If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation. -John 11:48
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. -Psalm 18:2
We are living in the midst of a culture that is polarized, anxious and fearful. Even among Christians, there is a sense of insecurity and instability. In an age marked by the rejection of eternal, absolute, objective truth and one transcendent God; there is a corresponding lack of deep rooted trust, peace, security, confidence and stability.
The other morning while having devotions, I read the verse above from the Gospel of John and noted that even among the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, they were governed by a spirit of fear instead of faith. They were terrified that faith in Jesus would rob them of their earthly identity. Ironically, it is faith in Jesus that provides us with an eternal identity, security and stability. They rejected his eternal kingdom for their earthly positions, power, identity and kingdom and in the process lost everything anyway.
The same is happening today. While those who identify as “liberals” are rejecting truth and therefore missing out on the eternal blessing and inheritance of Christ and his kingdom; there are many “conservatives” who are mistaking and misplacing their hope in “America” and “nationalism” instead of Christ and his eternal kingdom that transcends any country, nation or people; while including people from every country, nation, tribe and language.
There is a great fear that we are “losing” our “country, position and privilege.” While culture at large has rejected at present, the tenants of biblical faith, virtue and truth, it is in God, and God alone, not country or culture, that we find salvation, security and stability. God is our refuge. He is our fortress. He is our rock. I believe we are focusing too much on culture instead of keeping our eyes fixed on Christ. Our minds are set on earthly dynamics instead of eternal reality. We are seeking temporary relief instead of lasting refuge. We have forgotten the truth of God’s Sovereignty over all things and that his is a dominion and kingdom that will endure forever!
Culture will constantly change; but God is unchanging. Outward circumstances shift, but Christ is steadfast. People will disappoint, but God is our deliverer. We may stumble, but Christ is our strength. We sometimes fail, but our faith in Jesus can be firm. Kingdoms rise and nations fall, but God’s kingdom will endure. People’s views alter, but truth is stable. The hope we have in Christ is the true anchor for our souls; not ideal situations.
Let’s not be ruled by a spirit of fear; but a spirit of faith in Christ. Remember the great hymn of the Reformers:
A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.