• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Not To Be Taken For Granted

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:7-10

It used to be that you could take for granted that most people believed in God, that they shared many of the same fundamental values, and that right was stronger in the long run than wrong. Without the myriad methods of communication we have today there was greater knowledge of God among people of all ages, races, economic strata and social standing. Those of opposing values were few and as they grew older they tended to also grow up to the reality that they needed God and His righteousness.

We took for granted that most people had a conscience that kept them from deliberately doing harm to other people without an inner check or conviction of their wrong. People could blush and be ashamed. Peer pressure was the principle governor of the appropriateness and inappropriateness of social public and private behavior.

One of the most fundamentally important characteristics of those who are taught to know God at an early age and instructed in how to have and regard a healthy conscience is they have a governor for their basic human instincts to keep in check their unbridled lower passions, selfish cravings, reactionary emotions and wanton disregard for the rights of others and a vile disrespect for humanity in general. A healthy conscience in a child, a young adult and adults at every age keeps us living reasonably peacefully in communities of people with a like-minded moral conscious. Thanks to God, for most of my adult years and the years of my parents and grand parents this was and has been the case.

Sadly, now the evidence from far too many in this present culture suggests that we are moving at exponential speed away from a commonly held national moral conscience that constrains the baser, fallen, human nature of the young and the old, the poor and the privileged who have been abandoned to their human natures and not instructed in the ways of the Lord.

Young people laugh at and mock the aged, the weak and the infirm in a mob like mentality, caring nothing for protecting the elderly and defenseless, but treating them with violence and disdain as what would be afforded a wild animal in their lust for mayhem and destruction. While few perpetrate the violence, the mob eagerly cheers them on, demanding even more heinous behavior.

We see the video reports of others gleefully destroying property and wreaking havoc in the streets in the name of “protesting” injustice, while they themselves are the only ones committing injustice to the innocent victims of their destruction and anarchy. And they do their acts of evil without a conscience to make them ashamed or regretful for their actions.

Once trusted because of their age and wisdom, adults and older people are not generally regarded as worthy of respect, because so many, in public life in particular, are given to lying, prideful posturing around false ideas and political agendas that oppose God and His righteousness, celebrating evil and death-dealing lifestyles that have robbed so many of their God-given potential for the abundant life of love joy and peace that Jesus came to give all mankind.

Nevertheless, I still have hope in the Lord and in the power of prayer, in the power of binding and loosing and of calling those things that are not as though they were, of asking, of seeking and of knocking. I still have hope in the Lord that He will be with us and that we can fight back against the spiritual wickedness in high places and that we can stand against the wiles of the devil and that we can resist him and he will flee from us.

I still have hope that we can win the lost, proclaim the gospel to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim deliverance to the captives, recover the sight of the blind, set at liberty those who are bruised, wounded by violence and the condition of their lives, who are hurt, abused or abandoned.

I still believe in the power of God’s Word and that greater is He that is in us, His Church, His Body, than he that is in the world. I still believe that when we pray, God hears us and if we ask anything according to His will, His Word, we will have it. I still believe that no weapon formed against us will prosper and God is with us wherever we go.

I still believe that the Kingdom of God will come and that His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Therefore, we pray:

“… Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matthew 6:9-13

#Shame #Violence #Evil #Hope #Faith #StrengthinGod


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