Today, I feel connected to the heart of Jesus when he looked out over the city of Jerusalem.
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.'” (Luke 19:41-42, NIV)
I am disheartened by the way people indiscriminately latch on to stories, pictures, and social media posts that support their view of events – regardless of whether those things are based in truth. No fact checking. No hesitation to hit “share” even if the post might be offensive, or a lie. And for those who profess to be Christian, I have to wonder, where is spiritual discernment?
I’ve said before [see prior post], and will continue to say, the biggest challenge in finding the truth in the Ferguson situation will be that many do not really want truth. They just want to support their agendas.
I’m all for working for causes, promoting change, and letting our voices be heard. But for Christians this simply cannot be done at the expense of truth.
When Christians have blinders on that prevent them from even considering possible truths in the perspectives of “opponents” – or worse yet, when we willingly align ourselves with those spreading lies – it is imperative to lay our hearts before the Lord, yet again, and ask him to reveal the sins we hold in our “hidden parts.”
If you’re willing to challenge yourself in this way, here are a few Scriptures to guide your prayer time:
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being. And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. (Psalm 51:6, NASB).
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. (John 3:19, NASB)
And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:14, NASB)
Notes/disclaimers/ground-rules before you read this prayer prompt:
1) This kept coming to mind yesterday, but I hesitated to post because I really want it to spark personal prayer and not discussion or debate. So, please, know the purpose is NOT to have you post your responses here, but to ponder your response before the Lord today.
2) Despite yesterday’s hesitations, it continues to come to mind, so I’m posting despite the fact that I’m not really sure about it.
3) This is not meant to promote any one position over another. It is meant as a prompt for each of us to lay our own hearts bare before the Lord.
So, with all that said, here’s the prayer prompt:
If it was actually possible for the truth of what happened in the Michael Brown shooting to be revealed with absolute certainty, but the truth was contrary to what you have been prone to believe … if that were the case, how would you FEEL? I’m not asking whether you would doubt the outcome. Remember, in this hypothetical scenario, the truth has been proven without a shadow of a doubt. I’m asking how you would feel if the truth was contrary to your current presuppositions.
Would you feel glad and relieved that truth was found and justice served? Would you be disappointed that this case no longer served an agenda you promote? How might your heart be changed? Could your heart be changed? How would you feel towards the people “on the other side” of the issue? Would you desire to tag on a “yeah, but …”?
Wondering if maybe this prayer approach will let us know if our hearts are truly seeking truth and justice … or something else.
Holy Spirit, please guide us into all truth (John 16:1-15) – especially to the truth in our own hearts.
Justice AND Mercy, Truth AND Love
This video was a perfect backdrop to the prayer I shared earlier in regards to the issues we are facing here in North County, St. Louis in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown. So often we want only one component of God’s plan. We separate out things that should go together – Justice AND Mercy, Truth AND Love. We also separate ourselves from others based on which end of the spectrum we want to align ourselves with, but the ultimate answer lies in alignment with the fullness of God’s commands. Micah 6:8 follows the instructions to “do justice and love mercy” with “walk humbly with your God.” It is difficult for us to find the balance between extremes. That is why we must humbly acknowledge that God’s ways are better than our ways and seek His guidance in these times. The two sides will only come together when both acknowledge the need for both justice and mercy, both truth and love.