Who’s Running This Place, Anyway??

It seems everyone is excited about SOMETHING lately: racism, Confederate flags, President Obama, gay marriage, the Supreme Court, or some combination of all of the above. I have never seen so much emotion on social media as I have seen over the past few weeks.

Of course, everyone has strong opinions on these issues. We would not be human if we didn’t! God has granted us the abilities to think and reason, and we should be using these gifts to learn and grow and formulate thoughts on the world around us. There is certainly nothing wrong or sinful about holding opinions on what is happening in the world.

However, how many of us forget the so-called “Big Picture” when we rail against the practices and thoughts of today’s world? As Christians, we are called to view everything through the lens of God Himself. Everything. Not what we like or agree with…all of it. This is tough territory, because differences in Scriptural interpretations often leave believers divided on how we think God sees a belief or practice. Roman Catholic or Protestant, Baptist or Episcopalian, Fundamentalist or Reformed: we all think that we have the “right” interpretation of God’s Word and its commands. So what is the “Big Picture” that we need to remember?

I think that Christians of all stripes need to remember one central Truth when we are faced with a confusing and tumultuous world:

                  For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. - I John 4:4b (ESV)

That isn’t a qualified statement. It is absolute. God IS greater than he who is in the world. There are no exceptions. This means that God is greater, all the time, in all circumstances.

How tough is this to believe? I look at my own little world and find myself arguing with God often about how “poorly” I think He is handling things, or I convince myself that my life is “terrible” because God wants me to suffer. I KNOW these thoughts aren’t accurate to the God of the Bible, but that sure does not stop me from complaining when the going gets rough! It is awfully hard to maintain a perspective that God is in charge of everything when it doesn’t seem that life is going “my way.”

And I think a lot of us do the same thing with the state of the nation or the world. Some want a return to the “good old days” and what that represented as far as faith and morality in the United States. Others want a world where everyone is treated equally and fairly regardless of race or any other personal characteristic and don’t see that vision happening. We see a world that may be changing into something that does not represent what we believe, and we tend to lose sight of the fact that God is the same today as He ever was. He is still the One who is greater than he who is in the world. We may not know why “things” are the way they are, but we can rest assured that God is in charge and has not lost control.

I don’t think this means that we should stand by and do nothing about injustice in our world. God’s command to love our neighbor is also clear and absolute. There is no way we can show love and not help the persecuted or afflicted. But I do think that we do not need to fear our world. An all knowing, all loving God is “running this place” and will win out over sin, shame, and injustice.