On Netflix or in a DVD set you can get a full year of programming. You can watch an entire season of a show in a single day. As you are watching on your TV – or computer or tablet or even your phone these days – it may look like one of the main characters is in a lot of trouble and may die.
However, if you have season two of NCIS and Leroy Jethro Gibbs is in danger of being killed, you can relax. You know that they are in the 10th season of the program and Gibbs is still the lead character. So he will be O.K. You know how it is going to turn out. So you have less anxiety.
When we read the Bible, we see that God tells us how it is going to turn out. We don’t have a lot of details but we know the outcome. Ultimately, God brings justice to the world and mercy to those who accept and follow Jesus.
In the meantime, what will we see? In history, we see cycles. We see nations, tribes, families and individuals go through cycles. What do I mean by that? In the Bible and in history in general, you see people or groups of people get close to God and want to live the way God teaches us to live and then you see a gradual slip away – sometimes to the point where there is no attempt to even think about what God wants much less do as God wants.
You see this a lot of places in the Bible but it is especially easy to see in the Old Testament book Judges. There you see the people of God seek to live the way God teaches and they have a close relationship. Then over a period of time, they begin to compromise and gradually do the opposite of what God taught them to do.
Then God will allow hardship on the people which moves the people to cry out to God for help. The end result many times is that they repent and return to God.
However, after a period of time, they begin to compromise again and the cycle repeats.
You see this in the life of individuals as well. Paul wrote to the young man named Timothy and encouraged him to fan into flames the gifts and passions that God had given him.
You see this out side of the Bible. In American history you read about the series of Great Awakenings. You see the nation turn away from God and then turn back to God. Google the Great Awakenings in American history and read about them. They influence our country even to today. Although that influence is smaller now.
These cycles can last a long time.
You will see personal cycles in your own life. Have you ever been closer to God than you are now? If so, you are in a down part of a cycle now.
Why? We have a tendency to not do the things that will keep us close to God. We begin to miss attending church, not read the Bible, not to pray, not to be in a Life Group, not to find a place to serve. All the things that help us grow and stay close to God.
Then we begin to compromise and we sin and we don’t deal with it. We drift away from God.
When a bunch of people do that in a church, the church drifts away from God. When a lot of churches do that, it affects a community. When a lot of communities do that, it affects a city. Ultimately, it affects a nation.
The question is – Where are you right now? Where are we as a country?
Now you can do well even if no one else is doing well. But if you are not, what is needed?
If you get enough individuals and enough churches and enough communities headed in the right direction, it makes a difference.
So we need to change the heart of people to change the heart of our nation.
You as an individual can do your part by walking with God, and leading others to Christ and to walk with God.
What about the legal and political processes? You should be involved. Not because that is the answer but because that helps. All is takes for evil men to succeed is for good men to do nothing.
You play a part. Get close to God. Reach out to others. Support your church because we are better together.