As heart-led followers of Christ, we spend the bulk of our lives focused on training the brain to obey the heart. A critical element in this is learning to accept the Lord’s testimony of who and what we are in His eyes.
When this works as it should, our first and recurring impulse is to fall prostrate at His feet. We never quite escape the sense that we are broken, that we have sinned against Him and are worthy of His wrath. At the same time, we are always near ecstasy at the thought that He has forgiven us and wants to use us for His glory. The rest is mostly learning the particulars. It’s a long course of training because our instincts as humans are attuned to ignoring His revelation.
Worse, if you are American, as I am, then you know we belong to a culture that is fundamentally hostile to divine revelation. Americans in particular, and the West in general, have built an existence that is everything He says is wrong. So it’s not enough that we fight our fallen fleshly nature, but we fight a cultural background that only makes things worse.
Revelation is in everyone’s best interest. It doesn’t matter how we might reason this out, ignoring revelation hurts us all, and it alienates us from the universe. Upon entering into the truth of divine revelation, we are stunned by the shocking disjuncture between what is versus what ought to be. For example, we should hardly be surprised that the US is coming apart. It’s not enough that history itself shows us why, but revelation clearly says our country has been provoking God and all Creation against us.
Think about it: Every military expedition during the lifetime of anyone living in the US has been in response to something we provoked on foreign soil. To the degree we are victims, it is because we have done it to ourselves. And it’s not hard to find concrete proof that every bit of it was for commercial interests. We insist on taking things God gave other nations, and never in any kind of fair exchange. Our prosperity came almost entirely on the backs of other peoples.
No surprise then that everyone and his dog wants to come here and enjoy the fruits for their own labor. But that’s not the whole story. The reason they don’t have what they lust after in their own country is because their culture doesn’t produce the high level of productivity that ours does. Not only have we stolen from them, but we have corrupted them to desire things neither we nor they should have.
No one is in a position to correct any of this. We now have to live and make decisions based on where we are, and where God is taking us. The US cannot avoid the destruction of God’s wrath. No amount of fervent repentance at this point will save anything except a few individual lives. Even then, that salvation will be relative. Only those truly focused on God’s glory will have any chance to see His glory, but we shall see it mixed with divine wrath.
We need to get used to the idea that people are fallen. The evil that we see is their norm. That evil is shaped by culture and context, but the basic presence of evil is simply normal for them. It is not normal for heart-led followers of Christ; we have a new normal revealed from Heaven. This marks us as aliens in our country. We belong to another place and our true loyalty is elsewhere. We should expect some friction. It is simply not possible for a nation hostile to the heart-led way to somehow qualify for the blessings of that same heart-led way. It makes no difference if they belong to Christ in Eternity; they aren’t serving Him very well in the here and now. So we should expect that their religion will be mixed with all sorts of evil. From where we stand, so-called Christians (of the mainstream variety) are nothing more than another brand of the same evil that grips everyone else.
We are in a civil war here in the US. The primary divide is cultural, arising from a difference in orientation on what constitutes moral good. Both sides are wrong. Still, we can recognize bits and pieces of misplaced truth in each side, mixed in with a whole lot of evil. The biggest mistake we can make is embracing either side. There’s nothing wrong with recognizing a sense of human affinity with ideals and personalities, but we must also recognize the limits of such things when folks are simply not serving our God.
Don’t get caught up in the instrumentality of things as perceived by human reason. We should have no trouble recognizing what is the wisest course open to anyone, but we must discern how that course is still a miserable path because they refuse the heart-led way. Should Trump authorize deadly force for the troops guarding our southern border from invasion? Yes, he should, and they should be armed, but in the long run it won’t make any difference. Still, his reluctance isn’t because of any noble motives; it’s purely a matter of politics. Instead of bold action, he’s trying to avoid uncomfortable choices, with the result he’s making things worse. He’s a wuss.
It’s not that the invaders are somehow wrong; stirring up this conflict is a good thing. It points out our country’s crimes. Unfortunately, nobody is getting the right message. Even the invaders themselves appear to be rather confused, given their statements. It’s easy to forget that someone is steering them for purposes that have nothing to do with justice, the same as someone is steering Trump. The real conflict is behind the scenes, and those most loudly trumpeting how they get that point are still missing the real point.
The real point is that wrath is falling on the US and there’s no hope for a reprieve. In that sense, the die is cast and there’s no turning back. There will be violence and turmoil, and that’s simply the harvest of sin. We who walk the heart-led path should not imagine there is any way to stop this train wreck. We can pray for mitigation, but it’s the difference between tribulation and apocalypse — a matter of degree, not substance. Even then, it’s upon us to seek His face and claim any mitigation He might offer, since it’s pretty clear He’s not hesitant to make it a full apocalypse.
His offer to us is only that we could avoid the worst. It requires each of us to fully commit to the proper wise course of action. That course of action is not letting petty wishes to get in the way, but to be fully focused on His glory. That means building within your own limited domain a place of faithfulness and shalom. No, this is not a call for uniform religious behavior, but a call for you to come before the Lord yourself and ensure that you know His will for you.
Your choices are the prayer that speaks far louder in God’s ears than any words you might have.