“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
Psalms 19:7-10 NKJV
In our world, we look to government to deal with all of our wrongs and our needs. See an injustice, petition the courts for a redress, call the congressman, seek redress from an elected official. When we consider the overall history of this country, and even the world, we are reminded that everything we do comes up short. There is a limit to what the law can do with the human heart. It is like trying to complete a puzzle with pieces that don’t quite fit.
The law of the Lord is perfect and can convert the soul.
I don’t follow rules very well. I do my best, but still I drive a little too fast, I eat the wrong things for my health, I say things that are not edifying. Try as I might, sin is crouching at the door. In my will, there are limitations. In the end I can find myself falling back into the same old patterns if I don’t keep my focus on the Lord. Conflicts that I have not taken to the Lord resurface and burn on.
The great thing about my faith in Jesus is that I have God the Holy Spirit in me to convict me of the laws of God. Even when I give myself over to “stinking thinking”, He is there guiding me back to the truth. I know deep inside that His statutes and values are the correct ones. Unlike the law of man, He not only instructs me in what I should do, He gives me the power to carry it out.
We are in a national crisis where change is needed. We are trying to address a long history of wrongs, and create a new reality that puts all people on equal ground. As I sit here just months away from my sixtieth birthday, I have seen so many efforts to address the apparent injustices. In those efforts, I am saddened as there are inconsistencies that undermine the success of movements.
Today we are addressing the killing of black people, mostly men by police. When I approach this as a man of faith, with a heart bowed to God, the political is stripped away. I mourn over the deaths of men and women with whom I share a common hue of skin. But I also must mourn over the sad self- destructive tendency of black on black crime, the sad tendency of white on white crime and the general willingness of humans to destroy other humans. Even in the womb.
The law of man chooses to ignore the matters of the heart. I learned back in the sixties that laws can only go so far. We humans are great at avoiding real change. We move to suburbs, we segregate our bodies into gated communities and churches, we segregate our hearts and choose to not see the problems. Out of sight, out of mind. I think the tearing down of confederate statues is just another effort to push the truth under a rug, so that we can forget it. Sadly, it will just happen again.
As I get closer to the heart of God, I am confronted by the entire picture. I see everything. I see the inequities of all parties in the situation we are in. I know that the high and the low ground is distributed equally. There are no white hats and black hats, but grey hats. We are all culpable.
What is needed is confession. Then repentance. That can only happen through the salvation in Jesus. God has brought impossible, insurmountable problems into the world to show us that we cannot do it, that we cannot come up with lasting solutions to change us. I know that God has changed me. I know that He is changing me. On that day that I said yes to Jesus, my life began to be transformed. What I held dear, fell away, as the things of God caused all earthly concerns to begin to fade away. I have truly found what His life offered me is sweeter and better than gold, silver and the most precious thing.
Believers, call on the Lord, for His law is perfect. It has the answers, the solutions. He changes the problem, by changing our hearts. As I have prayed over the conflicts I have had, I have always marveled at how God has changed my heart first. He made the correction in me, and then addressed the the greater conflict. In this He makes over the totality of the conflict to become peace.
He will do that in our world, more soon than later. God is the puzzle maker, and has all the perfect pieces to help us put our world together.
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