In the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14 it says “…seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;” I think this is where Christian Americans are falling short.
Last time, I said I’d get back to the matter of idolatry. Idolatry is letting anything else take priority in our heart, thoughts, actions, over God, his will and his commands. Idolatry is wickedness to God – a wicked way we’re supposed to turn from. Idolatry is also the opposite of seeking his face. We might ask, what do God-fearing Christians put before God?
Entertainment – When we know more about pop-culture and stars’ lives than what the Bible says about our life and the life of Christ.
Sports – When we know more sports stats than Scripture, and the conversation standing the line to receive communion is about the game later (yes I witnessed this more than once).
Political party – When our behavior towards the opposite party doesn’t exhibit fruit of the Spirit; our party views contradict the Word of God; when our ability to love and reach out to a member of the other party is clouded by anger and resentment.
Patriotism – Using worship service time to sing patriotic hymns to our country instead of solely to God; an attitude of praise, worship, and reverence to the flag. I’m not knocking patriotism in and of itself. I am knocking the practice of using worship time to sing songs that are more patriotic (“National Anthem”, “America the Beautiful”) and less worshiping of God.
God does not share allegiance. God is not American. While he has blessed this country, he doesn’t owe the U.S.A. any special loyalty. He has a people and they are not Americans. Regardless of how God has blessed us, we have squandered that blessing by lifting up the flag and the nation of the U.S. over the Kingdom of God. And what we’re seeing is him slowly take that away from us. Our source of pride and true object of worship in our hearts is being removed. God doesn’t want “God and country.” He wants “God!”
Why should he answer our prayers? We ignore “lesser” sins while railing against other sins. He condemns jealousy alongside homosexuality (Gal 5:19-21, Mark 7:21-22). Also, Christians are stereotypically unhealthy enjoyers of the Potluck, which is gluttony. In Isaiah 9:8-12 it tells the story of the tribe Ephraim. They were attacked and with arrogance and stubborn defiance essentially said “We will rebuild everything bigger and better than before.” Does this not remind us of America’s attitude after 9-11? God ended up punishing Ephraim because instead of repenting humbly and turning to him, they declared, “We will rebuild!”
This is a call to return to God. Not by pressuring our local politicians to have prayer in schools or posting the Ten Commandments in public. Return to God by fasting (yes, not eating – Matt 6:16, Joel 2:12). By seeking God’s forgiveness because we put God with country. Because we love our lives and freedom more than His will. Because our pursuit of personal happiness means more to us than giving our lives for the good of His Kingdom. Our very identity is in Christ . Our citizenship needs to reflect our eternal citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not in the United States.
How do we need to live? Cast away everything that entangles us and dedicate our hearts – all that is us – for whatever He has us do (Jer. 24:7, 29:13, Joel 2:12; 2Kings 10:31; Luke 9:23, 10:27). No matter the cost. We do this as individuals first. Not for America but for the one who Created us.
Please prayerfully consider what I’ve said. Please consider what attitude God would have you hold on to. Thank you for reading.