We need to accept God’s grace, mercy, love on his terms

Published 8:50 am Friday, April 23, 2010

“Thank God for change! What, you say? Change is bad? Not so, say the scriptures. Jesus, our Lord and Savior calls us to change.” This is a quote from an article I wrote for the Alden Advance more than 10 years ago. I could not have imagined our need to embrace this for such reasons as exist today. “God the Father almost gave up on his creatures called humans and started over — almost from scratch — with the flood, but there was Noah and the Ark.”

“When that didn’t work, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, and we still refuse to change. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and we once again did our best to resist change. These are historical facts. These are Biblical facts. We are living the same dynamics now. It is now!”

We have experienced tragedy beyond our comprehension and belief, yet Sept. 11 is a reality. Because we humans have a subconscious mechanism that resists change, we need to be aware of the damage it can cause. The mechanism has been labeled homeostasis. Human nature is such that without knowledge of this mechanism, we become the cause of our own undoing. It is this knowledge and our willingness to ask God for help that will make the difference. We can make this “change” far reaching and beneficial even though the circumstances that triggers the change can be horrendous.   

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The change called for is to return to godly principles as a nation. We have strayed far from the guidelines God gives us.  Just as the Israelites lost their way and ended up in exile, we are faced with consequences of a devastating nature. 

This I wrote many years ago. Little did I know that I was “preaching” to myself. The changes I have experienced the past 14 months have been shattering to my inner psyche, let alone to my soul and my personal need for growth.

We cannot NOT accept the change that is before us, behind us, and between us (relationships). I have someone I claim as a friend who cannot let go of grief of more than 10 years ago. This person is “stuck.” Jesus tells us not to live in the past but to allow what he has in store for us now, usually the consequences of our own actions or inactions. Yes, the economy is miserable, many of us disagree what the administration is doing to us, without majority approval. Yes, there are those few who agree with it.  But change happens. We are called in this wonderful country to affect our government by voting for who we believe will represent our best interests and the news is full of this now. But it is our own personal lives that are affected by change that shake us up the most.

If we, in our allegiance to God, or lack of, make the wrong decisions, we will suffer the consequences. Without allegiance to God, subsequent submission and obedience, we will once again lose our protection, our “hedge.”

I believe the scriptures, and if we are in a close, loving, obedient relationship with our creator, the protection or “hedge” will be around us.  We will know difficulties and tragedies but not the devastation we knew on Sept. 11. In history, as in the Bible, a righteous people are faced with challenges but not obliteration, not as a nation. By returning to a close relationship with our God, we can once again be receiving God’s favor, God’s protection, God’s blessings. What does God require of us? “To do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8) The last …”to walk humbly with our God.”  is the key.

God meets out justice. When we were oppressed as a people, God reigned.  He gave us our freedom from the oppressive control of the English government of that day. When various factions differed and brought on the Civil War, God reigned, and freedom was preserved and the oppressed were vindicated (although that is still in process).  And, today, in small and large nations all over the world, God reigns, and justice is found.  Sometimes that justice seems to be a long time coming, but it comes, because God is a God of freedom. Not freedom from responsibility, but freedom from oppression. It is about change. Internal, personal spiritual change.

No question about it, change can be unsettling, but change is an opportunity for renewal, for adjusting our attitudes, for responding to God’s will in our lives. Who began this whole scenario but God? It is God’s creation. We are God’s creatures. And, God has a plan, the best plan. Our short-sighted agenda’s can create these messes. But, when we are responsive to God’s will, we are under his protective mantel. That mantel of protection requires of us to be accountable.  

We need to remember and cling to that which is solid, sound, sure and steadfast. We need to return to God, not just for the interim to ease our pain but for the long term. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let’s learn from our mistakes as a wayward people and truly return faithfully to our God.

God is faithful. God is wise and God is good. We can all benefit from the changes we face, with each loss there is a gain. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are the ones that are inconsistent, we are the ones who need to change. We need to set that stubborn, often subconscious resistance to change, that homeostasis, aside. We need to resist the temptation of worldly conquests. We need to open up to the God reality, lifting our faces to the heavens from whence we came. We need, in unison, to give ourselves over to the wisdom, the power, the truth of the Spirit of the Living God, not momentarily, not just ‘til the crisis is abated, but permanently, fervently, faithfully, allowing God to be God. We need to accept God’s grace, God’s mercy and God’s love on God’s terms. May it be so.

Jesus loves you and so do I.