The world and the god of this world will always marginalize God's men. However, The Word of God says that we are in this world but we are not of this world. God intends for his men to be salt and light of this world. God called his men to be bold as lions, making decisions based on courage and boldness rather than cowardice and fear.
The righteous man knows that his power is of God and not of man. A man of God is bold in the power of The Lord. The world glories in the accomplishments of man. However Jesus said that apart from me you can do nothing. .. Did we in our own strength confide, our battle would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the man of God's own choosing. Doth ask who this may be? Christ Jesus it is He. And he must win the battle.
To become bold, I must decrease that he may increase. The world glories in the self-made man, with the emphasis on self. Men glory in worldly accolades of fame, fortune, power and self-actualization. The Word of God is the polar opposite of man's word.... Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches. But him that glorieth, let him glory in this, that I am The Lord that exercises lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness upon the earth.
God called us not to act in our own power but rather according to the power of His might. It is God that worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure when our good pleasure is his good pleasure. God exhorts to act... actively and deliberately, not passively. We are not "victims" of this world. We are called to influence the culture, not be influenced by the culture.
Nations grow strong when the family is more important than the individual. However, when the individual is supreme, the culture "atomizes" and flies apart. This is where our culture is today. The emphasis is on self rather than the family. This is the end result when "my rights" are preeminent and the god of self actualization is worshiped. However, God called us to be unified together as the family of God, bound together by the bond of love. Above all these things put on charity (greek word agape) which is the bond of perfectness.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "My mother told me that I was born to do great things. I didn't have the heart to let her down." In order to contribute to something greater than myself, I need to do it for the ones I love. It's not about me, it's about the ones I love. When God says to fear him, he doesn't mean to cower before him. The fear of God is to love God enough to refuse to let him down.
In order to repent, nations like individuals must be brought to their knees. The prodigal son turned around only at the point when he was starving and "feign did fill his belly with the pods which the swine did eat." When he had nothing to eat but pig slop, having frittered away his father's fortune, only then did he turn around and "come to himself." Sometimes in order to turn around you must hit rock bottom. The definition of repentance is to "change your mind." It means to turn from my own strength to God's strength... to change Lordship from myself to The Lord Jesus Christ.
Our culture values self sufficiency, self confidence, and self esteem. The emphasis is on self. The devil's offer to Eve was "disobey God's word, help yourself to the fruit, and ye shall be as God." The culture of the world has bought into this lie ever since the fall of man. The "what's in it for me" paradigm is the doctrine of this world with the emphasis on "help yourself" and "how can you help me?" When we change our mentality from "serving ourselves and being served" to serving God from the love in our hearts, only then can God deliver. It's not about me, it's about Him.
According to Romans 5:3-5, “tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience and experience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Therefore glory in tribulation because when it is finished tribulation shall have it's perfect work. Our prayer is not that God would deliver us from the storm, but rather that he would deliver us through the storm. There is no victory without a battle. But thanks be to God which always causes us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. God called us to be salt and light in a world of darkness... not to be influenced by the world but to influence the world. Influencers: Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven. Thy grace is sufficient for me...
Your Brother in Christ, Michael