A pastor once told me that the only way to obtain a perfect relationship in life is for it to be in the shape of a triangle, like the green one over there on the left. The base is formed of the two people in the relationship. The very top of the triangle is where God is in the relationship. The closer each person gets to God, the closer we get to each other. Want a rock-solid relationship in your life? The focus of successful relationships begins with a relationship with God, first, then with each other.
I heard about another "relationship triangle" this week - this one was shaped like the triangle on the right. The idea was proposed by Dr. James Hamilton, the professor of Biblical Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was speaking about our focus as a nation. It was his observation that, "people have nothing greater to live for than themselves."
We used to be a God-fearing nation, "one nation under God," giving God the highest priority in our lives. This nation began by people seeking religious freedom. We placed God first in our lives. That's why God blessed us as a nation. We had our priorities right. We were thinking eternally, arms stretched upward like the wide top of the orange triangle. Then our focus changed.
We began to have a worldly focus. We thought on a national level. In fighting World Wars I and II had a strong sense of national pride. W heard phrases like "God and Country." God was still there but not as important.
That brings us to today. We are currently at the bottom of the orange triangle. Our focus on ourselves. One doesn't have to look any farther than our latest presidential election to see an example. Look at the people protesting over the election results. Our national pride is gone. Half of our nation is comprised of godless, whining crybabies. They didn't get their way so they're throwing a tantrum. Self-worship and not God-worship is something not taken lightly by our Almighty God.
We are disobeying His commands. "Love one another as I have loved you" was so important that Jesus mentioned it twice in the Gospel of John (John 13:34 and John 15:12).
Thursday morning our new president spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, as ALL sitting presidents do. But this president spoke differently than his predecessor did. Could God be returning to the top of our green relationship triangle as a nation?
"America will thrive, as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God. That faith in God has inspired men and women to sacrifice for the needy, to deploy to wars overseas and to lock arms at home, to ensure equal rights for every man, woman and child in our land. It's that faith that sent the pilgrims across the oceans, the pioneers across the plains and the young people all across America, to chase their dreams. They are chasing their dreams. We are going to bring those dreams back. As long as we have God, we are never, ever alone. Whether it's the soldier on the night watch, or the single parent on the night shift, God will always give us solace and strength, and comfort. We need to carry on and to keep carrying on. For us here in Washington, we must never, ever stop asking God for the wisdom to serve the public, according to his will." - President Donald J. Trump.
Amen to that!
I am currently reading in the Old Testament Book of Judges. Its pages are filled examples of God's people placing themselves on God's throne. Let us not be like them, whether in our personal relationships or our national ones. It never ends well for those who do that.
7 So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years. 9 When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim. 11 So the land had rest for forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died." - Judges 3:7:11
Prayer Of The Children - The Concordia Choir
President Trump's Speech at the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast