We’ve all been there. Needing to get somewhere and stuck behind a driver who wants to turn left on a busy street or highway from a stop sign and refuses to go until there is no one in sight a half mile in either direction. What are they waiting for?
After high school, I worked as a laborer for a construction company. I will never forget one of the most valuable life lessons I received on an overcast day in the fall. I could tell the boss wasn’t pleased with me so I asked him what was wrong. The discussion lasted a few minutes and I don’t remember anything about it except for this one sentence. It has stood out to me for decades. Outside of Scripture, it is probably one of the most formative influences on my life. Here is what he said that has stood the test of time:
“You know what to do but you have to be told to do it.”
Even though I think he was giving me more credit than he should have (“you know what to do”) I knew he was right. I was afraid to take chances. If I waited to be told what to do and then did a subpar job doing it, I could always fall back on “Well, you told me to do it even though I wasn’t sure I could do it.” That was four decades ago and I’m still friends with him (even though I didn’t work for him much longer).
Things changed for me that day because I finally understood that acting decisively is a key to success in almost all areas of life. Jesus said it was the lukewarm Christian (paralyzed with apathy or indecision) who makes Him sick (Revelation 3:16).
One of the worst trends gripping the world in general and our nation, in particular, is the unwillingness to think for oneself. To make decisions and take responsibility for them. Instead, people are waiting to be told what to do. Who to vote for. What to believe. What to think. When to turn.
The only people who seem to be taking decisive action(s) are those who want to destroy America. The rest are waiting on a social media post telling them that “God’s got this.” Then they are excused from engagement and action.
This is tremendously disturbing. How does it serve the best interests of the kingdom of God to:
- Just ignore all the bad news taking place in our country and the world and/or
- Stand around waiting for someone else to tell you what to do when you already know what to do?
If you are an informed Christian and you really are concerned about the direction our nation is being driven by progressives, socialists, and proudly immoral people and want to know how to make a difference allow me to suggest four decisions you can make that will allow you to do your share in stemming the growing darkness and actually win the culture war.
One: Start by believing in something.
They’re called “standards” or “moral absolutes.” The Bible clearly teaches that God loves everyone but not everyone will inherit eternal life. John put it this way: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3). Everything is not acceptable to God no matter how many people insist that it is. Obeying God is how you love Him.
Christians need to stop being talked out of believing what they know the Word to proclaim. Loving your neighbor does not mean accepting his or her sinful lifestyle as good when the Word clearly says that it is not. When Paul wrote “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) he wasn’t inviting Christians to devise any way of living for God they felt comfortable with. No, these words precede them “as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but more in my absence, work out…” Obedience to God is not something we only do when it is convenient and praiseworthy. Joshua put the issue before his people this way, “choose this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). Make the choice and then believe it!
Two: Be willing to stand for it.
Do you really believe something when you allow others to dictate how or whether you live out your beliefs? At a bare minimum, you stand for what you believe when you speak it publicly. Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” Too many “believers” have bought into the convenient lie that God wants only a private unobtrusive relationship with His followers.
Daniel stood up for prayer (Daniel 6). His three friends stood up for the second Commandment (Daniel 3). Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Why do today’s churchgoers need to be told to stand up for their faith in God? Why is it a good thing for an unrepentant sinner to come out of the closet loud and proud but a bad or embarrassing thing for a follower of Jesus Christ to announce how He delivered them from the power and bondage of sin?
You cannot stop every sinful thing in the world from happening. But if you narrow your focus and find some friends who believe as you do and are willing to stand as you are, you could make a difference in something. Don’t leave it up to politicians or religious leaders to legislate what is right. You tell them what is right. Remind them that you don’t work for or take orders from them. The words from 2 Chronicles 16:9 come to mind:
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.
God is longing to demonstrate support for those who earnestly seek His righteousness. Focus!
No one knows how long God thought and brooded over the idea of Creation. Years? Millennia? Epochs? All we know for sure is that nothing happened until,
God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light (Genesis 1:3).
We know salvation was in the mind of God as far back as Genesis 3:15 but humanity’s deliverance didn’t become a reality until “God sent forth his Son…” (Galatians 4:4). And no one knows how long the apostles would have sat around talking about the good days they had with Jesus had Jesus not said,
Go…and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).
Ultimately, only our decisive actions validate our beliefs. Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount by contrasting two men who heard His words but responded differently. Only the one who put the corresponding action to the words he heard from Jesus survived the storm that befell them both. Do something about your concerns other than complaining that no one is doing something about your concerns. Go!
How much different would America and the world look if we who call ourselves “Christians” would just do what we know we should be doing and not wait on being told to do it?
You’ve looked both ways…now turn!