Trusting God is More Than Just a Belief

Trust God through your actions

landscape-mountains-nature-manGod told Noah to build an ark.  “Make yourself an ark…” Genesis 6:14  So Noah responded to God’s command by saying that he had too much work to do to build an ark, right?  He simply didn’t have the time.  Or maybe Noah told God that he would spend a year praying for an ark in hopes that God would just build it for him.  The truth is that Noah built the ark.  “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” Genesis 6:22

Trusting God is not just believing that God will act.  Part of trusting in God is believing that God can act through us.  Many times trust requires doing what God has commanded you to do.  So often we want God to act and do something great in our lives, yet at the same time we are not willing to be the instrument that he wants to use in order to accomplish his will and purposes.  We say that we will pray about the situation, while believing that God will handle the rest.  We pray and then expect God to do all of the work.  Yet how does God often accomplish his will?  How ever he wants to, of course.  Although, quite frequently he accomplishes his will through people like Noah.

Is prayer important?  Yes, of course it is.  Should we believe that God can do anything he wants to do?  Most definitely.  Is praying and believing all God calls us to do?  Absolutely not.  God calls us to prayer and belief.  He calls us to trust in him.  He also calls us to action.  He calls us to do the work that he has prepared for us.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10

The problems are not too big for us

We think that the problems in the world are too big for us, so we don’t do anything about them.  Although, maybe some of those problems exist because we haven’t been doing what God wants us to do.  Who would have built the ark if Noah hadn’t?  Maybe God would have found someone else.  Maybe God would have just built the ark himself.  Or maybe the ark never would have been built in order to save the human race.  None of that really matters though, because Noah obeyed God through action.

In an effort to sound more Godly, we say that we trust in God and that only he can change things.  Although, if we are honest with ourselves, we are actually making an excuse to not act, when God has provided an opportunity for us to be a part of that change.  God’s purposes are often accomplished through the combination of our work and his work.  We need to recognize that our work is useless without him, but that shouldn’t stop us from acting.  God deserves the credit for any work he does through us, but that doesn’t excuse us from the work he has for us.

Throughout scripture, there are countless examples of Godly men and women who did what God commanded them.  Moses saved his people from bondage.  David conquered Goliath and eventually led his people as king.  Esther helped save her people from what seemed like certain death.  Paul traveled the world to share the Gospel.  Jesus performed miracles of healing and eventually saved the world through his death on the cross.

Do something

Christian music artist Matthew West describes our part in God’s purposes in his song “Do Something”.   “So, I shook my fist at Heaven.  Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”  He said, “I did, I created you.”

Stop making excuses about the problems facing our world and start doing what God has called you to do.  Stop hiding behind prayer by saying that you will just pray and God will take care of the rest.  “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

We are supposed to work in alignment with God’s word in order to accomplish God’s purposes.  In any and all situations we should pray, trust and do something.  What work is God calling you to do today?

Don’t Blindly Trust the News

Don’t trust everything you hear on the news

news-644847_1280Major media outlets have an agenda and it is often not aligned with God’s word.  So why do we so blindly trust the news?  Many well-known journalists don’t have a relationship with God.  Why do we trust them?  Often times the media reports partial truths, myths and even outright lies.  Consider news anchor Brian Williams’ recent account of his time aboard a U.S. Army helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which he said the helicopter was hit and forced down by enemy fire.  He later confessed that the story was a “mistake”.

Consider the 1992 Dateline NBC report titled “Waiting to Explode?”.  In an attempt to question the safety of GM trucks, the producers of the show tried to ensure dramatic footage by allowing incendiary devices to be strapped to trucks for a crash-test demonstration.  Countless falsifications such as this demonstrate that we shouldn’t trust everything we hear or see T.V.  Nor should we trust everything we read on the internet or in a newspaper, or even the word on the street.

As Christians, in general, we are so gullible.  We believe so much of what we hear, without considering the source or the true intent of the storyteller.  We are often so caught up with the magnitude of the story that we don’t bother questioning its validity.  And sometimes we believe whatever we think makes us happy.  Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth.

Major news networks aren’t necessarily concerned with integrity

Most Conservatives think Fox is more accurate.  Most liberals think CNN is more accurate.  The truth is that both networks are inaccurate on many accounts.  Allow me to let you in on a little secret…  Most major media networks are doing everything they can to improve their own ratings.  That leads me to believe that they are willing to sensationalize stories and compromise the truth in order to generate wealth.  Sensationalism begets viewership and viewership begets money.

Many networks have ties to special interest groups and governing officials.  They are not necessarily committed to telling us the truth.  They are not necessarily concerned with our well being.  They are not necessarily concerned with having integrity.  So why do we trust them?  “For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.” Psalm 109:2

While we can apply biblical principles to our lives today, God’s word doesn’t reveal all current events occurring in our world today.  However, I believe that God wants us to have a good understanding of current events so that we can respond to the world appropriately.  In order to guard my heart, I filter the information that I receive.  In general, I don’t spend much time reading articles from news sources that I don’t trust.  Whenever I read articles, I process and analyze what I read to ensure I’m not being led astray.  I don’t watch much news on T.V. and I don’t read the newspaper very often.  Here are some things to remember when you read, watch or listen to the news…

  1. Pay close attention and ask God for wisdom in understanding the truth
  2. Be mindful of the information presented and guard your heart from false information
  3. Consider the source and the agenda that they present
  4. Identify and use sources that demonstrate integrity and share the truth
  5. Identify and use additional trustworthy sources to confirm the information presented

Listen to God more and major media less

I am convinced that God’s word offers the answers we need to respond properly to current events. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31

This is not a call for us to be detached from the world.  Jesus called us to be in the world, but not of it.  This is a call for us to be mindful of his words when we are “catching up on the news”.  Without wisdom, knowledge can be deceiving.  Remember these words… “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8

We can begin to reclaim the truth by first believing less lies.  To do so we should filter out the erroneous sources and obtain our news from more reliable sources.  I don’t claim that the following news sources are perfect, but I do believe that the people involved with them have more integrity than those involved with major news outlets…

What news sources do you use and how do you know if they are trustworthy?  What are you going to do to reclaim the truth?

My Endorsement for President

I’m endorsing Rand Paul

paul_randAs my family and friends would likely attest to, I don’t take candidate endorsements lightly.  So when it comes to endorsing a candidate for the presidential election, I take my time in considering all of the candidates.  After much prayer and thought, I have concluded that Rand Paul is the most liberty minded candidate in the field.  Dr. Paul has his faults and is far from perfect.  I have some concerns about his platform and his approach.  However, in my opinion, he is the candidate that would most honorably serve as president.  I believe that he would be a just president and rule in the fear of the Lord.  “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3

Dr. Paul is known for his opposition to the indefinite detention portion of the most recent versions of the NDAA, which has been criticized as a denial of our right to a trial by jury.  He also opposes NSA bulk collection of data, which has been criticized as a violation of the 4th Amendment.  He is a strong advocate for the 2nd Amendment and his voting record proves it.  He has a plan to improve the tax system that is better than any other, as far as I’m concerned.  He is pro life and has a Constitutional approach to saving the lives of unborn children.  He believes in removing government from marriage.  He has a strong defense strategy and a common sense approach to illegal immigration.

I truly believe that Rand Paul is doing everything he can (within the law) to win the upcoming presidential election, including playing the “political game” to a certain degree.  That may come across as insincere to some voters.  There are times when he says things to cater to a particular audience in an attempt to reach more voters.  It is possible that he has been advised to do so in order to win the election.  It is unfortunate that the game has to be played, but it seems to be necessary to some degree.  I don’t believe that compromises his overall value as a liberty minded candidate.

Why endorse Dr. Paul

Dr. Paul supports the U.S. Constitution by his words and actions more than any other officially announced candidate.  He has confessed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which has been clearly demonstrated by the way he lives his life.  He has demonstrated genuine concern for our personal liberties.  He has honorably served as a Senator in Kentucky for four years.  He has a good balance of confidence and humility.

Dr. Paul stands for the principles and ideals that helped make our nation great.  “I want to unleash the American Dream. I will return our country to freedom and prosperity, and restore the principles upon which this nation was founded: man’s right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” — Rand Paul

Dr. Paul has earned my endorsement, in part, because I believe he will heed the words of Thomas Jefferson, when he said… “In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”  I believe that he would act within the confines of the executive branch.  In other words, I am confident that he wouldn’t be power hungry like some who have recently held the same position.  As a Senator, he has demonstrated that he understands the separation of powers and the role of each governing branch.

How he can be elected

I am planning on giving my vote to the most liberty minded candidate.  Dr. Paul is that candidate as far as I’m concerned.  If he can win the Primary, then he would have a good chance at winning the General election.  He could fair well against the Democratic nominee for several different reasons.  Here are a few…

  1. He polls well with independent voters
  2. He reaches out to minorities
  3. He appeals to some Democrats

I truly believe that Dr. Paul has a strong chance to be the next President of the United States of America.  I believe out of all the Republican candidates, he will have the best chance of beating the Democratic nominee.  If you love liberty like me, I hope you will join me in supporting Rand Paul for President.  I believe Rand Paul is genuinely seeking the Lord and I pray that you have that same understanding.  “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.” Proverbs 28:5

Five Attributes a Presidential Candidate Should Possess

Find a candidate worthy of your vote

Like it or not, a new president will be elected in just over a year.  Over the last few months, presidential hopefuls have been announcing their candidacy.  The general election will be held on November 8, 2016 and there are already close to twenty candidates among the two popular parties.  It seems like there is so much time between now and then.  However, the primary elections begin February 1st, so it isn’t that far off.  We should be prepared to vote for the candidate of our choosing.

Some people vote for the most charismatic candidate.  Some vote for the candidate who tickles our ears the most.  Is there any biblical wisdom in voting based on such intangible measures of a candidate?  Voting is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  “We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature…” John Adams

So what makes a candidate worth voting for?  Noah Webster said it this way… “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character. . . . When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.”

Five attributes that make a candidate worthy of your vote

There are many aspects of a candidate to consider when voting.  Of course, there is no perfect candidate.  Only Jesus is perfect.  However, we aren’t looking for perfect.  We are looking for the best.  What exactly do I mean by “best”?  Here are five attributes a presidential candidate should possess…

  1. The candidate supports the US Constitution in words and actions
  2. The candidate has a confessed relationship with Jesus Christ and demonstrates it by his actions
  3. The candidate demonstrates concern for our individual freedoms
  4. The candidate should have prior experience in government
  5. The candidate should be just and have a good balance of confidence and humility

Candidates that possess all of those attributes are hard to find.  The truth is that most candidates are self serving and care most about their own bottom line.  There are few candidates who clearly serve others first and care about our liberty.  The greatest challenge for us as voters is being able to identify the candidate that does.  The chances are, if a candidate has a strong relationship with the Lord and supports the Constitution, that candidate will support your freedom to live your life as God has called you to.

Candidates that have no government experience seem to be gaining a lot of traction recently and that makes sense, considering how career politicians have abused their power.  However, not all politicians have abused their Constitutional authority.  If you don’t believe me, then please research Justin Amash (R – Michigan).  Experience in politics is not the problem.  Dishonorable experience in politics is the problem.  There is usually at least one presidential candidate out of the entire field in every election who has served honorably.  If your selection comes down to two equally worthy candidates, then I recommend voting for the one who has honorable experience as opposed to none.

Choose carefully

In Proverbs 14:34, God’s word declares that “Righteousness exalts a nation”.  And it is so true.  The American experiment will fail, if the people (including our leaders) are not living righteously.  Our governing body would be wise to heed God’s word regarding government leadership… “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” 2 Samuel 23:3

God’s word tells us that righteous leadership is good for the people.  “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2  And our founding fathers believed that selecting Christians as leaders was vital to our freedom.  “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” John Jay

We need to be careful when we vote.  Many candidates are cunning and crafty with their speech and can be deceiving.  Do your best to find an honest candidate.  Select the candidate who stands for truth, even when no one else is standing.  It takes a lot of faith to vote for the candidate who may not have the best chance, but also represents your beliefs more closely than the others.

As you consider who you will vote for, I encourage you to remember the following words from John Adams… “It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman, and to examine and judge for himself of the tendency of political principles and measures.  Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly… and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us.