Prior to the recent presidential election, a group of Christians was having a passionate discussion about the dilemma they faced in determining for whom they would vote. Some felt that to vote for either major party candidate would be a violation of their consciences and of their Christian principles. Others felt that to not vote for a major party candidate was to essentially "throw away" their votes.
At one point in the discussion, one of those gathered around the table said something to the effect, "Well, you can talk about your faith and voting your conscience and the kingdom of God and all that, but the bottom line is, this is the real world we're living in. And in the real world, you only have one option of who to vote for."
In response to this comment, a young man at the table replied with calm clarity, "There is nothing in this world more 'real' than the kingdom of God."
It is easy in the noise and the busy-ness and the complicated decisions and the messy situations we encounter in this life to forget that Jesus in not just someone we pray to at the end of the day, or our Sunday-morning solace, or a figurine in our Christmas nativity decoration. Even for Christians, it is easy to forget that Jesus is reigning and ruling, right here, right now, really and truly.
When God tells me in Scripture that He will supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19) - all my needs...my physical needs, my relational needs, my spiritual needs, all of my needs - He is not speaking hypothetically or talking pie-in-the-sky-someday. He means He will meet all of my needs, right here, right now, for real.
When God tells me in Scripture that He works all things - all things - for my good and for his glory (Romans 8:28), He is not speaking hypothetically or talking about some later date or far off place. He is talking about right here, right now.
Does this mean God promises me health, wealth, and prosperity in this life? Does this mean He promises that all my children will grow into wise and godly adults? Does this mean God promises my marriage will always be characterized by integrity, intimacy, and sweetness? Does this mean He promises I will never have to suffer humiliation, hardship, abuse, or persecution?
No, No, No, and No.
Rather, what Scripture teaches me is that God - and God's assessment of my true needs and my true ultimate good - is the most real, the most true, even more real than my own mixed-up perceptions of things. God's reality is not hypothetical. It is not purely spiritual or mental. God's reality is also physical, relational, and practical.
What do I need today? A new pair of shoes? A good diagnosis? A faithful lover? A career change?
This life is a mist, a vapor! How, in this swirling fog, can I even begin to see what is truly needful?!
God sees. God reigns and rules and moves and works in the real of world. God knows exactly what I need, and He has promised to meet that need. Right here, right now.
Oh, for eyes to see and faith to trust God's power and his good purposes in my life! Oh, for a heart that truly understands that nothing, nothing, nothing is more real than the kingdom of God!
4 weeks ago