“I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”
The first part of this post is truly a summary of tonight’s lesson. Thanks to Pastor Mike for the inspiration. The second part is me putting that together with a podcast my husband asked me to listen to regarding finances, so thanks to my husband as well.
People keep saying that they just don’t understand how our world is so out of control – Baltimore, Furgeson, etc. – they say it’s never been so bad.
Really? Take a look at Acts 19. There was a crowd of about 25,000 people all assembled and shouting about their economy and the disrespect they were facing because people were starting to have different ideas.
Who were they mad at? Paul. Why? Not because he said anything about them or about their goddess in particular, but because one man chose to get upset. He was worried about the effects that Christianity would have on the silver trade, because he was a silver smith. What does Christianity have to do with silver, you ask? Nothing – and that was his concern. He made silver idols and Christians not only didn’t need them, but Paul had the audacity to tell people that gods made by human hands were not gods at all. So this guy (Demetrius) got worried that no one would need him any more, called his buddies together, got everyone all riled up, and they headed out to the streets to find Paul.
They didn’t find him by the way. But what did happen was still strange on a grand scale. All those guys running through the streets complaining about Paul and yelling about praising Artimus (Diana) got a lot of attention. So much attention that people started following them just to see what was happening. They all wound up at the local arena (stadium) yelling and shouting. Somebody pushed a Jewish man on stage to explain what Paul was doing – as if he knew – and when he tried to talk, instead of listening, the people started chanting and yelling praises to Diana/Artemis – FOR TWO STRAIGHT HOURS.
And you know what? All those people that just joined the crowd to see what was going on – never found out until after they had been yelling for two hours.
The city clerk finally came along and told them they were pretty crazy, that Paul had never specifically commented on Diana/Artemis nor did he have a grudge against their jobs. He reminded them that anyone with a real complaint should take it to a judge in a lawful manner and that if they kept it up they could all be arrested for unlawful assembly.
And you know what? They all went home.
Paul didn’t have to get involved and he went on preaching and planting churches. It was all a bunch of rowdy nothing because people let their feelings get hurt, listened to someone misquote and misinterpret the words of someone who was trying to do good, and got carried away by emotions without seeking the truth.
Sound familiar? So next time you see a bunch of madness on television, remember that this behavior doesn’t shock God off his throne. He is still in control, and even a city clerk (a government official) can speak in wisdom if he takes the time to think about what is really going on instead of falling into the traps of hypocracy, anger, fear, and confusion.
We do not have to let fear control us. When we are children of the most high, the future is so much more than any situation we face today. Christian financial advisor, Larry Burkett, once said that most of the financial concerns people argue over (and allow to ruin their relationships) are usually imagined future events. In all his years of counseling people through financial troubles, the greatest persentage of them were more able to cope with the loss of a job or an illness when it actually happened than they imagined they would be before it happened – if they applied God’s principles to their lives. The same is true of rioting crowds and congressmen. If they would apply God’s principles to their lives, they wouldn’t need to worry in the first place. No one has to find themselves swept along in a state of noisy confusion just to see what’s up.
God always knows what’s up – all we have to do is spend time with Him and listen to what He has to say.