Concerns abound! The national debt, individual credit maxed out and student loans at record levels; polarization of opinions and relations is being stoked almost hourly by the media; and the world does not seem to be getting any safer. The daily issues in front of us escalate from the failure of the family to the church being under the influence of the culture to the government establishing more control over both.
With the noise level so high, distractions dominate the day. Take a moment and inventory what most of your conversations evolve around. Too often they involve anxiety and worry about the latest news story – this is being under the influence of the wrong stuff. The challenge is on to tune out the noise and tune in to God. Oswald Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest, “We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way.”
In his new book Counter Culture, David Platt speaks of the tragedy in our constant quest to satisfy ourselves. We actually become slaves to sin. “This is why Jesus teaches, ‘I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin’ (Jn.8:34). We know this to be true. This is easy to see in the alcoholic, for example. He becomes drunk, believing it is the path to personal satisfaction, only to find himself enslaved to an addiction that leads to his ruin.” In trying to deal with the associated guilt, the tendency “is to convince ourselves that our moral standards are impractical or outdated. Greed is not wrong; it’s necessary in the good of ambition. Promoting ourselves is the only way to be successful. Lust is natural for contemporary men, and women, and sex is expected regardless of marriage or gender. We attempt to remove our guilt by redefining right and wrong according to cultural fads.”
Fret Not: “Let not your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me” – John 14:1. Presently, I am troubled with the status quo. I like to trust in me and in doing so tend to do a lot of calculating without God. As I trust in God through a personal, passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ I realize He is up to something in the midst of all the noise. My job is tune in to Him and navigate through this world, to be an influence in this culture instead of letting the culture influence me.
Prayer guide: Lord, I know the days I trust in You go a lot better than the days I trust in me. Bless my time in Your Word and in prayer to tune out the distractions I have allowed to dominate my mind. Every conversation is an opportunity to point to You. Grant me clarity of mind to tune in to You and be Your representative in my marriage, family and circles of influence. Help me reject passivity and lead courageously to counter culture as You did so well as You walked this earth. Amen.
A faithful father counters culture as he trusts in God and lives the Gospel.