For my 100th post on this blog, I wanted to share something that has been on my heart for the last few days. This past Saturday was eye-opening, that is for sure. A group from College Park (my church) went on a Local Outreach Vision Trip to see what Life Centers (Crisis pregnancy centers) are doing in Indianapolis. We started our trip by going to the Planned Parenthood center, praying for the women in the clinic as we were standing outside, for the workers and abortionists, for the Light of the gospel to penetrate the darkness and for truth to be proclaimed.
It was heartbreaking to stand outside Planned Parenthood, knowing that there were women inside as we were praying who were being deceived into thinking that the baby in their womb was nothing more than tissue, and that removing it would be easy and painless. Not understanding that by aborting their child they are committing murder, and that their decision will remain with them the rest of their life. Knowing that there were “medical professionals” who are also deceived – they believe that they are doing something good by giving women a “choice”, while in the meantime ending the lives of thousands of children who have no voice and no choice of choosing whether to live or die.
In the midst of this on-going tragedy, there is hope. Hope as a group of men and women live dedicated to interceding on behalf of these voiceless children, committed to proclaiming the truth about life, intent on rescuing and helping as many women as they can. We visited 5 of the Life Centers in Indianapolis, heard story after story of God’s great intervention in the lives of women who changed their mind on abortion and chose life, and met some amazing people who are actively involved in this ministry. The day was encouraging and fun, but at the same time heart-breaking and challenging. As I was thinking through all I had seen, I was left with a troubling question.
How often do we hear “God Bless America” spoken from the lips of people who pass laws in our nation that allow things that are completely contrary to His character and His ultimate law? What does “God bless America” even mean anymore? How can we ask God to bless our nation when we are in such obvious sin? We kill and call it choice, we promote sexual sin of all kinds, we glorify violence and vulgarity, and then we expect God to bless us as a people?
I was reading this morning in 1 Kings, when Solomon was dedicating the newly-built temple. In his prayer, he prayed that whenever the Israelites turned away from God they would turn back, repent and change their ways, restoring their relationship with God and once again receiving His favor and blessing. The only thing we deserve right now is His wrath and judgment, not His blessing. Instead of asking Him to bless us, we need to repent. To turn from our wicked ways and to seek His face.
Until then, God Bless America will ring empty and void of meaning, and will sound to His ears like clanging symbols. Instead of vainly seeking His blessing, let us first repent and change our ways, and return to Him.