If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

foundations

When people ask me why I didn’t move to Los Angeles, the answer is simple… earthquakes.

And while I’m still technically perched on the ring of fire, it’s just something about LA – the city seems more overdue for a quake and more vulnerable than other parts of the West Coast… even if it’s technically not.

I remember the first time I was in an earthquake.

The bed began to sway during the middle of REM, and I incorporated the movement into my dreams. I woke just enough to wonder who was shaking the bed, but I was too sleepy to assume that it was anything other than my husband. When I awoke the next morning, I learned that there was a mild earthquake during the night.

The problem with living in an earthquake zone is that there is no sure foundation. Nothing is anchored because everything reacts to plate tectonics. It is the uncertainty of knowing when a quake will happen coupled with the certainty of knowing that it will eventually happen that makes me feel a little helpless.

Do we not live in a society where many Christians feel helpless? A society where the culture is shaken by lust, greed, and hatred – the moral foundations are crumbling beneath us. What can the righteous do if the foundations are destroyed?

There is only one thing to do… pray.

Pray that God will repair the breach and build up the church. Pray that God continues to be your Rock so that even in the midst of a crumbling world, you can stand firm, knowing that you haven’t built your spiritual life on sand.

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Be Ye Perfect – Genesis 17

Via StockSnap
Via StockSnap

In Genesis 17, before God tells Abraham that He will make a covenant with him and multiply him, He gives him a command. A simple, complex, loving command.

The King James Version words the command this way: Walk before me, and be thou perfect. The New Living translation puts it this way: Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. But I love the God’s Word Translation – it says – Live in my presence with integrity.

The translations reiterate the same command. God is asking Abraham to live a life of righteousness. He is asking him to forsake everything that would taint his body, spirit and soul.

Which leads to a difficult question: Is it possible to live a blameless life?

The immediate answer must be yes… If it were not possible, God would not have asked this of Abraham. It’s heretical when grace is manipulated to meet the spiritual standards of those who think that blameless living is faulty theology and impossible.

Keep in mind that when God told Abraham to live in His presence, to be perfect, and to walk before Him, the Holy Spirit was ‘on’ God’s children – but not ‘inside’ God’s children. Logic would have one to believe that blameless living wasn’t as easy then as it is now because the Comforter hadn’t come.

However, if you look at the entirety of verse one in Genesis 17, I think that a major key to righteous living can be found right before God tells Abraham to be perfect. Before He tells Abraham to be perfect, he says this: “I am God Almighty.”

He revealed who He was to Abraham. God Almighty, El Shaddai!

Holiness can’t become part of a person’s identity until they acknowledge God as Almighty. When you acknowledge God as almighty your are saying in essence: “You are sovereign.” An acknowledgement of God as sovereign (in the heart and mind) strikes fear, reverence and awe of Him.

And it is the fear of God that begets holiness.

Bringing a Bit of Heaven to Earth

Via Flickr
Via Flickr

When Abraham left his home to follow God, he did something interesting along the way. The Bible says that he invoked the Name of the Lord. The first time I saw this, I contemplated its meaning.

The consensus among commentators is that Abraham was holding an open church service – sharing God with others and teaching about the one true God in cultures and places where there were a myriad of false gods. In other words, he was teaching theology to the masses.

To put it simplistically, Abraham was bringing light and being light wherever he went.

When God told Abraham to go to a foreign country, He knew what Abraham would do along the way. He knew when Abraham would sleep, eat, rest, laugh – and He even knew when Abraham would call on Him. And I can assure you that anytime Abraham called on God – God was there.

Abraham’s peregrination wasn’t just a physical possession of the land God was going to show him – his journey was also about bringing a bit of heaven on earth in different places along the way. And isn’t this every Christian’s ultimate service? To call on God and share our faith wherever we are – to bring change to the atmosphere, home, city, state or country where we reside?

I’ve moved around quite a bit over the last several years, and it’s comforting to see the example of Abraham and know that a move to a new place is never in vain. Especially If I behave like the patriarch Abraham did and invoke the name of the Lord wherever I go – bringing a bit of heaven on earth.