing you at LO, but know you’re in such a fun season with your family. Blessings, friend.

  • Such truth in your words Matt. We are all burdened, bothered and overcome by things that don’t measure up to His love for us. If only we spent as much time and energy with Him, the other problems would no longer be problematic.

    • Thanks, Charles. The enemy has a way of shifting our focus off of the things of the Father. I’m clinging to Him.

  • HoopsTournament

    Thanks for this Matt. You expressed so eloquently how I have been feeling. Best blog I have read in a long time.

  • Chris Gort

    What about diedrich Bonhoeffer? What about Martin Luther? What about Martin Luther King, Jr.? What about Corrie ten Boom? What about countless other believers that stood up for social justices? Yes, seeking the Father is important but we SHOULD be on the side of the oppressed, and we should be angry over there rights being withheld.

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Chris. And you’re absolutely right. We must act. I’m simply suggesting that our first action must be intimacy with Him. Then, He will direct the next steps. If we lead with action, we run the risk of allowing our own emotion and our own since of justice to become paramount.