the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
It's county fair season again! It's the time of year when people identify themselves as citizens of a local community and gather to celebrate the bounty of the land. By the time you read this, the Idaho county fair will be in full swing here in Cottonwood.
Some of the people who gather for the fair give praise to God for the blessings of productive land and livestock. Others never consider the fact that the only thing standing between them and want is the Providence of God. They look at famine ravaged nations and believe their hardship is evidence of primitive farming methods, not realizing faith as the causal factor.
Christianity opened the door to scientific and technological advance because - in part - it removed nature from the realm of magic. When God is honored as the sovereign Creator of the universe it is no longer necessary to fear the natural realm. Without God, man cowers before the demons that inhabit the trees, rocks, ground and water. He does not recognize order but embraces chaos, convinced volatile weather, disease and “natural” disasters are evidence of capricious spirits. If his land is fruitful at all it is only because of God's creation grace – the sun rising on the evil and the good, the rain falling on the just and the unjust.
Nations are blessed because of obedience to God's law. In our country we are living on the spiritual capital of our godly forefathers. In the same way that Judah was spared destruction for several generations because of its godly past, the U.S. Of A continues to experience bounty because of our Christian heritage. Yes, there are many Believers who work everyday as unto the Lord and pray mightily on behalf of this land but there are also many Church goers who fail to see the connection between corporate blessing and obedience to God's word.
I have written many times in this column about the need for every Christian to bring his arena of activity under the authority of Jesus Christ. Each of us must take dominion for the kingdom of God in our sphere of influence by exercising self sacrificial service as unto the Lord. We must cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. We must give thanks daily for God's goodness and daily ask him to forgive us for our sins. We must understand there is no part of life not subject to the authority of Jesus.
One problem is that we are “practical materialists.” It is hard for us to accept that the corporate blessings of bountiful crops, good health, economic prosperity, and global leadership result when individuals accept Jesus as Savior and live in obedience to his word (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Obviously these blessings are the consequence of achieving “critical mass” but the fact remains, every Christian must do his part. None of us will achieve moral flawlessness in this life (Oh that we could!) but all of us can manage the perfection of every gear and wheel functioning in harmony with God's will.
The starting point for all of this is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Every one of us needs to acknowledge our sin, and the fact we cannot save our self. Each of us must repent, turn to Christ, accept his substitutionary death and live in submission to his will. We must give thanks to God and God alone for our blessings and we must do everything as unto him.
Enjoy the fair this week - and praise God for your blessings while you are there.