Spiritual Tightrope

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6
There is a tight rope to walk when walking the path of worldly and Godly righteousness. I struggle when there are two sides of seemingly the same godly coin. For example, I was reading an article about protests having no place in Christianity. It used the verses of James 5 to emphasize this stating, “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (James 5:7-8) The emphasis was on patiently waiting for the Lord to exact justice on those who would be either oppressive or doing wrong.
This is stark comparison to that of the beliefs of civil rights leaders. One in particular named Martin Luther King, Jr came to mind. A famous quote of his says, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Where might this be biblically prevalent? There are many areas, but one that speaks directly to this is Proverbs 31 where is says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:7-8) So which is right? The author of the article later noted that not all protests were wrong to push for justice, but he elaborated that some protests are not founded biblically. I could see his point, but it led me to ask some very difficult questions. How are we to know when to wait for God and when to act? Are all peaceful protests right, and are all violent ones wrong?

The answer lies in the prayer of serenity. It simply states:
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Serenity is defined as the state of being calm and unruffled. The word is not used in the Bible, but is referred to in many ways (ex. “The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:26). Another word that comes to mind is ‘humility.’ Why? Because it opens one’s heart to God and removes all selfish motives as noted in James 4:7, which says, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Serenity and humility are crucial when navigating a righteous path. Today’s verses are good fundamental marching orders, but they are only part of the story. We want to trust in the Lord, but how sure are we that what we are doing is God’s will? How are we to trust that which we do not understand? Do we even know if we are seeking His will? It is a complicated road and we can potentially either oversimplify or over complicate it. Thus, it becomes crucial that we put ourselves in a state where we can best hear God. That’s the serenity part. Furthermore, we must ensure our hearts are focused on God and not ourselves. That’s the humility part. If we can merge the two together, we can have a full view on what next steps to take. We march bravely if needed or stay patient and wait for further instruction. Therefore, these two things together are crucial in ensuring our steps taken are the right ones.
God is with us each step of the way. The world will continue to throw challenges. Thus when we are dealing with a situation whether it be simple or complex, we must ensure that we are in the best position to hear God and with an open mind and heart that will speak to God in a way that pleases Him. Then, we will have the best chance toward success. What process can you take to ensure you have serenity when going to God? How can you approach Him with a humble heart? My prayer is we are holding on to God’s hand as we walk across the spiritual tight rope. Amen.
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About Kent:
“I am what all Christians are: flawed and always growing. I am not immune to failure, and I don’t always do the right things, but I learn from my mistakes, and always show love to all who I know. Furthermore, through Christ I have joy knowing I have His grace even though I didn’t deserve it and His love even as I can’t imagine it. I have written devotion for the past 14 years using my life’s experiences both before and after being born again and focusing on its relevance to Biblical teachings and today’s culture.”

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