To say these are extraordinary times seems almost cliché to me now, and wholly insufficient in describing the true depth and breadth of what our lives have become. Now some might say, that our lives (life) is what we make of them (it). And on some level…a particular level, they would be absolutely correct. The truth is, there are two worlds in which we blessed creatures with free will may choose to live; God-centric, and world-centric. Those who would ascribe to the life is what you make it adage dwell in the latter. Even though they may acknowledge God and pray for him to be on Their side, those well-anchored in the former realm pray to be on His side. I have sandwiched today’s SMTU between the Romans passage and 1 John to help make this point clear.
Why is it important for my self to make this point clear to your self? Simply because God-centrically, my love for you is genuine. And, this being so, I would suffer tremendous hardship, and bear enormous pain to open your heart and mind to His promise in 1 John 17, and save you from where the world that passes away would otherwise leave you.
As has been the case for all the Summer SMTU’s and now this first of the Fall, they present themselves to those who seek Him…in the fertile soil of fellowship, tilled and nurtured in the fervency of prayer and fasting. God was as crystal clear this week as He has been all Summer long in leading us…from the lowest place of humility to the highest peak of His genuine love. Having planted Love on our hearts as our prayerful focus for the week, He provided the perfect settings for the seed to take root. On Tuesday morning I attended a presentation given by our Oath Keeper Chaplain Rev. Bill Banuchi, Regional Director of the New York Faith & Freedom Coalition on America’s Godly Heritage. And on Thursday evening I attended my Men’s Bible Study of the John Eldredge book, Fathered by God. I’m pleased to report a full house was on hand in both settings!
Here’s the amazing take-away. First, notice the difference in God’s word as expressed in Romans and 1 John. In Romans, He is telling us who to love and how to love. In 1 John, He is telling us what not to love and why. On Tuesday, Rev. Banuchi took us back to the very beginning…to Columbus, the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. He took us back to the time we were thirteen colonies, when the #1 requirement for holding public office was belief in and a relationship with the One God of the Holy Bible, the six miracles of our Revolution, and the founding and protection of our public education system through the Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647. As Andrew Jackson stated, “The Bible is the rock upon which our nation stands.” On Thursday I spent the evening with a roomful of men hungry for the Father’s love, in a world where the “rock” Andrew Jackson so eloquently described as been all but crushed and stolen from beneath their feet. God’s love for us from then until now has not wavered or withered in the slightest bit, but what has changed in us must be our entire focus, and worthy of every ounce of energy we have. More urgent than the economy, foreign policy, or (if you can imagine) climate-change; Our love, how we love, who and what we love must change from the how, who, and what of now to the how, who, and what of then. And by that, I mean from world-centric back to God-centric. In God We Trust was way more than a catch-phrase. It was a conviction of the heart that guided, shielded, sustained, and you better believe STRENGTHENED us beyond any and all measures this world has ever known.
In sharing our personal experience of the Eldredge “stages” on Thursday evening, one of the men told me he had no awareness, experience, or dealings with the threat(s) I described to him from my vantage point of the warrior stage. He acknowledged cutting short his cowboy stage by marrying relatively young as well. The fascinating thing to realize is that the men of yesterday’s God-centric world developed and matured much differently…more fully, I believe it safe to say. The question remains…do we possess the level of genuine love it will take to engage those who seek to deprive us of Our Godly Heritage, and destroy all that we love and cherish? It becomes easier once we understand how the Old Deluder turned genuine love into the impotent cliché of today; nice, safe, feel-good nothingness, fearing the very thought of offending above all else. Words to surely die by.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides for ever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17