Organizations such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have drafted boilerplate laws for state legislators to adopt, such as new voter ID laws and the “stand your ground” law and many states have adopted them. ALEC has created a highly charged political environment in America.
Other organizations such as Color of Change, a civil rights organization, have successfully pressured corporations such as Coca Cola, Wendy’s and others to drop their ties to ALEC, which has caused ALEC to back off on some issues.
In Luke 24:36, Christ makes His fifth appearance to the disciples after His resurrection, saying, “Peace be with you.” He raises the question, “Why are you troubled and why do doubts rise in your minds?” Thus, in His appearance, He makes it clear that He didn’t come to quarrel with Peter for denying Him nor the rest of them for running away from Him. His hope is only to bring peace to their troubled hearts and to also show them forgiveness and reconciliation.
Today, many of God’s people are troubled about the country and the world’s future and this is creating a highly charged political, religious and racist climate. But a careful reading of the spiritual will reveal without a doubt it is God’s wind of change blowing.
From Capitol Hill to Tallahassee to Miami, people are troubled and in doubt about the change. We quarrel over it, resist it and fight it but on both sides fear of change clouds the mind and troubles the heart and creates an unforgiving spirit in all.
When fear of change and doubt arise, we should wonder why, especially when reportedly the need for change is neither true nor good and it has neither foundation in truth nor bears good fruit.
For instance, in the U.S. Supreme Court, some are arguing for the repeal of the new health reform laws and, in Florida, a Stand Your Ground Law task force has been created — of mostly the same people who created the law — to revisit the legislation. It seems that 50 percent of the people want the law repealed and the other 50 percent say it just needs revision. But, to me, there is no doubt: “God is standing His ground.”
In first seeing Christ, the disciples thought He was a ghost. Some days, our political and civil rights struggles seem like the ghost of yesteryear and the hard-fought gains of the ’60s. The future looks dim and can cause our hearts to be troubled and create fear within us.
This is when the troublesome doubts arise and we think God doesn’t know what’s going on or He has forgotten about us. But God knows what is going on and He remembers the past, too. In scripture, Christ chastises the disciples for doubting and teaches them to chastise themselves for doubting. Christ’s point is that doubt hinders our joy, renders us unfit for the duty to serve Him, robs us of the comfort God has set aside for us and gives Satan an advantage.
In Luke 24:45, it is said, “Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” By opening their minds, He lifts the veil of fear from their hearts and with a divine light and a divine heat He enlightens our intellects with truth and warms our hearts with His joy.
Christ comes to “open our minds” to empower us to sense the winds of change. He challenges us to see without doubt the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen that are to be believed about His presence.
Christ comes into the souls of man by the door, while Satan climbs in like a thief through the windows of our minds and the cracks in our unbelief.
We are to “go tell” God’s people they must turn from the worship of the gods and the laws they have made to the worship of the God who made them. They must turn from wanting to be served to serving and all sinful practices and ways must be abandoned. Our hearts and lives must be changed, renewed and reformed. Otherwise, no doubt, God’s wind of change will blow us all away.
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis