Those of you who know me well or follow me on social media realize how much I love Lake Michigan. The views are spectacular. The beaches are amazing. The sand dunes are some of the most plenteous in the world. And the sunsets are blazingly magnificent.
Yet something has been happening gradually over the past thirty years. Inch by inch, the water level has been climbing, until it is now the highest in recorded history. Because of this, the forces of nature have destroyed beaches and homes. Like the home in this picture I saw last weekend, many a foundation have weakened and ultimately crumbled as wave after wave pounded what was previously thought secure and safe.
As I looked at this singular home, I could not help but consider how similar this teetering home is to the condition our nation finds itself in today … in the following ways:
- The problem is obvious.
- The causes are contested.
- The solution is biblical.
The Problem Is Obvious
In every category of our culture, there is major erosion taking place. Some argue that the seven “mountains of influence” are on the brink of collapse. Think about each one and how distant they are from being healthy:
STOP! Before reading further, make sure you have not raced past how each of these is faltering, and how distrust is eroding their viability.
The Causes Are Contested
Arguments abound when it comes to why the lake level reached an all-time high last month. Climatologists say it’s too warm, and the melting ice up north is the cause. Other scientists say it’s too cold, so when a larger percentage of the lake is frozen in the winter, too little evaporation occurs, causing rising water levels.
The “why” behind a culture whose foundation is disintegrating is equally diverse. Bad politics. Immoral entertainment. Presumptive economics. Liberal education. Media manipulation. Broken homes.
It’s easy to call out just one, but in reality, all are simultaneously eroding. I am not a naysayer or a pessimist, but I am a realist. And I am convinced that every one of these segments of our culture is on the brink.
But what if all do not have to be repaired at once? What if the condition of one affects all the others? What if the condition of the church—the waywardness of God’s people—is at the core of the weakening foundation? What if it is, primarily, an impotent church that is causing the erosion of all the others?
The Solution Is Biblical
The foundation of our culture is the church—not church buildings or church programs, but the people of God. The Psalmist asked a question when confronted with a faltering foundation: “What can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3).
I see this as a rhetorical question, as if the answer is obvious. Nothing. It’s too late. The foundations are already destroyed. It’s over the cliff.
But I also see it as a hopeful question. There IS something the righteous can do … because of the next verse:
The LORD is in His holy temple.
The LORD’s throne is in heaven,
his eyes see (v. 4).
The main point is not who is right and who is wrong regarding the cause of the erosion permeating our country; the point is that, without God, there can be no reversal. Only God can change the spiritual weather patterns significantly enough to halt the erosion.
The Lord is still on His throne in heaven, so anything is possible. And He is not oblivious. His eyes see.
What can the righteous do? What can those who are seeking Him do?
Inspecting the Foundation of Our Hearts
In recent weeks, I have noticed homeowners making a beeline to ensure that their foundations are secure. It takes time. It takes personal inspection. It takes effort to restore as needed. It even requires some risk.
Even as children of God, we need to realize that we are not immune to erosion. We must take time regularly to inspect our own hearts to make sure the key components to withstand the forces of the enemy are in place without fractures. We must make certain our foundations are not eroding underneath us.
Below, I would like to recommend five key areas we must all inspect to make sure our faith is firmly rooted in the Lord, and the foundations of our hearts are secure.
1. Authority of Scripture and Lordship of Christ: Are God’s Word and the Lord Jesus Christ fully in control of our lives? Are you holding anything back from Him? Are you wanting to retain control?
2. Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to have His rightful place in our hearts? When is the last time you sensed the power of God’s Spirit doing what only He can do? When is the last time the presence of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming to you?
3. Power of a Life Message: Are we experiencing the power that comes with walking obediently, with living what we are preaching? Do you know the freedom that comes with walking what you are talking?
4. Message of the Cross: Are we embracing the cross? Is the resurrected power of the cross (the gospel) evident because you have died to yourself? Is there an area of your life that you are unwilling to die to or reluctant to nail to the cross?
5. Priorities: Are we keeping our top three priorities in proper order: relationship to God, relationship to family, and relationship to others? How would those who know you best, answer this question?
Please, set aside some time this week to get alone with God and allow His Holy Spirit to examine your heart. You’ll be glad you did.