Friday, July 29, 2016

Turn Toward God

I picked up some timely thoughts while reading Pastor Max Lucado’s booklet on “Remembering Our Foundations.” Especially after listening to the disparity on the differences between the two parties of the Republican and Democratic conventions held in the last two weeks. It is so evident that we need God to heal our land.
Pastor Lucado tells about the spider who dropped a single strand down from the rafter of an old barn and began to weave his web. The wee web grew as the months went by and was able to catch all kinds of bugs and insects.
One day when the spider was traveling across his web he noticed a single strand stretching into the rafters. He wondered why it was there and thought, “It doesn’t serve to catch me any dinner or add to my pantry of insects.” He thought the strand really wasn’t necessary so he climbed as high as he could - - and severed it. That resulted in the entire web falling upon itself and tumbling to the floor, taking the spider with it.
Could we, as a nation, make the same mistake as that foolish spider? Can a country spin a great web and sever it? Can she grow so successful, so smug, so self-sufficient that she forgets the strong strand that supports her? Could she look at her liberty, her strength, and her prosperity and respond not with gratitude - - but with arrogance?
Are we forgetting the strength that holds us? What happens when a nation forgets God? Psalms 9:17 says “The fate of all the nations that forget the Lord will be turned into hell.”
Israel of old also seemed prone to forget. Moses sternly warned them to “beware in their plenty that you do not forget the Lord your God, - - - do not become proud of that time and forget  the Lord your God - - - If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshipping them and bowing down to them, you will be destroyed.” Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 19
God defines all boundaries for “He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed lines and the boundaries of their habitation.” Acts 17:26
I believe that God determines national leaders. Leaders don’t determine the future of countries; God determines the hearts of leaders. Proverbs 21:1 says, “the king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; He turns it wherever He pleases.” The king (or president) may think he calls the shots, but he doesn’t. God holds sway over his thrown. “It is God who makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.” Job 12:23(NLT)
So, America exists by the power of God. Can we afford to forget this? Can we afford to sever this single, silver strand that supports the whole framework of our republic? Only at the terrible risk of destruction!
Our heritage has been given to us by God, not for our glory, but His. Not for our comfort, but His cause. Gods’ ultimate commitment is to His reputation, not ours. We may think God exists to bless America, but according to scripture, America exists to bless God.
During this time of divisiveness and confusion in American politics, there is a specific prayer that we all can pray and God will answer. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)


Pastor Amundson