Tag Archives: politics

How to Get Along With Those With Opposing Views

With regards to opposing view, it seems as if there is nothing that divides people more than politics. I have hitherto seen as much passion out of people as I do when two people with differing political ideologies clash.

As I witnessed this a few days ago, I could not help but ask myself these questions: How would our world be different if we showed as much passion to change ourselves as we did trying to change other people’s views? How different would we be if we were as committed to God as we were our political views?

This is not the first time people have had different political views. In fact, the bible covertly speaks to how people with different political views, and speaks to how they can get along. This silent lesson can be lifted from the scripture by looking at two disciples of Jesus – Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Tax Collector.

Simon the zealot was one who like his name was zealous for the overthrow of the governing body at the time. Matthew the tax collector was one who was getting paid by that same government to collect money from folks who probably did not care for the government. To Simon, Matthew would have been considered a traitor – selling his identity for money.

Yet the bible does not speak about these two disciples clashed – not even once. In fact, they were part of the twelve who spend time with Jesus and so spent time with each other often. This tells us a number of things:

(1) The Presence of Jesus Changes Everything: What we know about the two of them is that they were in the presence of Jesus. When God showed up and called them, they both gave up their special interests for His interest. Simon beat his sword into a plowshare (Isaiah 2:4) and Simon changed his love for money into love for God. This tells us that the presence of God changes everything. Now, for us believers, God is not only with us, but He is with us, through the infilling of the Holy Spirit. If the presence of God leads us, then we would see as God sees versus how we see things. Let us take the example of Simon and Matthew – let us behold God once again.

(2) A Kingdom Mindset Changes Everything: A kingdom is a complex word formed out of two words – King and Dominion. Hence, a kingdom is the king’s dominion. In a kingdom, the will of the king is what carries sway. He has final say and authority. What we feel, think, have been led to believe does not much matter. Being that we now citizens of the kingdom, only the instructions of the king matters. He has set forth some edicts. He says to love your neighbor  as yourself (Mark 12:31). He says to love your enemies, bless those that curse you, and do good to those that hate you (Matthew 5:44). It seems that Simon and Matthew must have taken this to heart for they did not hate each other once they accepted the instruction of the King.

(3) God Is The Answer: All people generally want the same things. We are all looking for security, identity, acceptance, happiness. The difference between all of us is that we look for the same things in different place – depending on where we feel and think we will find it or where the world tells us we will get it. Thus we see that Simon had his identity in his tribal heritage and Matthew had his security in money. Yet they realized that these things could not fill the hole in their heart. No matter how much money Matthew made, it brought temporary happiness but no more. No matter how passionate Simon got, there was still something missing. What they realized they had in common was that they were both in need of a Savior. Instead of arguing about who was right and wrong, they realized that they were both wrong. They realized that only God is right. They realized the selfishness of the intent of their hearts. And they realized that God + nothing = more than enough. So instead of pointing the finger of blame, they surrendered to Him who could do more with a word than a mountain of money or a thousand uprisings.

A person who loved the presence of God, had a kingdom mindset, and knew God was the answer to all he could face was Daniel. With these three things, a boy who was bought in chains to Babylon  – a place filled with idols but was the most powerful kingdom in the world – turned into a man who turned the kingdom upside down and caused the leader of the kingdom to decree the following:

Then King Darius wrote:

To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

For He is the living God, And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

 

Food For Thought: If we truly want to be world changers, we have to first change ourselves – God can do way more through us when we resolve to be more like Him.

 

 

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Dear Christian, Who Bewitched You To Leave Goshen?

Intro

The people had hitherto seen a more curious sight. The magicians could not explain it and the wise men were lost for words. A man slapped himself just in case he was dreaming. But this was no dream, this was reality. What is going on he cries out aloud!

Just like every other Egyptian, while this man could not believe the severity of the plagues that was devastating their land, what was more unbelievable was that all this pestilence that had come out of nowhere did NOT touch the land of Goshen. It was as if there was an invisible barrier around Goshen that prevented all these plagues from entering.

History

If you know some bible history, you may remember that Goshen was a piece of land within Egypt where the the Children of Israel settled. After suffering under the hand of Pharaoh who had put them to hard labor, the voice of their cries reached God and He in turn decided to send them a champion called Moses who would save them from the rule of Pharaoh.

Light-bulb moment: Real and lasting change starts with crying out to God.

Moses was a messenger from God who came to put Pharaoh ‘on notice’ but Pharaoh did not like it and hardened his heart…to the chagrin of his subjects who experienced the hardships of the plagues.

Light-bulb moment: We have a choice between pinning our hopes on the ruler of this land or the ruler of the land of our heart.

Application

Of the many fascinating things about the story, the one I want to point out is that though Goshen was nestled within Egypt it did not experience the craziness that was happening with all the plagues. It was as if though it was in Egypt, it was not a part of Egypt. It seemed as if the rules of Egypt did not apply to it. It was as if Goshen was a kingdom within a kingdom. While the citizens of Egypt experienced the full effects of the plagues, those that belonged to Goshen were fully insulated from the effects of what was going on around them. Because of this, unlike the citizens of Egypt who complained about what was happening around them, those in Goshen had no cause for complaint.

If you consider the parallel between then and now, we see that land of Goshen represents the kingdom of God while the land of Egypt represents the kingdom of the world.

Implication

Friends, we ought not  to operate in the world system but operate in God’s system, for although we are in the world, we are not of the world. This means that though chaos and pandemonium may be all around, there ought to be calm and stillness where we live, for we live in Goshen.

But I am afraid to say that this is not the case lately where I live. In fact, the opposite seems to be true of those who are supposed to belong to Goshen (us Christians). Everybody is up in arms and complaining about something – making enemies of their friends based on man-made ideology. Forgetting that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against unseen forces.

Why is this? It is because we have strayed outside of the land of Goshen. When we stray outside of Goshen, the laws and rules of Goshen cease to apply but those of the Kingdom of Egypt do.

Light-bulb moment: When we desert Goshen, people stop seeing us as Goshenites but start to identify us as Egyptians. Instead of being set apart, we get stuck in place.

It Is Time To Go Back To Goshen

To get back to Goshen requires that we seek the Kingdom of God. If we seek it, we will find it. Yet if we are to find it, we need to know where to look.

God tell us that the Kingdom of God is within us. This Kingdom was given to us when the Holy Spirit was given to us. So we see, the Kingdom was sanctioned by God and negotiated for us by Jesus (through his sacrifice). And since the Holy Spirit is its custodian, there is no enjoying the benefits of the Kingdom without walking in the Spirit.

Light-bulb moment: We can’t work our way into the Kingdom of God, we can only walk  our way into it.

This is why Jesus said ‘it is good that I go’. By leaving, he was able to leave us a Helper and a guide who would guide us into the kingdom – a place where we are free of the plagues and pestilence of this world. Jesus left so that we that we could be indwelt by the Spirit not only for eternal salvation but also to experience the Kingdom life right here on earth. That is good news!

What We Are Seeing Today

What we are seeing today is a direct result of not following the lead of the Holy Spirit. When in our pride and stubbornness we decide we know better than the Holy Spirit, we step out of the Kingdom and start to operate in the world system. When this happens, we find out that we begin to pin our hopes not on God but on  whoever is ruling. And of course four years later we are not satisfied and want change again – whatever it is – only to be dissatisfied again.

Light-bulb moment: The kingdom life cannot be obtained through legislature. It can only be obtained through obedient surrender to God

What Should We Do

The bible says we will eat of the good of the land if we are willing and obedient. It does not put stipulation on who is where, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. This means that whether we experience the kingdom life or not ultimately depends on us and us alone!

Light-bulb moment: Disobedience to the voice of God is what got us where we are. Obedience to the voice of God (and not of man) is what will get us where we want to be.

What if we had applied ourselves when He told us to; what if we had gone to school? What if we had listened?  What if we listen and obey now!

Friend, lets choose to follow the lead of the Spirit today and obey his promptings. All he wants to do is lead us into the kingdom life – a life of love, joy, and peace. A life of nothing missing and nothing broken. A life that paid for by giving his own life.

Therefore, let us not expect any man, woman, political party, or otherwise to give what only God can give us. To do so is to set ourselves up for disappointment.

Food For Thought: I am the only one who can decide to leave the hell of Egypt for the heaven of Goshen.

 

 

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Should I Vote Republican or Democrat in 2016?

https://i1.wp.com/images.sodahead.com/polls/003224887/1418406230_political_parties_1_xlarge.jpeg

I recently saw a board that used president Obama’s name as an acronym to spell our a sentence that is best left to the imagination. The viewing of this board reminded me of my experience during the presidential election season in 2012.

It was a Saturday morning in October 2012, a few weeks before the the presidential election. My friend had invited me to a prayer meeting held by her church. As I entered the well-kept building, I heard a steady stream of passionate prayers. The sound of prayer buoyed up my spirit, so I took a few moments to prepare my heart and then stepped up my walking pace to quickly join the proceedings!

After about 50 minutes of bold and passionate prayer, a person got up from the crowd, picked up the microphone and said: Let us pray against the persecution and slander that is coming against the president. At this, the room went into a frenzy! The passion that was already high went through the roof and the noise level reached deafening proportions. I am certain a few people received their heavenly language that day as it seemed the whole room burst into all sorts of tongues. There were many declarations such as: Enough is enough, the powers of darkness cannot stop your will, he will be re-elected! For another 15 minutes, folks prayed fervently against racism, prejudice, elitism, protection, and everything you can imagine for the president!

The following day, I went to a more familiar church. The atmosphere was vibrant and the worship spectacular. During the service, one of the pastors said of the coming elections: Be sure to vote, but let us pray for our president, no matter who gets elected. This is what the scripture tells us to do (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

After service, a number of people approached me gingerly…wondering which way I was slanted on the election. One lady approached boldly and said, I wish we had more people in 70805 like you. I wondered if she had ever been there. Another came forth and said: I don’t have to ask which way you are voting because I already know… for you love God. After searching my eyes for a few seconds, the person deemed it safe and then proceeded to let me know his thoughts on President Obama and the people that supported him.

As the election approached, many commented that they wanted to see God’s elected in office this time around.

The passion reached an ungodly crescendo on election night. The transformation was instant on social media: Angels turned into demons; Dr Jekyll became Mr Hyde; the frog became a charming prince. It took some people weeks to recover…some have never recovered.

After seeing the poster, I wondered what God thought about it all, so I asked him. He answered me by asking me some questions:

  • What if My people are as passionate about seeking me, reaching the lost, saving their marriages, and obeying my voice in their hearts as they are about which party or who is elected into office? Would they not be victorious by now?
  • Am I divided? I am supposed to be the head of the body – which is the church. Has not the head been choked from the body? Without the leadership of the head, the body turns against itself. The arm does what it wishes and the leg does as it wishes. The body is stumbling around in the dark all because it has decided to turn away from its source of supply
  • Has not the church become prideful? They decide what they want in their hearts and then pray to me fervently to bring to pass their own will. They have made themselves gods. I am the author and finisher of their faith. I have no obligation to finish what I have not authored!
  • Are not my people afraid? They slander and kill each other with their words because they do not trust me. They act in their own selfish interest and kill their neighbor for gain.
  • Have I already not made a way? If my people would just do what I have asked of them – go and make disciples of the people around them, then all people would know my will. But they only go to make a new convert for the sake of telling their friends. They go on mission trips for themselves and not for me. They only follow me for gain. Many are as Judas Iscariot. They have allowed the enemy a foot-hold.
  • Do they not take my name in vain? My people invoke my name to achieve their own goals. The leaders lead my flock astray. Why do they follow the law and not my Spirit though I have redeemed them from the law.

Friends, there are allegedly 2 billion people who claim to know Jesus. This is one-fourth of the world population! Moreover, 78-80% of the US population proclaim to know Jesus. With these kinds of stats, we should be able to change the world. Remember that biblical Gideon was able to down 135,000 men with only 300 men with the help of God.

This tells me that if we want real change in our world, we have to start by changing ourselves. The world will respond to who we are and not what we say. Instead of worrying about who is going to be or has been elected into office, we should pay more attention to what we are doing in the priestly office to which we have been elected. You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9)

Food for Thought: Yes I am not perfect, but am I so imperfect? Could I do better?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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