HOPE FOR TODAY: Authors of our own chaos
There was once an ancient city that was affluent and a powerful force militarily, politically and economically. God said about it, “This is the exultant city that lived securely, that said in her heart, “I am, and there is no one else.” (Zephaniah 2:15)
These were dangerous words of pride. They were confident in themselves and thought they were invincible. But what they did not understand, is they lived not just in a physical world, but a spiritual one also.
And in that spiritual world there was good and evil, and evil dwelt in the heart of mankind. And the common sign of that evil was the pride, egotism and self-exaltation they displayed.
Almighty God is an avenger toward pride. For there is only one God and He will not tolerate any prideful competitors, albeit from mankind or other so-called gods.
How does God confront the pride of a nation, a city or an individual? With the weapon of humbleness. In His wisdom and sovereign power, with divine patience, He firmly but graciously, moves to bring a nation or a single person to the end of themselves, that they might turn and live.
When God employs His strategy to humble us, it may appear as if chaos has broken out everywhere. But to God He is wisely and carefully employing whatever is necessary to break our pride and humble us, that we would know His saving power and experience His everlasting peace, joy and steadfast love.
On our global scene it seems like chaos. Is World War III on the horizon with war in eastern Europe, uncertainty in the Asia-Pacific region and the always concerning Middle East? Will rising inflation rates lead to even higher food and gas prices causing shortages and national unrest? What will the future be like with Covid-19, ever growing signs of vaccine side effects and the on again-off again restrictions?
What about your own city, family or personal life? Is there chaos, uncertainty, things that appear to be out of your control? Is this leading to fear, depression and anxiety or to a double dose of determination and drive to overcome?
God once said, “For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.” (Zeph. 3:8)
Why was God so angry?
Because of mankind’s continuing stubborn and selfish pride, God in His anger at times, simply steps out of the way and gives people what they want. And what they get is chaos of their own making.
For governments, sometimes their own legislation and policies have brought chaos upon their own people.
For families, sometimes their own moral and financial choices have brought chaos inside the walls of their own home.
And what is God jealous of?
As you turn away from Him and toward other things, He becomes jealous for you. He wants you to turn toward Him. He patiently stands with arms open wide, waiting for you.
Yet in the meantime because you pridefully go after other things, violating His moral commands, wave after wave of chaos rains down upon your life.
It does not need to be that way.
God’s ways are better than yours. He is ready to take away His judgments against you. He says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save.” (Zeph. 3:17) Will you make Him your God today? In your pride you have lost much, but God says, “... when I restore your fortunes before your eyes...” (Zeph. 3:20) What your prideful disobedience has ruined, God can restore. He can restore an entire nation or just one family.
Both are equally precious in His sight. Take hold of this promise!
Will you stop fighting against God? Will you stop running? Will you stop trusting in yourself? Turn to Him and live. This is why Jesus died and rose again. To provide you a clear path to a new life in Him.
A prayer for you – “Lord God, let each person examine themselves and reveal if there be any selfish pride. Let them examine their lives and admit if there be any chaos of their own making. Then bring them to humble themselves and make themselves low before you, asking for mercy to forgive their sin and restore what disobedience has taken away. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Clint Decker is President of Great Awakenings and Speaking Truth is a nationally syndicated column. Please share your comment with Clint at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow his blog at clintdecker.blogspot.com.