It seems it is becoming more difficult every day to live and to love life. As we stand together as members of the interconnected human family we are bombarded daily with threats of terror, war, famine, poverty, disparity, and hopelessness. All of these issues when dealt in a microcosm seem unrelated. Sadly, too often they appear out of our scope believing that they affect the lives of others and not our own. Words of vitriol are spewed forth by various pundits claiming to act in the best interest of a particular interest group while dehumanizing others. These cares of life often make me want to throw up my hands and be done with it altogether. I’m often tempted like so many to look at life with contempt and just be concerned with what’s mine. But I hear the Spirit of God saying, if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and will heal their land(2 Corinthians 7:14 KJV).
Despite what many believe, we as a race (humanity) are interconnected. Each issue mentioned above inevitably affects each and every one of us. Each hate filled rhetoric subtly or inadvertently affects our psyches and our views on life and of others. Politicians, while well-meaning continue to debate and deliberate with community action groups in addressing issues of disparity. Military officials coordinate with our leaders in dealing with terrorist attacks and war. Civil servants try their best to reassure communities that they are acting in their best interest without any tinge of prejudicial influences. All the while homicide rates rise to ever increasing totals in pockets of various ethnic groups. While our leaders appear to have good intentions there never seems to be a silver bullet. In my opinion, the key element that alludes most well-meaning people is the spiritual aspect that dwells at the heart of each situation.
The bible teaches that the nations have forgotten God (Psalms 9:17 KJV). With this willful disdain for God, we as a species have forgotten our origins. Those said origins reveal that we are not just bio-organisms with a penchant for intelligent decision making but are at our core spirit beings. About two millennia ago God came in the form of a first century Jewish Rabbi named Jesus. He was asked by his peers about one prevailing theme that could affect all men regardless of race or creed. These men knew that God was a part of their lives but were not completely sure of how much of their lives that they were willing secede to the Lord. Jesus gave a simple statement to these men. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All of the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments” (Gospel according to Mathew 22:37-40).
These words about life from Jesus are quite interesting. He didn’t say that the greatest command was “Thou shall not lie” or “Thou shall not covet (desire after) your neighbor’s wife. He said that the greatest command in regards to living life to its fullness was to first love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your mind. He didn’t say to love “Providence” or the man upstairs but to love the Lord. Loving life must first begin with love for the Lord our God. And to not only love him but to do so with all of our hearts and minds. You may ask, how does this affect all of the issues previously discussed? I’m glad you asked. Most of the issues that arise in life are at their core dealing with a lack of respect for others. A lack of sympathy, empathy, connection, trust, faith, or a Love for others. Jesus informs us that in order for us to live life in peace and with others we must first learn how to love the Lord our God. When we learn how to love him and connect with him, we will learn how to reciprocate this relationship with men and women. Love is interesting in that it is very delicate, precious but yet enduring. We must first allow the Lord our God to have access to our lives. When you love him with all of your heart and mind, you are choosing to allow him to affect your thought process. You are allowing him to guide your speech, emotions, actions, and decisions. You are choosing to behave in a manner that is acceptable to him and his culture. The God of Heaven and earth desires to affect the world that we are living in but his impact is limited by our words and decisions to trust and obey him. Do you remember the scripture that we quoted earlier in this section? It states that: “If my people who are called by name shall humble themselves and pray”. This section of the quote begins with a qualifying word “If”. It’s interesting how a God that is All-Powerful chooses to work with people only if they desire to allow him to do so. God does this because he has created you and me in his image in an environment that was designed for you and me. This image allows for critical thinking. You and I are critical thinkers with the opportunity to choose or not to choose to live a life that is pleasing to him.
So in review, if we desire a world that is at peace, without division, we must first allow the Lord to be the Lord of our lives. When the Lord enters life he will bring order and not confusion. Peace and not destruction. Liberty and no longer slavery to the evil desires that destroy families, neighborhoods, communities, and nations. After this, we can successfully live and love life.
Remember, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.