In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
~Psalm 78:32 (New International Version)~
On my way to church this morning I didn’t worry. It was the first time I could ever remember driving in bad weather and not worrying about whether or not I could reach my destination. I was confident that no matter what, I was going to church. It started me thinking about why we sometimes let unimportant things stand in the way of where we really want to go. And of course, today’s sermon made it all the more obvious that if we want to live a life that would make God proud, we need to make the commitment first and foremost to trust Him and to believe that He will guide us in all things. We cannot be afraid of offending the world in order to do what is right. The world needs to worry about offending Him.
As part of our discussion in church, the pastor talked about how we have become so desensitized to the way our society thrusts ungodly things into our consciousness that we don’t even realize when we have let something bad in. He talked about how we worry that we might miss out on something by turning our backs on popular culture to follow Jesus. I was thinking as I sat there listening that it shouldn’t be that we feel we have missed out on anything if we are choosing to follow God. As a matter of fact, we are missing out on the absolute best thing when we put our energy into the things of this world and put God on the back burner. Even though He will always be there for us, if we don’t embrace Him as the most important thing in our lives, we are truly missing out on the very best of everything that life has to offer. There is no movie, no cd, no magazine that could ever match up to receiving God’s blessings in your life. So why would we ever feel like we were missing out on anything by choosing Jesus over this world?
It’s because we live in a culture where we are expected to follow along and do what everyone else is doing at all times. We are told who to like, what to like and how to like it by the popular media and by magazine stories that have us convinced that if we don’t know who Justin Bieber is, we’ve really missed the boat. We live in a society that is offended when Christians don’t jump on the bandwagon to support offensive behavior. For example, and I’m not trying to hurt any feelings or step on any toes, but heaven forbid you speak out against gay marriage or Michael Jackson. When something is a sin, you need to recognize it as a sin. I don’t proclaim to be better than anyone, but I do know that there are things I will not do because they are an affront to God. I’ve made mistakes in the past, but now that I know what is right, I have no excuse. Fitting in with everyone else is not nearly as important to me as living my life as God wants me to live it.
And so, in order to be the woman He wants me to be, I must endure the cold shoulders of our society and seek out others who share my belief that serving God is all that really matters. Sometimes this is hard, but God’s love is like a warm blanket and I never feel as though I’m missing out by not being a part of that crowd. I did, however; feel like I missed some pretty amazing things by not coming back to God sooner. And since I’ve been trying to walk with Him and be a better person, my eyes have been opened to things that I didn’t see before. Television is terrible, especially the news. Most evenings, the lineup includes shows that I can hardly stomach. It is hard to find anything on the radio these days that isn’t full of inuendo and the glorifying of ungodly behavior. Magazines definitely don’t adhere to any standards but those of indecency and it isn’t uncommon to read about a relationship breaking up or a celebrity with a drug or alcohol addiction while you are standing in the line at the grocery store. All of these things are fighting for your attention and most of them are winning out over God because if you don’t keep up with all of the gossip, you’re left out of the only conversations you are allowed to have at work these days. We all know that you can’t talk religion at work or you’ll be beaten with a wet noodle and called a troublemaker.
In spite of all of this, the best option we have is to take today’s road less travelled and follow the teachings of Jesus and of the Bible. Go to church and want to be there. Look forward to Sunday as the day you get to go and be surrounded by His love. Find ways to bring Him into your life every day. Even if you have to make up your own magazine covers. I challenge you to make His presence in your life as acceptable as having a Facebook account. Throw His name around. Impress someone by telling them how great God has been in your life. I guarantee it will be the best news they hear all week.
~May God bless you as you fight the good fight.~
154 Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise. 155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek out your decrees. 156 Your compassion, LORD, is great; preserve my life according to your laws.157 Many are the foes who persecute me, but I have not turned from your statutes. 158 I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your word. 159 See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, LORD, in accordance with your love.160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
~Psalm 119:154-160 (New International Version)~