I want to tell you a story about the Tale of Two Hearts. There once was a young boy who woke up one morning feeling an overflowing of love in his young heart for his mother. To show his love for her, he decided he would make her breakfast in bed. He began to gather all the ingredients for pancakes as he has seen his mother do many times. He poured flour into a bowl, cracked a few eggs into the flour, and poured in some milk. Then he realized he was not supposed to work a griddle without supervision. So, he opted to take his mom some cereal and toast. He left his entire pancake adventure in the kitchen and haphazardly took a bowl full of cereal and two pieces of toast into his mother’s room. The young boy sat and watched his mother eat her breakfast, and his heart was filled with joy. This young boy’s mom was thrilled with her breakfast. Upon finishing she walked into the kitchen and was greeted by the attempted pancaked adventure – flour all over the place, milk splashed on the counters and cabinets, and she was pretty sure she saw egg yolks all over her recently cleaned floors. She smiled to herself as she realized the effort her young son went to demonstrate his love for her. She could only laugh at his messy mistakes.
Contrast this first story with that of a second young boy. This young boy woke up feeling fear, anger, and manipulation in his heart towards his mother. They had recently had a disagreement in which he was rather rude and disrespectful towards her. He knew that he would probably be suffer some consequences for his behavior, but he also knew that he had a friend having a party later in the week that he wanted to go to. So upon waking up, he too decided to make his mother some breakfast. He went to the kitchen and made his mom the most beautiful pancakes. He brewed her favorite coffee and flavored it with cream and sugar exactly to her specifications. He cut up fruit and artistically decorated her plate with the food. He then took the breakfast to his mom who was surprised and pleased with the gesture from her son. As soon as she had begun to eat, the young boy began to talk about how great it must be to receive breakfast from a son and how that son deserves to get rewarded for his kind gesture. The mom began to feel the joy she felt about the breakfast wane as he proceeded to ask if she would reward him with permission to go to his friend’s party, even though he was in trouble for a disrespectful attitude. As his mom entered into the kitchen, she too was greeted with a mess, but her heart was filled with sadness and frustration over the mess as opposed to the laughter of the first mom.
The heart attitudes behind these two young boys was different. The first young boy’s heart attitude was love. The second young boy’s heart attitude was fear, anger, and manipulation. Both had behaviors that seemed kind and thoughtful, but only the first young boy’s behavior was actually motivated out of love. The second young boy’s behaviors were actually sinful, even though they had the appearance of kindness due to the sinful attitude of his heart.
God cares more about our heart attitude because he desires a deep relationship with us. Our heart attitude of love grows and deepens our relationship with God. As He loves us and we return His love, our heart attitude towards others is also love.
As I observe the speech, choices, and behaviors of the church and those who claim to be followers of Jesus, I am saddened and at times angered at their heart attitude. I see fear motivating many of the decisions being made. There seems to be a fear over the safety of the church and all she stands for and America as a nation. There seems to be a fear of losing freedoms and traditions, and therefore a need to “fight” for their protection.
I think it is very important to remember that God does not need our help to protect anything. He is fully capable of protecting His church and His Truth. We partner with God not to protect the church, but to bring His Kingdom to earth. He told us that in this world we would have trouble. He also told us that He desires a pure and holy bride. What if God allows a decrease of freedoms for His church (because remember, no one gets elected into government that He has not allowed) for the purpose of purifying the church? He has been known throughout scripture to use adversity to develop strength and character. He has been known to reduce the freedoms of His beloved to increase her purity and holiness.
In regards to our nation, it is important for us to remember that America is not God’s favorite nation. We belong to the Kingdom of God first. This Kingdom is His favored Kingdom. There are members of this Kingdom in many different nations, tribes, and tongues. He loves Great Britain, Greece, Russia, and Haiti in the same way He loves America. We are not a favored nation with God as many would like to believe. This last statement is going to bring a rise in anger to some of my readers, but it makes the statement no less true.
When we make decisions out of fear of losing the church or fear of losing our freedoms or fear of losing “Our Great Nation,” we will either make wrong decisions or we will make decisions with the wrong heart attitude. Both are wrong.
I wonder what would happen in the Kingdom of God (throughout the world) if we as the church – Jesus’s Bride – began taking our fears to God. I wonder what would happen if we left our fears with Jesus and then asked Him what decision or what choice He wants us to make. What is God’s plan is to allow calamity in this nation to bring forth a strong church? What if the candidate He asks you to vote for is different from the one you would choose because He is not asking you to vote out of a desire to “save a nation” but rather out of a desire to be obedient?
When we begin to release our fears and therefore loosen up the reigns on the illusive “control” we continually try to maintain, we may find that we see the Kingdom of God come in ways we never imagined.