He Will Do All the Good Things He Promised!
He Will Lead
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May God’s mercy sustain you throughout your life, as you realize that He is the Prince of Peace! Your Prince of Peace!
Looking for Leadership
It doesn’t take a prophet to predict that the next year will be full of conflict, full of verbal abuse, full of people trying to manipulate most of the people of the United States, and often using fear and greed to do so.
As a relatively cynical man, I dread election years. I fear them because I fear that the result will be division, conflict, fear, and in my case apathy, occasionally mixed with sarcasm.
You all know that sarcasm is a major temptation of mine, right?
Apathy is even a worse temptation.
But I do fear the relationships that will be damaged, as people’s fear will dominate the reason they vote, fears that find some basis in self-centeredness. What this means is that we won’t have discussions with each other. We will attack each other’s candidates, and more than an argument will occur. A great division will occur because our fears cause us to invest in our candidates as much with our hearts as our minds, we will see someone supporting an opponent as a threat. They in turn, will get defensive. We will not comprehend how someone in their right mind could support candidate Q, because we see them as a threat. We will forget that we are family, neighbors, a community.
The reaction may take years to heal.
That is why I dread such years, and why I become so apathetic.
For it is hard to see good come from such times.
Why Do We Want to Trust in Princes
I wonder why we struggle to understand the wisdom of God when it comes to leadership, whether that is in national leadership, or local leadership. Hear God’s wisdom again,
3 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. Psalm 146:3 (ESV)
We might even quote that about the opposition, see- they’ve put their trust in those people, how could they! While we do the same – hoping that our candidate will save us. Without thinking, we begin to believe, to have hope, in the work of men.
How about these two
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:8-9 (NLT)
22 Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they? Isaiah 2:22 (NLT)
and this cry for mercy,
11 Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. Psalm 60:11 (NLT)
Finally, there is this one… which is terrifying,
5 This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5 (NLT)
That might be the nicer of the translations, others use the word condemned.
Like I said, this isn’t just about politics. It can be that this job will save us, or that if we can only make it to retirement, then everything will be okay. Or meeting the right star, or seeing out children or grandchildren succeed, as the world measures success. We create many idols, convinced that life will be alright, if only they…
It is clear, there is no one we should put our trust in, no one we must depend on, except for God. No one else we should count on or hope in, even those who claim to be good Christians.
Otherwise, we have created an idol.
And those idols will be out in force.
And they can lead us into lives that are cursed.
The Good He Has promised
Advent reminds us of the failure of idols in the past, and that we need some One more solid to place our hope, our expectations in.
We need a God, not an idol. We need a leader who restores us, who heals us, who makes us whole. Hear Micah’s prophecy again,
4 And he will stand to lead his flock with the LORD’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. 5 And he will be the source of peace
If we want a leader, we have but to look at the cross. We see there a leader whose life isn’t centered in himself, or an agenda that promotes his party’s preferences. We see a leader who wants the best for us, a leader who brings us into a place of peace, a leader who is willing to die to comfort us and heal us in our brokenness. We see a leader that gathers his people, who helps them grow by refining them, we need a leader who will keep the Good He has promised.
This is Jesus, our Lord. Immanuel, the proof that God is with us.
And yes He leads us. The world will say they cannot see Him, but neither have I seen a president, premier, or king personally. They are somewhere out there, whereas God is here, His Spirit within every believer in this place. So I see him when I look into Chris’s eyes, or Esther’s, or Manny’s, or Cyndee’s.
Even more I see God when we see the body and blood of Christ, which He gives us, shed for the forgiveness of our sin. When I see His people kneel at the altar, ready for Christ to come to them. We hear Him as we hear our sins being forgiven, for it is by His authority and it is His desire to show mercy and bring us to the Father. We hear it when He claims His people, when He claims us as His own.
This is a leader who will bring us into peace, both then, and now. For that is His called, to guard our hearts and minds in the peace of God our father, a peace we dwell in, right now, because of Jesus, the Lord who leads us and helps us see all the good God has promised, He has delivered.
(I write this blog from our first night of our elders retreat…where the theme comes from Zeph 3:17. Please, if you like my thoughts – press like either here on on FB or G+ Or engage the concept in discussion below… I love to know I am doing this for someone besides myself)
17 Your GOD is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.
If God is our God, if Jesus reigns over us, the question is whether we will walk with Him, within a intimate relationship, while still letting Him maintain the responsibility in our lives. It is a interesting balance, but my recent devotions and readings, and even this retreat, seem to be focusing not on our responsibility as His servants, but rather, on His responsibility to us – what He commits Himself to accomplish in and for us.
This verse, like those we love to hear – Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 23 – are incredible intimate looks at God’s determination to be our Lord, our Master, to reign over our lives, as He cares for us. I love the power exhibited in this verse, the force that God commits to have our back, to calm us, and even beyond – to bring us delight – to create within us great joy.
The question is, can we free ourselves from the idols that would distract us from His calming influence, would we focus on Him rather than that which controls us with fear, or tempts us with thoughts of temporary escapes into pleasure. And that struggle to free us brings us to the point. Will we let God be God?
Can we realize that He has already broke the chains that our idols ensnared us?
He has… we are freed – to walk with Him, our Lord, our Savior, the One who comes to us,
Be calmed – find delight in His celebration of His rescuing you…