In the United States, we’ve been given endless opportunities to hear exclusively what we want to hear.
We can pick our news station, music outlet, social media feed, pastor and church and their respective teachings, and political resource; in short, we can choose our favorite dish and just keep on eating, regardless of outcome or consequences.
And if we’re someplace that makes us uncomfortable, we can stand up and whine, or we can just sue. In a classroom, restaurant, hotel, church, or even a household — if we don’t like it, we can shout our complaints from the rooftops and make a huge scene, rallying everyone to follow us.
It’s the American way.
I believe standing up for the truth in the midst of majority opposition and danger, as our forefathers did, is right and noble, but I think the way it’s being done today is entirely out of hand.
We’re compelled by the whims of our environment; like a louse, we eat whatever everyone else is having, even if it’s filthy and inconvenient to the host.
We have no true standard of what’s right and wrong. Instead, we make up our own standards, and hopefully find some other folks that look a lot like us and do the same stuff. If there aren’t enough, we rally more people for the sake of “awareness” and throw any social or moral standards out as we carry on.
Would you believe that this isn’t a novel idea? Ancient Judah did something very similar.
While the resident priest was alive, everyone was cool with the laws of God. King Joash, at the priest’s prompting, had the temple and its constituents restored, and there was peace in the land.
But the moment the priest died, the people gathered under the king and started doing things his way instead of the ways of God. They brought back the idols and worshiped them, and Joash followed his whims and forsook the law, despite warnings from the prophets in the area. This would ultimately be Joash’s demise.
Once a standard of truth is dismissed, people are prone to “do what’s right in their own sight“. This might seem noble at first, but the unforeseen consequences are catastrophic.
“Oh, that My people would listen to Me”
The psalmist agrees: people are stubborn.
In fact, he writes the following:
But My people would not heed My voice,
And Israel would have none of Me.
So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart,
To walk in their own counsels.
Do you believe that God has done the same today — that he has just given people over to their sin? I do.
People are fickle, and as restless as the tide. The Lord knows this; desiring for us to be obedient, He has established His word, and furthermore, a way of salvation, so we have a firm foundation to stand upon.
Yet, even then, people will desire to choose for themselves. And that’s cool. God will let this happen.
People think that God is a distant entity or an archaic idea devised by men, but this idea is only because humanity has chosen to distance themselves from Him, wandering away from the timeless truth of the Word. We’ve forgotten that He has loved us first.
The pleading of Christ Jesus
Now, you would think that, on Christ’s deathbed, figuratively speaking, Jesus would be considerably troubled by His own potential fate.
Instead, He begins to pray for three things:
- That the Father would be glorified
- That the disciples would be sanctified
- That believers would be unified
Jesus desires that all people would march under the same banner, that the Holy Spirit would unify us in the end, and that the Father would be glorified.
But even the church has a tough time staying on the same wavelength. Pastors get an idea and start their own movement, creating discord among believers as they are forced to choose among dissenting ideologies. Just like king Joash, we find that our own version of righteousness is superior to God’s and gather people around us to share in our movement.
It’s no mystery that man will continue in this way until the end, but if you’re reading this today, please remember this: God has established a standard in the Word for us to follow. We must avoid being influenced by movements or whims, and shirk the practice of fine-tuning our perception in order to hear only what we like and ignoring truths we find to contradict our personal worldview.
It is God’s desire that we hear Him. Let’s listen to all He has to say, not just portions and bites.