What's Keeping You Up Nights?
By Buddy Hanson The Covenant News ~ Auguest 12, 2010
Is it a fear of not bringing honor to God in your daily testimony? Or is it being afraid that if you do what glorifies God, you might lose your job, friends, or good grades? Do you often rationalize that you should wait until circumstances are more favorable to obey God?
If you do, you are out of sync with God's will!
In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus explains the difference between those who obey Him when circumstances are favorable, but disobey Him when circumstances are unfavorable. The meaning of the parable is that those who truly believe in Him, obey Him in all circumstances because they trust in His sovereign control of all events. On the contrary, those who only obey Him when it's favorable to do so are demonstrating that they really trust more in their ultimate control of situations and circumstances.
The Parable given:
Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13.3-9
The Parable explained:
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. Matthew 13.19-23
God honors those who fear Him and trust in His Wisdom and dishonors those who fear man and trust in their wisdom.
Additional Scriptural support for the necessity to put our best efforts into trusting in God's wisdom when making our daily decisions is provided in the following parables from Jesus:
Follow Jesus With Our Whole Heart
Hidden Treasure -- Our best efforts are reserved for what we treasure in our heart. Matthew 13.44 Pearl -- We place the highest value on what we treasure the most. Matthew 13.45-46 Workers in the Vineyard -- We have the right to self-govern those things that belong to us. Matthew 20.1-16 Two Sons -- Obey the Word of God and do His will. Matthew 21.28-32 Servant Entrusted with Authority -- We are rewarded for faithful and consistent obedience. Matthew 24.45-51; Luke 12.41-46 Two Debtors -- We love most the person who forgives us the most. Luke 7.36-50 Good Samaritan -- We should love our neighbors as ourselves. Luke 10.25-37 Tower Builder and Warring King -- Whoever does not forsake all of his will cannot be a disciple of Jesus. Luke 14.28-33
God's Word Causes Divisions
Sower -- God honors those who fear Him and trust in His wisdom, Matthew 13:1-9, 19-23; and dishonors those who fear man and trust in their wisdom. Mark 4.1-9, 13-20;Luke 8.4-8,11-15 Wheat and Weeds -- On Judgment Day Jesus will separate the godly from the ungodly. Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43 Fishnet -- On Judgment Day Jesus will separate the godly from the ungodly. Matthew 13.47-50
What should be keeping the typical American Christian up nights? The lifestyle of the typical American Christian is indistinguishable from that of our non-Christian neighbors. Yet he is adamant in his beliefs that the Bible is without error or contradictions. The question he should ask himself is: "Jesus' half-brother says that 'faith without works [obedience] is dead.' (James 2.20) Since I rarely, if ever, filter my daily decisions through the truths I profess to believe, does that mean that I am not really a Christian?" (Romans 12.1-2)
The future of American is dangling precariously in the balance as we approach the next elections, and conservatives are urgently proclaiming that the solution is in voting the liberals our of office. The question is what will the conservatives do to improve our cultural condition if this happens? From all of the above biblical declarations, the answer is "Not much, unless those conservatives are also Christians, and govern according to God's truths."
For those of us who proclaim that "God's Word is true," there should be no reason to question this conclusion. We only have to remind ourselves of Paul's teaching that God "appoints" the rulers we deserve, (Romans 13), so if we don't actively work for and support Christian candidates, we should not be surprised that we will continued to be ruled by the foolishness of either non-Christians, or Christians who don't have a Christian worldview. May we all pray that we and fellow Christians will begin to live-out our faith, because biblical self-government is the only course of action that has ever worked or will ever work, and indeed, is the only type of governing that "christianized" Western civilization!