Artistry. Discipleship. Worship.
What In The World?
by One Voice Worship on July 8th, 2016

“What is wrong with people?”  “Where is God in this chaos and why is he allowing this to happen?”  “God doesn’t care, so why even pray?”
I’ve seen these questions asked repeatedly over the past few months in light of recent tragedies. They rob me of sleep at night and fill my waking hours with desperate and often discouraged conversation with God.
What’s wrong with people is the condition of their soul.  Mine included.  Even as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I wrestle daily against the propensities of my fleshly nature because although my spirit is desperately willing to do the right things, my flesh is overwhelming weak to do so.  That being said, how much greater is the struggle against the flesh for those who live outside of a relationship with Jesus?  The war raging in the world today is a spiritual battle evidenced in the tangible, and it makes me shudder to think about what is raging in the unseen spiritual realm.  There is a supernatural agenda in play right now that we must acknowledge, and it is beyond our human capabilities to withstand or overcome it.  This world is the devil’s domain, and he knows he is living on borrowed time, so he is working overtime to turn as many hearts away from God as possible by appealing to our human proclivity to anger, hate, doubt, fear, self-sufficiency (pride) and separation from God.  One soul, family, community, state, and country at a time, our enemy is roaming around like a lion seeking to devour every good thing.  He is capitalizing on our weaknesses and emotions as a human race and distracting us with his schemes, for he knows that if we are focused on ourselves, which is ultimately focusing on him, we will be less inclined to turn to God.  And yet in spite of our humanness, our souls are deeply troubled and pained because we also innately know that evil is wrong.  We know there is an oppressive darkness surrounding us.  And it can only be exposed and overcome with light.  God has set eternity in the hearts of mankind, which is why we long for justice, peace, and forgiveness.  This world is imperfect and fallen and riddled with sin.  Tragedy will befall us personally and collectively because heaven left earth in the Garden of Eden.  This world is not our forever home.  We weren’t destined to dwell with the devil and spend eternity separated from God.  We were created to abide in a relationship with Jesus Christ and spend our eternity in His presence.
God is still in control even when everything seems to be spinning out of control.  He is in the midst of the chaos.  God weeps too, for every life - every soul - matters to Him.  He is a loving parent - our Heavenly Father - who wants nothing more than for us to come home.  And like a stubborn child, we resist His heart because we’re more concerned about His hand.  We want our Father’s blessing and protection and provision without laying down our rights or surrendering our hearts to Him.  Apart from God, we become unbridled in our behavior and consumed with emotions, unaware of His presence, which is constant.  He never moves, but like a good Father, will allow His children to distance themselves or even run away in effort to cultivate a longing in the child’s heart to come running home to Him as the prodigal they are.  It’s a reconciliation of God’s sovereignty and His permissive will, both of which are rooted in love.  Often, we confuse our human emotional responses and behaviors as the presence of an unloving God who causes and allows tragedy or the absence of a loving God who could have prevented it.  God loves us enough to give us the gift of free will, which includes blessing and accountability.  With free will comes the blessing of freedom that is found in choosing, rather than being forced into, a relationship with God.  Free will also  produces accountability for our actions and decisions by a righteous and just AND loving Father.  And as a child at any age painfully learns, it is often the lessons of consequence that reveal just how deep the Father’s love is for us when He takes us back in spite of our mistakes or our willing separation from Him.  God loves us deeply, grieves with us intimately, and is desperately calling for us to come home to Him.
God absolutely cares about the turmoil and tragedy in our world.  He is watching the devaluing of human life created in His image.  The destruction of His beautiful creation.  The self-sufficiency that enslaves us.  The pride that entices us.  The fear that paralyzes us.  The hate that consumes us.  The differences that divide us.  God sees it all.  He is the ‘God who sees us’.  He stores each and every tear that is shed by every one of us.  He grieves.  He becomes angry.  He brings justice.  Yet He is empathetic and compassionate.  He forgives and redeems.  He loves beyond our human comprehension.  We mistake God’s inaction according to our preferences as His lack of concern or care, or as hateful or unloving, yet He loves us beyond our human comprehension.  He cares.  And His greatest concern is the condition of our individual souls, as that alone is the real chasm of division facing humanity.
And we pray not because it changes God, but because it transforms us.  It breaks our conformity to the patterns of this world by transforming us from the inside out.  In prayer, we assume the posture of a servant, taking on the character of Christ which mirrors the nature of God, and is evidenced by the Holy Spirit at work in and through our thoughts and words and actions.  When we pray, heaven thunders and hell trembles because we have hearkened the ear of God, the Alpha and Omega.  We tap into the same power that created everything from nothing, that parted seas, that heals the sick, and that resurrects the dead.  A person cannot help but be transformed when in the presence of God!  So while prayer may or may not change circumstantial outcomes or yield miracles or answer the most perplexing questions, it will unquestionably develop a perseverant faith and change the one who is praying by being in the presence of God.  We know not what the sovereign and permissive will of God holds for every moment of every day, but we can confidently rest in the One who holds every moment in His hands and in the God who does have the power to change circumstances, work miracles and provide answers.  We pray because it faithfully positions us both for expectation and consolation as God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
God, You are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).  This truth I claim over my life, over the lives of my loved ones both family and friend, and over everyone within my sphere of influence and throughout this beautiful country called America.  I pray it for every heart that is beating throughout the world and for every soul everywhere who has chosen to abide in a relationship with God through Jesus and for those who have not yet chosen Him.  I implore the Light of Christ in every dark place so that evil is exposed, extinguished and overcome in His name.  I declare hope and peace and comfort for the brokenhearted.  And I plead the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ for every spirit that is crushed – separated – from Him.  Oh God, thank you for being our Father who sees us, understands us, is ever-present with us, who hears us, and who transforms us to be more like you.  We cannot do this on our own.  It’s only You in and though us, one soul change at a time.  One light shined at a time.  One expression of Your love to us shared with another at a time.  Destroy the rules and laws by which we have bound ourselves and reign down your freedom in our lives and in our country.  Replace our cunning thoughts and man-made wisdom with Your truths alone.  Burn away the hate and pride and entitlement and replace it with love and servitude and compassion.  Break our hearts for what breaks Yours.  May we be the faithful, selfless generation that stops at nothing to bring people Jesus. 
Send us out in Your power.  Hem us in with Your protection.  Bind us to Your truth.  Embolden us with Your confidence and strength.  And transform every life You bring into our spheres of influence through Your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen!

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