"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever." So writes George Orwell in his eerily prophetic novel, 1984. If you're not concerned about where America is nowadays, and where we're heading, you're not paying attention. But if you're only concerned, you're wasting your time and energy. Merely being concerned about a problem never does anything to solve it. Never mind a school walkout. We, God's people, need to start really walking with the Lord. The future of our nation depends upon it.
Yesterday's 17-minute National School Walkout was good—and bad. In fact, it was very bad. The demonstration designed to eulogize the 17 lives lost during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, to appeal for stricter gun control, was a telling sign that, unlike any other time in America, an alarming number of young people are mistaking the government for God. Brace yourself, because this will not end well if we continue on this path.
Many students are rightly concerned about their safety, security, and lives—but they, like a majority of us, are turning to the wrong entity to protect them. Most of us in God's house are doing the same thing in various ways. We look to food, entertainment, sex, fashion, social media kudos and so much more, to fill the void that only Christ can fill. We are attempting the impossible, trying to find satisfaction—and security—apart from God. We're OK with it—but God isn't.
Don't misunderstand me: I'm thrilled that students are waking up, that they care about the violence that's gripping our nation—but a great majority of yesterday's participants were completely asleep and are still sawing logs. They think treating the symptom is the solution. Every gun requires a person to pull the trigger. Americans will kill each other with butter knives if guns are nowhere to be found.
The tongue is the new American assault weapon of choice, and the heart is the high-capacity magazine that keeps feeding it. Today we should all be concerned that more and more people think a 500-pound government gorilla is the beast that will rescue us through more regulation—especially when the Parkland shooting was the result of multiple law enforcement failures at both local and federal levels. Gunman Nikolas Cruz's home, for instance, was visited by law enforcement nearly 40 times in seven years. The problem was the breakdown of common sense and a brazen failure to take known threats seriously.
We need a second reformation. And I'm not talking about one that needs to start in the White House. I'm talking about the one we need in God's house, among God's people. The change our nation needs must begin with us—now.
We're racing toward the day when only people in the government and military personnel will have firearms, and that's not good at all. Remember that boot Orwell wrote about? We better. It's coming to a home near you, all in the name of keeping everyone "safe." Orwell's boot has always been lurking in the shadows, waiting for the perfect convergence of circumstances through which to make its grand entry. I can see it marching, can you?
Yes, we need to ensure people like Cruz never get guns. That's obvious. But there are also millions upon millions of law-abiding firearm owners in America who have never even thought of misusing their firearms—and never will. They want to protect their right to keep and bear arms because they, just like our Founding Fathers, understand the dangers of a nation where only the government possesses the firepower. They, like our Founding Fathers, understand that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The byproduct of the common person being unable to defend himself or herself can very quickly escalate to the appearance of a very large boot in everyone's face. Not a trigger will need to be pulled, and we will think we are at peace when we are, in fact, at war.
Take a step back for a moment and do something very uncommon in America these days: think deeply and ask God to search your heart. We are living in a time when many people no longer resist bigger government and more government control. We are now applauding it—with frightening fervor.
The Bible teaches that whenever God wants things to change, repentance and full surrender are imperative. Second Chronicles 7:14, that famous verse so many of us Christians love to quote—while mistaking it as a call for intercession—isn't about intercession at all. It's about repentance. Our misunderstanding is keeping God at bay.
If we want things to change, we, God's people, have to change. We have become, in many instances, modern-day Pharisees, even if unintentionally. We know so much about the Bible, but are we really taking God at his word, putting it into action with passion in our personal lives, and with the people we encounter each day? God help us. Literally.
The Bible teaches us—repeatedly—that when people stop seeking God for deliverance, they end up oppressed, ravished and deprived, one way or another. Real, deep and lasting deliverance is found in Christ alone—the same Savior we kicked out of our schools, bakeries, civic meetings and off of football fields. The very same Savior many of us unwittingly kicked out of our churches, as evidenced by the prayerlessness and lack of biblical preaching on Sunday mornings and most of the days in between. Many of us have forsaken our first love, and it's time to get it back.
At the end of the day, it's either a boot or Jesus. One oppresses and the other sets us free. The government is not God, and only Jesus saves. But in order for salvation to come, we need to want Jesus like never before, not keep him at arm's length, doors locked. I can hear him knocking.
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