Are You Stumbling?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, August 15, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

“This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people: ‘Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.’” -Isaiah 8:11-12

As a parent, I have had moments where I get in my kids’ faces with love and compassion and a very firm voice. I hold them tightly in my hands and look them in the eyes. I do this at crucial moments to ensure I have their undivided attention, and so that they will hear the importance of what I am about to say to them. I do it to make sure they will remember, to share my wisdom and experience, and to hopefully spare them from something that could leave permanent damage in their lives. I do it hoping they will trust me, take my words to heart, and walk through situations in the best way possible. The passage quoted above, I believe, is the same kind of moment between God and the prophet Isaiah.

God wants Isaiah and all of Israel to avoid being caught up in the conspiracy thinking and self-centered ways of living that the culture around them had adopted. Why? Because God knows that once we get focused on paranoid and selfish ways of thinking, we stop trusting that He has a plan, and we go into survival mode. And the saddest part of survival mode is that it can covertly be operating even in the most religious and supposedly God focused believers.

Read Romans 9:30-33. As Paul finishes his point in this section, he quotes from the same chapter in Isaiah, the verse just after the ones I quoted above. Paul reminds the believers in Rome that it is not a person's race, or color, or predisposition that enables us to have relationship with God. The Jews thought they had special privileges as God's chosen people. Many Christians act that way today too. Yet he makes it clear that it is not their upbringing, religion, or bloodline that gives them access to God. There is only one way to be in relationship with God and that is by faith.

When we watch the news, observe the political debates of presidential candidates, and read our news feed on our social media, we can become wrapped up in the way the world is going. We do this so much that we start thinking about what we can do to make something happen, or what we need to do to survive - instead of trusting God. Paul says there in Romans 8 that the Jews had done the same thing - trying to get God’s blessing through religious activities. The gentiles (non-Jews), however, got to experience God's promised blessings because they believed God's message and trusted Jesus as the Savior and Messiah. The access wasn't biological bloodlines or religious duty; it was faith that caused them to walk God's way and not the way they had been going.

Many of us get tripped up when we get caught up in the way the world is churning. We kick into survival mode and stop trusting God. When we do this, we will eventually trip over the truth that we are not in control, and we need to trust the one who is.

Jesus is the way, the standard, the example, and the blueprint. And verse 33 reminds us that if we trust Jesus, we will never be put to shame (meaning we will not stumble and fall).

How are you doing with trusting God day by day? Are you able to get beyond the “noise” of the news, and the economy, and conspiracies, and politics?

What is one simple way you can let go of a concern or fear about your life or our country, and trust God for His best in that situation? What would it look like for you to have faith that God bring good out of that situation?

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