“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
It would be an understatement to say I am appalled by what I’m witnessing happening in America. Several years ago, I wrote several blog posts on a few observations that peaked my spirit: What Is Happening To America?, What Is Happening To America? (Pt. 2). When I look back at those posts, I continue to see the similarities taking place in Habakkuk’s day and our time.
God has a divine perspective on where this nation stands. America can no longer ignore glaring issues on race, inequality, poverty, immigration, homelessness, abortion etc. and consider itself a great nation. To fulfill it’s commitment to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, it must truly establish justice in the land, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare of all its citizens and secure the blessings of liberty and justice for all as promised. Just saying something without taking the necessary steps collectively will not make this nation great.
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
The concept of freedom has been heavy on my mind and heart, as I observe the present cultural climate. America is uniquely obsessed with “freedom.” You can see it in our politics. You can hear it in our daily discourse. But we’re also, amazingly, a country full of fortunate people who are constantly grumbling about their lack of freedom.
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.” Proverbs 11:14
In the midst of a global pandemic many people are demanding their constitutional rights to life, liberty and the freedom to go unmasked or unvaccinated. Recently, a journalist spoke on the Bill Maher show and said “life need to return to normal and restrictions end.1” I find this to be a little shortsighted and selfish. We cannot dismiss the truth that there have been 70, 206,220 cases and 862, 494 deaths in the last 30 days due to Covid, thousands of which were preventable.2 Families are grieving and striving to live as best they can in the midst of a global pandemic. To return to ‘normal‘ could mean the deaths of more people – men, women and children.
The nation is still undergoing efforts to curtail the pandemic. While I understand the desire to return to normal life without restrictions people are still getting sick and dying from Covid. Many people are refusing mask-up or get vaccinated or take the jab as it’s called by some. Many hospital ICU’s are filled to capacity as the omicron wave is stressing the hospitals resources and staff. Covid cases in US nursing homes are rising rapidly. While no one likes being locked down, including me, my heart and mind says do the right thing for the well-being of others as well as for me.
I’m reminded of the story of Deborah the prophetess and judge, a woman of great wisdom, revelation, and discernment in the Old Testament. She was a woman of faith and she flowed in the prophetic realm getting divine insight in solving disputes and in hearing from God what to do and how to do it. In those days life in the villages had ceased until Deborah arose a mother of Israel (Judges 5:5-7) with divine wisdom on what to do. The activity of the Spirit of the Lord in the book of Judges is clearly portrayed in the leadership of the period.
There is an amazing and refreshing journey of freedom for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord.Crystal McDowell
I understand that after two years we are all desiring to return to what we consider to be normal life. I also understand that as a Christian my freedom should never supersede my concern for the welfare of others. The gospel of Jesus, as it pertains to life, is a story of freedom. A freedom constrained or compelled by the Cross and deeply at odds with individualistic notions of liberty. Christ died to set people free from the law of sin and death. That freedom was never meant to be an occasion to do what we please. We were called to freedom, but to use that freedom to serve one another in love. That freedom should never be an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another (Gal 5:13).
True freedom can only be found in Christ.Tweet
Apostle Paul makes several profound statements in 1 Corinthians 10:23 about freedom, ”All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things build people up”. The Amplified Classic Edition (AMPC) translates it this way, ”All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” Verse 24 goes on to say, ”Let no one then seek his own good and advantage and profit, but [rather] each one of the other [let him seek the welfare of his neighbor].”
I encourage you not to listen to talking heads on social media and TV that have an influence on people or situations that is intended to affect what people do or what happens, who spue misinformation and disinformation based upon how they feel. On social media they are called influencers for a reason. Proverbs 22 provides a wealth of wisdom on how to shield yourself from negative influences that are permeating our society:
“A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty” (v. 3)
“Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; One who guards himself will be far from them.” (v. 5).
“Extend your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, So that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord,” (vs. 17-19a).
“Do not make friends with a person given to anger, Or go with a hot-tempered person, Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself” (s. 24-25)
In these trying times it important to listen to wisdom to protect yourself and your family. No one wants to wear a mask or perhaps get vaccinated, yet if doing so will prevent me, my family or others then I personally am willing to do so. Whether you choose to wear a mask or get vaccinated
Satan is a deceiver. Scripture says he is the deceiver of the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Although, government plays an important role is establishing a just society, government is limited. A just society also requires that individuals and groups within society act justly. The Lord requires that His people do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8),
In this time of great shaking and chaos (Heb. 12:26-29), I implore you to return to the Lord. Isaiah 30:15 says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,” God’s promises and purposes to carry out His plan of redemption through to completion, executed by His sovereign power, nothing can thwart it.
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)
The community of God’s people who are striving to remain faithful to the whole counsel of God’s Word will be prophetic voices crying out in the wilderness of the dominant culture of our day.Prophets in the Pews: Testing Walter Brueggemann’s Thesis in The Prophetic Imagination in the Practice of Ministry.
May the Lord’s blessing be with you. May He lay a firm foundation of the testimony of Jesus in your life!
Minister A. Francine Green
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.
- Gordon, J. (2022). Bari Weiss tells Bill Maher that COVID restrictions and closure of schools will be seen as a ‘moral crime’ by younger generations and says we MUST return to normal life. Daily Mail. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10429569/Bari-Weiss-tells-Bill-Maher-COVID-restrictions-seen-moral-crime-younger-generations.html
- COVID Data Tracker. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#trends_dailycases