Of course I trust God! (sorta)

By Ethan Miller

Wake up. Check Facebook. Hmmmm. All my conservative friends' posts have suddenly switched to themes of "God is in control no matter what." Guess that means Obama won.

I'm just wondering why most only seem to post that after realizing they've "lost". It was just as true as when you thought you could "win", right?

It just makes it look like you didn't really believe it until you needed it for consolation. If another candidate had won, there would be shouts of jubilation and declarations of good overcoming evil.

I know everyone can post what they want, that's fine. But realize some of it sounds like your faith in God having control is more your backup plan so you can sleep if things don't go your way.

Shouldn't that be your Plan A every time? Not the backup?
That was my Facebook status update the Wednesday morning after the 2012 presidential election. I got more likes, comments, and messages about that post than anything else I have ever written. Including my birthday.

The previous night, I had posted that I was going to bed rather than stay up and watch the coverage of the ballot returns. When a friend asked how I could possibly sleep, and my response was simple: I had done my part; I voted. The rest was entirely beyond my control. I knew the results would be exactly the same whether I stayed up late watching arguments about who would win or if I went to bed. Looking at this from a purely secular standpoint, do you see the logic here? How much truer is it if we believe in an omniscient God?

This election brought into sharp focus a disturbing trend I have been noticing in Christian circles over the past few years: our overall lack of faith that God is in control. We have become double-minded and unstable, driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6-8). Oh sure, we can trust God for the usual things like our salvation, eternal security, and the like. But the "major" events like relationships, politics or wedding preparations? Oh no, those are too important to trust God with. Those we must have total control over ourselves, lest things don't go our way.

Now, please hear me. I am not saying this is true of everyone. I am perfectly aware that there are many Christians who do, in fact, trust God with every aspect of their lives. Many believers posted very thoughtful, respectful, God-honoring posts throughout the campaign process. Anyone who was friends with them knew where they stood. If you were one of those, this article is not directed at you.

It is directed at the majority of the rest of us.

When most Christians on social media sites only play the "God card" as a last resort, it weakens our faith in the eyes of the world. We become the pouting 5-year old who lost at CandyLand, so he stomps off, mumbling about it being a stupid game anyway.

How can we be salt and light in this world, a city on a hill, when we let our faith become a "break glass in case of emergency" faith? We do not live it every day; we take it out of the China cabinet for the holidays.

How then do we let our faith in God's sovereign control become our daily battle cry instead of our foxhole plea?

The answer is simple: Let it become your daily battle cry. Daily. Not just every four years. Daily. Humbly pray. Daily. Seek His face. Daily. Turn away from sin and to Him. Daily. (2 Chronicles 7:14) That's a lot of action. We cannot sit around lazily using faith as an excuse to not act. Faith is an active verb, not passive. Faith is not "Well, God will take care of it, so why should I vote?" Faith is "I voted, and I'll trust God to take care of the rest."

The first generation of the Church literally changed the world for Christ. Why? Because they lived what they believed to the fullest. Daily. Every moment. Many of them died because of that passion, but the fires they started have been burning ever since. Shame on us for letting that blaze dwindle to some glowing embers. We have grown too comfortable where we are. In America, we don't face death for our beliefs. We merely run the risk of being un-friended.

Fellow believers, we need to wake up. We need to practice our faith in our daily lives, not just on special occasions. I know I'm part of the problem too. I'm not excusing myself. Will it be easy? Not at first. Will it require changes? Most definitely. Will it be challenging? Oh yeah.

But I'm up for the challenge. How about you?

Image Credit: Jen Gallardo; "In God We Trust"; Creative Commons

comments powered by Disqus
Published 11-13-12