Shaking Foundations

March 28, 2013

If the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

Forty years ago, Francis Schaeffer wrote of the cataclysmic cultural shift taking place in America—from a pro-Christian culture to a post-Christian culture to an anti-Christian culture. This blog is a quick response to concerns New Lifers are expressing as they feel the foundations eroding beneath us.

1) Don’t: Worry

When life seems to fall apart, it’s always good to read Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:25, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life.

No caveats.  No exceptions.

Instead of worrying, Psalm 11 directs us to remember,

The Lord is in His holy temple;

the Lord’s throne is in heaven;

His eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.

The Lord tests the righteous,

Don’t worry, instead rise above! God is still on His throne.  He is not shocked.  He is not out of control.  He knows what He is doing.

If you are a believer, you are being tested.  Focus on passing the test!

Be still and know the He is God.

Pray (Philippians 4:4-7).

Respond like Jesus (which begs the question: how did Jesus respond? Glad you asked.  Read on.)

2) Do: Weep

When I see people in my generation heeding the siren songs of the Deceiver, I am tempted to respond several [bad] ways: 1) Ignore it—my life is busy enough; 2) Deny it—are things really that bad?; or 3) Concede defeat—what difference can I make?

When Jesus looked at the people of Jerusalem, He didn’t turn the other way.  He didn’t minimize. He didn’t cynically disengage.

Jesus wept.

He wept because He knew the truth: without Him, people are lost and stupid, like sheep without a shepherd.  He wept because He knew their end: “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” He wept because He loved.

If seeing lost people act like lost people drives you to weep, that’s a great Jesus-response.

3) Don’t: Feel Helpless

Jesus prayed.  Jesus wept.  Then, He did something about the problem: He served.  Sometimes, that meant teaching. Other times, that meant cleaning house in the temple. Eventually, it meant that He died.

The temptation in times like this is to feel too small and too insignificant to make a difference.  Can Jonah really change Nineveh? Why even try? Why even start to preach?

Can you change the whole world? Maybe not.  But, you can change the world God made YOU to change!  What is your Nineveh?  What does it mean to love your Nineveh?  Go serve your Nineveh!  Go win your Nineveh through sacrificial love!

Never forget that winning is not measured by the victories YOU see; winning is measured by victories God sees.  Jesus did not commission us to change our culture or our world; He commissioned us to go and make disciples.  Focus on what you can do to lead one more person to know Jesus.

The Psalmist writes in 11:7

For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

4) Do: Know the Bible!

Remember Jesus’ words to the men on the road to Emmaus? “If you’d just known the Scriptures….”  How much comfort do we miss because our minds are bathed in Scripture?  The gold is there, waiting to be mined.

One more reason to know the Bible: so you aren’t deceived.  Tonight, I watched the History Channel’s documentary on Jesus’ execution.  The only “experts” they interviewed were people who didn’t believe the Bible!  It was like watching a documentary on Apollo 11 where the only scholars interviewed were scientists who believed the moon landing was a hoax!

Jesus called Satan “the father of lies” who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  We are all vulnerable to his deception.  Our best weapon in the battle is the Word of God.

This blog offers a very, very incomplete answer, but I hope it stirs some wholesome thinking and action.

Perhaps, a good place to start would be by meditating on Psalm 11:

In the Lord I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

“Flee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked bend the bow;

they have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if the foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?”

The Lord is in his holy temple;

the Lord’s throne is in heaven;

his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

The Lord tests the righteous,

but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

he loves righteous deeds;

the upright shall behold his face.

-Brett

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