Some lessons from God

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It’s so much easier to see the big picture from a distance.

I’ve been living in France for two months and questioning my life. Why I live it the way that I do … Why I believe what I believe … Why I act the way that I act … From where do my ideas about others come?

And as I ask myself these questions and receive the necessary answers from the awesome God that I serve, my eyes are opened to not only the temple that I am, but also the body of Christ as it exists as a collective.

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The United States claims to be 86 percent Christian. Though I don’t dispute whether all these people believe that God is real and living today (even Satan recognizes God for who He is), I do question whether His body, the church—the individuals that make up the living and breathing organism, really believe what they have read in His love letter that we like to refer to as the Bible. If they indeed do, I would like to pose a question, not to be answered, but to be considered. A question to my brothers and sisters in Christ. If we believe all that God has said, why do we find so many ways to divide ourselves?

In His word, God has instructed us to have peace one with another (Mark 9:50), to love one another (John 13:34), to be affectionate one to another (Romans 12:10), to be like-minded one toward another (Romans 15:5), to admonish one another (Romans 15:14), to receive one another (Romans 15:7), to serve one another (Galatians 5:13), to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), to forgive one another (Colossians 3:13), to build each other up (I Thessalonians 5:11), and so much more we are to do together.

Yet we become divided because of race, because of political affiliations, because of our individual histories. Somewhere along the way, we forget we all have the same Father, we have forgotten that we are sisters and brothers, and we start acting like everyone else whoever “everyone else” may be.

Have we forgotten the words of Christ that say that we are in the world, but we are not of the world. So, we vote, we pay taxes, we send our children to school, but we definitely don’t persecute each other.

We don’t condemn each other, but lift each other up in love. We don’t seek to divide the body, but to work together that our Father may be glorified. At least that is the way it is supposed to be. I was reading the opinions written in the newspaper by the local citizens, and I can’t help but think that we’ve lost sight of this.

It seems that often when people seek to share their ideas, there is someone there, not to argue a point in response but to totally condemn that person. And for what?! In the grand scheme of things, Barack Obama, his race and the economic catastrophe that now dominates the news—none of this matters.

I know that God is going to ask me to give an account of what I’ve done here on earth, but more important than who I voted for is going to be how I treated my brothers. I don’t know Barack Obama from John, but I do have a responsibility for those who enter into my sphere of influence. For once and all, let us forget that we are Americans, let’s step down off of that throne that we have created in being the so-called most powerful nation in the world, and let’s return to the one in whom we live, move, breathe and have our being.

Last month, as I was walking I saw the most beautiful thing that I’d seen up until that point in my life. God ministered to me without using any words. There was no music, there were just birds.

God used the simple to confound me, and it was amazing. Truth be told, I feel no special allegiance to the United States, I could just as well be Algerian, Chinese, Russian or French. I’m not concerned whether God blesses or condemns the United States. My concern is that the body of Christ acts as such, loving one another and living according to kingdom prinicples. And how can we live kingdom, bringing others to know how great God is and sharing Him with those who don’t believe when we can’t even seem to love one another in honesty?

Evette LangNancy, France