This causes us no end of trouble for the time we are here. We are continually being tempted to follow the world or enticed to move away from God. We are constantly barked at to get in line and be a loyal citizen, but we can’t.
The lies of the world are devastating. They tell us that each of us is the ruler of her own life; that each is the master of his own destiny. Yet God tells us differently. He says that the “Master of the Universe” position has already been filled – and not by any of us! The world tells us the lie that the worth of any life is measured by how much we own, by who we can push around, by how many people we can get to do what we want. God tells us differently. He says that the servant is the greatest and then dies in our place to prove the truth of it.
No wonder the psalmist cries to God “save me from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.” Is not our discipleship an ongoing battle with the world? We are put in the position where we must daily, even minute by minute, fight the battle to choose God and God’s way.
If we try to fight this battle by ourselves, we will get cut to pieces, but God has given us help. He comes along side us and he gives us fellow battlers help so we are never in it by ourselves, unless we foolishly choose to go it alone. We can call on God and He answers us. That’s really all we need to know as we step out into the world to begin or continue our journey to God. When the Jews began their trek to Jerusalem for a festival they would sing these Psalms (120-134). This has been the beginning for a long time: I’m in trouble in the world, but you will come to my aid.
It won’t be easy; God never lies to us saying it will. We and the world are on opposite tracks, going in different directions. We move toward shalom, the world toward destruction. Sometimes it is frustrating to be in the world and fighting the current. Sometimes we would rather just quit and go with the flow, but when we stop to consider what that means, we find the peace God has placed inside us calls more strongly to us than the world does.
So, we turn to face God and continue our trek with him. Join voices with your fellow travelers and sing the Psalms of Ascent as we begin our journey to the ABC/VNH Annual Meeting on May 1 and 2 in Rutland, VT. Here we are, Lord. We are coming!
- David Doyle
United Church of Acworth and their pastor Joel Eaton
Addison Community Baptist Church and their pastor Stephen Payne
Region Staff: Dale Edwards, Region Minister