Walking builds momentum

Walking with God should be our daily aspiration. To be in step with our Creator, Savior, and Friend is a task worthy of our time and devotion. Lately, I have been shocked at the lack of attention I have seen given to the Word of God. To walk with God today we must read the Bible and pray. That is walking; that is communion; that is fellowship.

These things are considered perhaps shallow topics. Everyone knows they need to read their Bible and pray. Perhaps they do. Even so a reminder is necessary to provoke us unto good works, to encourage us to live holy lives. These things are not to be taken lightly. If I forgot to shower this morning, I would not be looked upon pleasantly. But if I forget to read my Bible or spend time with my God, even when people know, it is not seen as a big deal. It is seen as something that can be corrected the next day, and if not then sometime that week. Do we not see our error? When everyone in a class is sitting quietly and working, even the child that does not want to feels out of place when he does not fit the established norm for that class. When we make the established norm to go days or weeks without time with God, and are uplifted in our failure by others who come along and say “I struggle with that all the time myself,” we have created an environment that does not provoke change in us.

To walk with God is not to stumble or to halter. God doesn’t want us to take a baby step (10 minutes with Him) one day and then not talk to Him for another week. That is not walking. We think “Oh, I walked with God today.” Walking is a process, not something that happens in a day. Each day we take a step in line with God or we don’t.

Our Christian culture has convinced us that spending time with God can be reading a verse in the morning, or spending 5-10 minutes with God. How would your relationship with your spouse (or best friend) be if you only spent 5-10 minutes with her each day? Or if some days you talked to her, but didn’t listen? Or other days, you never communicated to her but listened to her speak to you? This is not the making of a strong relationship. It is not the building of a strong friendship.

Abraham was the friend of God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Enoch walked with God. What do we do? We teach infants to crawl and then to walk. We expect them to fall, and to learn over time. How many of us are still doing the same thing in our spiritual lives? God has watched us crawl, and taught us to walk. Sometimes we even run, but then too often we sit there afraid to take that step, or we just stubbornly refuse to take a step.

But when by God’s grace we do take those steps and we begin to actually walk, what a joy that is! To walk with God brings such joy and peace and there is a momentum that comes with that. To those that harden their hearts, God will also harden their hearts. To those that pursue God, God grants their desire that they might thirst after Him more. The more you seek God, the more you want to seek God. It no longer seems a journey to take the simple step, but like David you are running after God.

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for God. This should be our prayer. Praise the Lord I can say that I long for God. Too many times, I have not even wanted to long for God. Too many times, the message would come and I would sit and fear that God might speak to my heart about something. Too many times I have feared conviction and the change that might bring. But, what splendor when I walk with God, and seek His face. What joy fills my life when I place Him on the throne, and not my selfish desires. Oh, that we might walk with God daily!

Walk with God! Build momentum so that you can run and chase after Him with all of your being. Don’t let yourself forget; don’t deceive yourselves into saying it doesn’t matter. Every day matters, and walking with God matters more than anything else you thought you just “had to do” that day.

Advertisements

2012 Candidate Conclusions

I plan on making this my final summary here on the reasons I believe Ron Paul is the best candidate for 2012. I hope for this to answer all of the popular questions, positive and negative, surrounding Ron Paul, and to provide my conclusion.

As I have considered the options over the past several months, I have approached the choice with the mindset of a Christian American. That is, I am both concerned with the morality and most Biblical choice, as well as the welfare of the country. I believe that as a good citizen I should be involved in the choices that our government provides us, and that to exercise that responsibility is my minimum duty. As a Christian, I had to be prepared to grapple with the possibility that the best Biblical choice may appear different from the candidate who appears best for the country’s economic or political well-being.

Looking for a Christian man of honesty who will pursue the Lord is the primary trait that I have sought. This is not easily discerned as any Presidential Candidate, Democrat or Republican, knows to say that they are a Christian to garner support. Clear statements of faith and what exactly is meant are sometimes hard to find, and so other indications must be looked at. This means, that you may find statements as you search for them. Ron Paul has said in an interview that he prays for wisdom and grace. This is good, but how many others pray for these?

The determining factor for me then was to look for signs of honesty. Ron Paul has a very consistent record. He does not vote with the party line for the sake of it. He votes on the Constitution. He may not be exactly where I would like on every single issue (and no candidate is); he is clear about why he votes why he does, and his votes can then be predicted based on his honesty. This is so key to me, to see a candidate who is honest and who over the years has not changed his position.

Regardless of what the candidates say, their actions define who they are. Many of the candidates are questioned on their contradicting stances in short amount of years in office, while Ron Paul who has served for 30 years has been consistent. This is also not to say that Ron Paul is inflexible and unwilling to consider himself. His consistency has been to his principles and the Constitution. He has changed his mind on things (I only know of one) over time as he considers them, but never quickly for monetary or political profit. It has been a personal change through time. Which is also encouraging to me as I would hate to see myself in 20 years and know that I haven’t changed on any issue. I want to grow and that means being able to identify things that need to be tweaked, or thrown out.

On Abortion, he is Pro Life. For years I have argued that this is the biggest issue our nation  is facing. But so are many of the other candidates. Will he work as overturning Roe v. Wade? He has already, and so I believe he will continue to.

On the current major issue in our country, economics, he is the front runner. He is an economist and understand better than any of the others why and how we got where we are. He predicted this mess for years, and no one listened. He gives a clear cut method to get out of it. He is not poised with his hand on the trigger to eliminate social programs like Social Security and Medicare upon being sworn in. He understands that change takes time and must be implemented sometimes more slowly depending on the size of the change. He is the only one to propose a real budget cut where he cut $1 trillion from the budget. No other candidate has come close. He has stated with the honesty of a doctor that it will still be hard once we turn towards the right track; something that people don’t like to hear, but needs to be said.

Regarding the economics, I happen to agree with him that if something drastic isn’t done then our country may very well never recover. In this vein of politics then, I see him as outshining the rest, and as the only candidate who could rescue the country. Even if another candidate beat President Obama, they would not take the necessary steps to reverse our crashing economy.

On Foreign Policy, though I fought with myself on several of these issues, I believe he is right. He has a good view on what as a nation we should be doing. He is not an isolationist, as he is often falsely accused. He believes we need to bring our troops home. He does not believe we are the peacekeepers of the world, or that we need to be nation building around the world. We have our own country to take care of. He plans to cut off aid to all other countries. For years, I have wondered why we give millions to every little place that asks for it, and the truth is that if we crash we won’t have it to give them anyway. We have our own country to support, and there is no reason to be giving it all away.

The fear of course, which I have blogged on before, is the cutting off of support for Israel. I spoke of the what it means to bless and curse Israel and where we currently stand. While I have not come to a more sure meaning of blessing or how it works, certain verses are a heavy influence on my opinion. Our “duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.” If we should be doing anything we can for Israel, there is not a single candidate who would support Israel. Many support Israel because they are our only ally in the middle east. Perhaps a good political position, but not what the Bible is talking about. However, when that is your reasoning, you can also decide to tell Israel what to do with the money you give them, tell them what not to do, influence their decisions regarding their own welfare, etc. Further, no candidate has pledged full support for Israel if Israel decided to do whatever they wanted. The support offered is conditional, and therefore, not really blessing Israel. We are trading with Israel. We are helping Israel because we believe it is in our best interest. Our country is not supporting them because we own them everything for without them we would not have the Messiah. Ron Paul then removing this verbal support is not a removal, in my opinion, of the true blessing the Bible speaks to.

His view on war and terrorists is different than perhaps what we are used to, but his principles are sound as he echoes the founding fathers. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin. This is where we are as a nation, and it is hard for me to realize what this means. In principle, this can be scary but the other option of giving up everything we hold dear is far more egregious. He did vote to pursue Osama, and was glad that we got him. He was not glad that we took forever to accomplish this, but neither were the American people.

He is strongest for states’ rights than any other candidate. He understands that if and when the federal government gets involved, it is improbable it will ever let go. To return matters to the states and to follow a Constitutional form of government will set us on a path to be ready for our collapse; it will also provide the possibility of a return of much of America’s former greatness.

He stands firm on many of the other social issues with the rest of the conservative field. His biggest differences from them are his stand on economics (which is vital), and his stand on foreign policy (strongly connected to his economics).

The last question, and one that I hear often touted as the only real question: is he electable? Is there any chance that he can beat President Obama? Before I answer, let me restate that even if we vote for only the candidate who we believe to be electable, that person will not be able to prevent the collapse of America. I don’t know that Ron Paul can prevent the collapse. Obviously, God will have His way in our nation, and so we could go another 100 years with our current administration. But as God works in and through humans and as He has ordained cause and effect, it appears that our nation will, without the supernatural intercession of God, crash. Ron Paul has a chance, in my mind, to prepare us, and turn that crash around. I digress.

Is he electable? This has two parts, can he really be the nomination, and can he really beat the President? Yes, he can! Many of the candidates have won different straw polls, and the polls are going up and down. However, as of a month ago, he has won more straw polls than Perry, Romney, and Bachmann combined. Also, in many of the early primary states, he is tied in the margin of error for first. Interestingly though is that the media refuses to cover his progress. Often, you will hear many “conservative” talk/raido/TV shows ignoring him and plainly stating that he cannot win. The statement “He is un-electable” can be quoted over and over and the effect is obvious — people who might consider him are looking elsewhere because they don’t want to waste their vote in this all-important election.

In large states, such as California he won the straw poll with an overwhelming 44.9%. Second place was Perry with 29.3%. Further, in polls against the President, he has shown consistently that he is within margin of error for winning, the same as other candidates. No one has shown a clear win over the President, but a few have shown they are within that range, and Paul is one of them. The key to California, however, is not its size but its demographic. California has not been won by a Republican in the general election since 1988, but with Texas and California on the table for a republican, that takes away this notion of a evenly divided country. Those two states have split so much that it assumes those electoral votes will continue to do so, and thus make the election more even. With Ron Paul being the Candidate that appeals to the most conservatives of the conservative wing while at the same time drawing support from independents all over the country with his stance on war, he has a definite chance of winning.

Closing notes: Is he perfect? No, but no one is. Is he the Savior of America? No, he is the best choice. Does his win guarantee good years to come? Not at all. God can do whatever he wants. Whether he wins or lose, we could be destroyed or have success. God can work that out. Well, then why does this matter? We are to be wise stewards, and good citizens. We have a responsibility to our country, and thus need to be informed and active.

Ron Paul 2012