The news from our Governor caused a lot of different reactions yesterday. I too have my opinion, but have chosen to keep it to myself. Now let me tell you, keeping my opinion to myself is not something I’ve always done.
If you know me, then you know I am a passionate little thing who is loyal to the death. I defend myself and those I love and as Joseph says I will die on the hill before admitting I am wrong. But the truth is, I’ve been so wrong about this. God has been teaching me and correcting me on this issue during the last couple of months. It has been a bittersweet lesson. Bitter because it’s hard to admit when I am wrong, but sweet because He loves me no matter what and forgives all of my crazy mistakes. But He teaches me, molds me and helps me see how I should live. I have been so thankful for His Word the last few days. It’s been speaking to me like never before.
Maybe one day I can share in more detail, but today I wanted to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to refuse to argue and choose to pray and love.
This morning I was reading 1 Peter 4:7-11 and came across some notes I had written on the margin of my bible that were perfect for today.
Do This. Be Like This.
1. Be self-controlled.
2. Be sober-minded for the sake of our prayers.
3. Love one another.
4. Show genuine hospitality.
5. Serve one another using our gifts.
We must be self-controlled. Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens, He does all that He pleases.”and then in verse 9 it says, “O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield?” God is in control so we can be self-controlled. We can fully rely on His strength and know that His ways are not our ways. He does do as He pleases, but what that means is that He acts in a way that pleases Him. He’s not going to do something he despises. He is going to do what’s best for us. Things may look crazy right now, but God is not finished. He is still working. Trust that He is our help and our shield and that everything is in His hands.
As we say no to ourselves and learn to control our reactions to our emotions we are being sober-minded. Sober is translated from the greek word that means calm, collected, to have good sense, good judgment and level-headed in times of stress. If we are out of control and not sober minded, we can not cultivate a spirit of prayer. The enemy wants to distract us because he knows that when our minds are distracted, we are more than likely not praying. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. It tells us to not be anxious, but instead to pray about everything. Instead of trying to prove someone wrong, let’s scroll past their post and pray. What do we have to prove when God has it all under control? For the sake of our prayers, we must be sober-minded.
The passage continues and tells us to love one another. I shared about this in a previous post that you can read here. When we are practicing self-control and being sober-minded for the sake of our prayers, we will love those around us.
The passage also encourages us to show genuine hospitality. We may not be able to welcome people in our homes right now, but we can still choose to be kind and to treat strangers and friends alike.
And finally, serve one another using our gifts. I love the end of verse 11 that says,
“whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
How can we serve someone in need today? What are your gifts? How can you bless someone with them today? Instead of scrolling through social media and adding our two cents into an argument, let’s stop and ask God to help us find someone who needs love today. God supplies us with the ability to serve others so let’s focus on serving those who need us most right now.
It may not be the popular choice, but it’s the best choice. James 4:1 asks the question,
“Who causes quarrels and fights among us? Our passions that are at war within us.”
Not always, but a lot of times we can cause the fights among us because of the war that’s inside of us. Set those passions aside for the sake of love. For the sake of being sober-minded and for the sake of our prayers. Because right now, this nation needs prayer more than anything else.
Hebrews 12:14 says,
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
Let’s live a life that screams Jesus. The enemy wants nothing more than to stop us from praying so he lures us into quarrels and disagreements. Let’s choose to be calm and collected, trusting that God is in control, showing love and hospitality to everyone while serving those in our community. And most importantly, let us continue to pray. Pray for our nation and its leaders. Pray for those around us and pray for ourselves. It’s the most powerful weapon we have so let’s actually use it.
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”