Rise Above

December 06, 2021

Rise Above

Politics

When a political climate changes usually our mental and emotional state does as well. We can lose hope or gain hope in just the proclamation of a new elected official.

We are convinced that if the right person gets into office our lives will change for the better, and so it might. We are equally convinced that if the wrong person gets into office our lives will change for the worse, and so it might.

That tumultuous wavering mindset is not what God has called us too. There are absolutes in the word of God that we are to anchor to and ground ourselves in so that we do not waver between hope which brings joy, and discouragement which brings fear.

History

Many believe that this is the worse period of time that humanity has ever had to live through. I’ve often heard that ‘things’ are getting worse and worse. But, are they really, or is it believed to be true only because it is being amplified through countless media sources night and day, and we feed on it non stop.

I could list here many government regimes through the centuries that were far worse than what we live in. Because we did not personally live in and experience those situations they don’t seem to be worse than now. Even if we do consider them, and admit that yes they may have been, we don’t ‘feel’ that they were worse.

Being a true student of history can have its benefits. It gives us a broader, more accurate scope of the threads that have woven through time and can give us genuine perspective on our own time and place in history.

1st Century Rome

The Roman government during the first century, the time when Jesus and his disciples were alive and the government they were subject to, was one of the most vile of all time.

On occasion when I say that to someone, they react one of two ways. They always stop to consider what I’ve said, but then respond with a ‘yeah but…’ or ‘not really as bad as…’

Not knowing the horrific details of that time period can lend itself to yet again more amplification of our current government. When I begin to discuss just how horrific that Roman government was I am usually stopped and told that they do not want to hear that kind of thing. It is just too horrific to imagine and they don’t like to think about it.

A Lack of Knowledge

Shying away from genuine historic events dose not benefit us. In fact knowing the finite details of certain historic events as they actually occurred can bring us hope when put in perspective of the light of the gospel.

Hosea 4:6 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Since you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will forget your children. NAS

This is one of those scriptures that gets tossed about and used to serve many purposes. But it is an accurate statement in most contexts. People can and do perish from lack of knowledge. If you reject learning about history, it can be detrimental. If you forget the Law of God, you will not live by it.

Law of Love

I challenge you who are in the body of Christ that we too have forgotten the law of God, the law of love. We no longer have to live by a law of rules save one which in its essence encompasses most others.

You might have felt a huge shift there. First I was talking about history and the first century and then all of a sudden I was talking about love. Bear with me as I connect the dots.

John 15:12-13

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends. 

Mark 12:28-31

28 One of the scribes came up and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29 Jesus answered “The foremost is, ‘Hear, Israel! The Lord is our God, The Lord is One, 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This is the new covenant law of God - love.

Love does not name call - anyone.
Love does not make fun of - anyone.
Love does not taunt - anyone.
Love does not ridicule - anyone.
Love does not mock - anyone.
Love does not seek its own way - from anyone.

 

As Christ followers we must bring ourselves back to the knowledge that we are to love always in ever situation. Let us not be provoked to anger. Let us look at the adverse voices in our lives and in our world with compassion and pity. Let us purpose to pray sincerely for them which is how the world will be lovingly woo’d back to Christ, because that is our calling, our mandate from God.

Let Us Leave Childish Things Behind

We are more than this type of behavior. We do not have to resort to mocking and name calling. Jesus rose above it all in example and we are to follow His example. As ambassadors of Christ we are called to be Christ like and Jesus never mocked or ridiculed anyone except corrupt religious leaders who led the people astray.

He was at peace in the midst of it all because He knew, he had knowledge of his purpose and where he stood in the kingdom. He encouraged and insisted his disciples do the very same. We should remember this. Remember the knowledge of who we are in Christ and rise above the base verbal brawling so prevalent in this world today. It lessens us and steals our peace.

What Does History Have to do With Love?

You may be asking how does accurately knowing history tie into this. It can change our perspective. If we can view the true historic details of what happened in the first century in all the provinces of Rome and in the Jewish nation, we can see it in the light of our current time.

Because we do not know history in light of what is taught in the bible, we are susceptible to ideals, emotions, and mindsets that waver as the political climate wavers.

Be Strong and Courageous

We are called to be strong, courageous, and steady on the rock of our salvation - Jesus, regardless of the circumstances around us.

I want and intend to discuss this more but will continue on in later posts because I am passionate about walking in the strength and the knowledge that we have been called to walk in. 

Let me leave you with this one thought. If you are feeling uncertainty and apprehension about the future of humanity and what will happen next, you have moved away from what Jesus wants you to focus on.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, thing about these things. 9 As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

The World Was In Chaos

When Paul wrote this to the Philippine church the political climate of the time was in chaos. It was bad and well on its way to becoming one of the most horrific times history has ever recorded. And yet Paul commanded them not to focus on vile government officials, but to focus and dwell on what is good and lovely and the mission they had been given to accomplish in spite of what was going on around them.

Please understand I am not encouraging you to shrink back from engaging or being a doormat to unjust regimes, but mocking, ridicule, and prideful childlike behavior will not earn us respect or get the job done. I often feel we have not directed the flow of our country enough to this point. But we do it within the system with nobility and humility.

Avoid That Which Steals Your Peace

I am saying the same to you that Paul said to the Philippines. If watching the media steals your peace or causes you distress in any way whatsoever, stop watching it. You really have no idea what portion, if any, of it is true and accurate. And even if it were, it does not give you courage, but apprehension and fear.

Turn your back on things that cause distress and turn towards the only thing that causes peace. Dwelling on the goodness of God.

I want to encourage you to leave me any comments below. They are so encouraging and motivating to me. 

Nancy

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