March 18, 2016

Exodus 9:34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder had stopped, he sinned again: He and his officials hardened their hearts.

How very human of them! We are all very prone to cry out to God in a crisis, but then forget about it all the moment the situation improves. I am reminded of how churches were full in America right after the World Trade Center attack, but then how quickly people again ignored God just weeks later. Right now America is at a turning point because of the presidential election, but people’s responses are all over the place. Many who claim Christ if asked are totally failing to seek God for direction and are placing their hopes in very flawed people. Franklin Graham, unsurprisingly, has stated the Biblical course, not trusting any political party but devoting himself to calling people to prayer. People whose hearts are broken over the spiritual condition of the nation are indeed waking up, but it remains to be seen what their numbers are, and as this verse indicates, whether they will stay awake once the election is over, particularly if the outcome seems good to them. America has indeed been “a shining city on a hill” for over 200 years, sending out more missionaries and doing more for general world welfare than any other nation, but it is in drastic need of repentance and revival. Words are important, but just words don’t cut it. As in Jesus’ brief parable, it wasn’t the son who said what his father wanted to hear who actually did his father’s will, but the one who repented of his rebellion. (Matthew 21:28-32) God desires that His children wake up indeed and stay awake, actively participating in society as His representatives, so that His Name may be recognized as holy (rather than used as profanity, as it is today) and His kingdom come.

I am certainly stirred up by what is going on in America today, but since I live in Japan, my participation is limited. I am to be praying for America, certainly, but I must not overlook what I am to be doing here in Japan. Frankly, the percentage of Christians is so low in Japan that part of me welcomes the distraction of what is going on in the US, to keep me from depressed with the situation here. I am to stay awake and alert in all areas (metaphorically of course; I do need sleep). I am to keep pressing in for more of God whether my circumstances seem easy or hard. I am to make Him my first priority on every level, so that His plans for me may be fulfilled, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Keep me from saying good words and then failing to follow through. May I keep Jesus in focus at all times (Hebrews 12:2) so that everything else will stay in perspective, and I will walk in Your peace and joy, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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