The Right Equation
It has been interesting this year to find out what motivates people to support the candidates that they do. There’s one common philosophical difference that is at the root of most differences—What is more important: national morality, national prosperity, or national security? What is more important: social/moral issues, fiscal issues, or security issues? In other words, what is the equation that results in the desired state of our Nation?
THE WRONG EQUATION
Today’s equation looks like this: Financial Prosperity allows for National Security that then allows us to deal with Moral/Social Issues. In other words, money…if we just had enough money, we could be secure and people can then be healthy and happy. Take a moment to listen to the priorities spoken of by candidates from all levels of government. Ask them their top three priorities and see how many include a financial or security focus and then compare how those relate to moral issues.
I ask a simple question. How is that equation working for us?
We are the most prosperous nation on the earth and we are arguably the most prosperous nation to have ever existed. Even the poorest Americans live in conditions that many in the world would fight to have. And yet, we don’t have enough money. The rich aren’t content, there are poor who live in need, and every governmental agency and service provider (school district, fire department, etc.) says they need more money.
We have the strongest military to ever have existed (even in its weakened state today). Yet we face enemies in many directions. We have borders that are selectively enforced at best. There are enemies poised to attack and destroy. We invest heavily in defense yet we feel very vulnerable.
We spend billions of dollars to solve social woes such as poor health (which is getting worse), mental health issues (that are increasing), homelessness (that is becoming an epidemic), and out of control drug and alcohol abuse (which rather than solve we now try to tax to have more money to try to solve problems!?!?!)
The result of the current equation? An unhappy Nation where few believe they have enough money, a dubious security where most people feel increasingly unsafe, and social ills that grow in epidemic measures. All the while we have saddled our children and grandchildren with an ever-increasing national debt that is too staggering to truly conceive.
This equation can be summed up as “Seek First My Desires”.
THE RIGHT EQUATION
There is an equation that changes everything. It not only exists but has been proven time and again. The equation results in amazing blessings to those people who choose to follow it. It simultaneously results in financial prosperity, while providing for national security, AND makes a significant impact in social issues at the same time.
It is not secret, nor hidden. But it must be approached with an open mind. Research has shown that 54% of Americans don’t even want to know what this equation is or where it comes from (Barna & Barton, 2014). Are you ready for it?
The equation is: Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness = all these things will be added to you. (paraphrase of Matthew 6:33). That’s it; there is nothing else to do.
Let’s call this equation “Seek First His Kingdom”
CONTEXT AND SUPPORT
The context of “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” is found in Matthew 6: 25-34. Most readers take these verses to deal with worry and anxiety, but the teaching extends far beyond mere worry. In the verses Jesus specifically mentions “things” like food and clothing. It is clear that God’s provision expands much further than food and clothes, as these basic important needs are simply referred to as “things”. When taken in context with the rest of the Bible, these Words can transform an individual, a family, a Church, a Nation, and the World in whole.
Time and again God delivered blessings, protection, and provision to a People who would seek Him first. A reading of Judges and I & II Chronicles repeatedly demonstrates the two equations in action.
When the people and the leader of Israel applied the Seek First His Kingdom equation the result was financial prosperity, national security, and a people free from social ills. However, when the people “did evil in the sight of the Lord” and applied the Seek First My Desires equation, they experienced financial distress (famines, need, and want), national security attacks (ranging from raids to complete defeat), and increased social ills (sicknesses, immoral behavior, etc.).
TODAY’S REALITY – WE ARE APPLYING THE WRONG EQUATION
I have heard statements such as “What good is it to stand for pro-life issues if we don’t deal with jobs or national security first?” Wrong equation. “We need more taxes so we can deal with mental health.” Wrong equation. “We need to secure our borders before worrying about the moral qualifications of a candidate.” Wrong equation. “We can vote for the lesser of two evils, because the one evil is worse than the other.” Wrong equation.
I have personally watched elected officials fight like mad to invest money in social ills such as mental health, homelessness, and health care and then fight with equal passion against a sign that reads “In God We Trust”. They will admit that drug abuse is rampant but then propose the solution is to legalize and tax marijuana. Wrong equation. They actively fight against and deny the very equation that can solve the problems they claim a desire to want to solve.
Unfortunately, these elected officials are simply being representative of those who elected them into office. In order to apply the “Seek First His Kingdom” equation you must believe His Kingdom is worth seeking. This is becoming a rare belief. For instance, we need to believe and trust that:
God is real – Only 62% believe in the God of the Bible
God is in control – Only 29% believe God controls what happens
God is right – Only 52% approve of God’s “job performance” (like we have a right to judge the Supreme Judge).
We will ultimately answer to God – Only 76% believe we will answer to God for our actions.
CALL TO ACTION
Our call to action, as Christians, is to advocate for and apply the correct equation in every area of our life.
We must first believe and subscribe to the “Seek First His Kingdom” equation. This starts in your life and in your home. Do you believe and subscribe to this equation? If not, why not? Review Judges and I & II Chronicles. Just read the beginning and the ending of each story of a new judge or leader; it will tell you what equation was being applied and what results were being experienced.
We must advocate this equation within our Churches. Ask questions and you will find that the wrong equation is held and applied to many within the church. Much of the Church today is more influenced by society than it is by God. As such, don’t assume those who claim the title Christian are living with a His Kingdom First equation in their lives.
Lastly, make sure that those you support and elect understand, subscribe and apply the correct equation. Choosing leaders with a Seek First His Kingdom mentality makes a big difference. Read through Judges and Chronicles and you will see that the equation the leader follows is quickly adopted by and followed by the entire nation.
Seek First His Kingdom Leader = Seek First His Kingdom People = Financial prosperity, secure nation, few societal problems
Seek First My Desires Leaders = Seek First My Desires People = Financial ruin, national insecurity, many societal problems.
What equation do you live by?
What equation do you want to see our Nation live by?
What equation do the elected leaders (or candidates you support) live by
Deuteronomy 8:18 “But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He which is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
Deuteronomy 15:4 “However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you…if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God…”
Read Deuteronomy Chapter 28 for a compare and contrast of God’s blessings upon the Seek First His Kingdom equation and the consequences of Seek First My Desires equation.
Joshua 21:45, 22:4 “Not one of the good promises which the Lord made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. And now the Lord has given rest to your brothers…”
Joshua 23: 3 “And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you.”
Barna, G., & Barton, D. (2014). U-Turn. Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House Book Group.
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