It was a sunny day, clear and a million, 14 years ago on the day the country swore to never forget. It was a day much like today — clear blue sky, sun shining through. A whole new generation of eyes was opened to war, terrorism, and to the fact that we are not untouchable by evil. We swore to find and punish those responsible. We unashamedly prayed in public and “God bless America” became our national mantra — our war chant. Much has changed since that day. We have changed since that day.
We have gotten so caught up in the “American Dream” that we have fallen into a deep slumber where reality no longer prevails. We have become a generation of American Dreamers where “social” media is not fun and games but where it’s a way of life. Where we can hide behind a perfectly-posed picture and screen name and pretend that everything is ok. Where we can say, and do, and be anything we want. Where our actions carry no responsibility. We see what we want to see. We ignore what makes us uncomfortable. Social media is fueling the fire of division and a culture of irresponsibility and is artificially creating problems that weren’t actually there to begin with.
We are fighting battles of misplaced ideals and we can no longer perceive reality. We feel entitled to anything and everything we want – with no regard for how our actions affect the lives of others. We are selfish and self-centered. We say we want to love everybody but wind up loving no one but ourselves.
We now believe that police officers are the bad guys. That white people should suffer for the slavery of the past. That we should be judged by the color of our skin and not our actions and character. That people who believe in traditional marriage should be fined and “rehabilitated.” That you cannot and should not do or say anything that will offend anyone. That disagreeing with someone is a form of hate.
Israel is under constant threat from missiles being fired into their sovereign borders, mortar shells hurting or killing innocent people, tunnels being dug into their territory, and suicide bombers blowing themselves up in busy areas. Israel is worried about Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria invading their borders. They have Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood all trying to sneak in and do as much damage as they can.
Syria’s dictatorship has gotten so bad that it’s literally UNLIVEABLE in the country…as witnessed by the thousands upon thousands of refugees fleeing the country hoping to be taken in by any country who will have them. Iran is one step closer to getting a nuclear weapon. Women can’t drive and can’t be seen in public alone. Women can’t report rapes or abuse for fear of being punished. Russia is occupying Ukraine. China is building secret military islands in international water and is cyber-attacking America while also manipulating their currency causing our stock market to have more mood swings than a bipolar patient off their medication. North Korea still won’t tell anyone what they are doing or how they treat their people, but a recent UN Commission of Inquiry found North Korea to be unparalleled in their violations of human rights.
Greece’s economy has failed (again). Europe is trying to deal with the surge of Muslim immigrants that are now trying to impose Sharia law. ISIS is rapidly spreading across the Middle East destroying historical artifacts and brutally murdering men, women, and children in their effort to spread fear and terror across the world.
And then there’s America – where the citizens whine and complain that someone hurt their feelings or offended them. We have been taught to believe that good is bad and bad is good. Where everyone can do whatever they want – as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.
Everything our forefathers sacrificed and fought so hard for is being unraveled by this new “enlightened” generation who thinks they are entitled to anything and everything they want; that they have a “right” to live the lives they want but then criticize our military and police officers who put their lives on the line for the very rights they espouse. It’s such a twisted generation we live in and it’s spiraling out of control quicker each day.
Our world is falling apart and all the distractions our culture offers is keeping us from doing anything about it.
But in the midst of this, there is hope.
I firmly believe that social media and the social “wars” we are taught to believe we are fighting are just a way to keep us distracted. If those in charge can just keep us distracted with anything but the truth, it makes it so much easier for us to be deceived and miss what really matters.
But as believers, our attention should not be focused on what we saw on Facebook that day or even what the mainstream media was told to report today. Our focus and attention should be firmly fixed on YHVH and His Word alone. In a world full of distractions meant to steal our focus, I know it can be hard. But if we press into Him and make Him our strong tower, He will lead and direct our paths. He will reveal the truth. He will lead our footsteps in the way we should go and the battles we should fight.
In this month of Elul, it’s time to awaken the American Dreamers from their sleep. It’s time for believers to wake up and let the light of God reveal what’s really going on around us. It’s so easy to get caught up in these distractions and lose sight of the signs and warnings all over the world. It’s easy to stay asleep and not see the truth of what’s coming.
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust, for Your dew is a dew of light. Isaiah 26:19
And have no fellowship with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather convict them. For it is a shame even to speak of what is done by them in secret. But all matters being convicted are revealed by the light, for whatever reveals is light. That is why He says, “Wake up, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Messiah shall shine on you.” See then that you walk vigilantly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are wicked. Ephesians 5:11-16
One day, YHVH will return and make everything right. But for now, we must find a way to live set apart lives in a corrupt and fallen world. When we fix our gaze solely on Him, it allows YHVH to cover us with His truth, love, and righteousness — instead of being so easily distracted by the evil that surrounds us. When YHVH alone is our focus, it creates a sanctuary of safe haven where we can run and escape the darkness that surrounds us. It allows Him to awaken us from our sleep and to reveal the steps that we should take. It allows us to “walk carefully and vigilantly, not as unwise, but as wise.”
As Americans, we also have a patriotic duty to never let ourselves get so distracted we miss what’s truly important. Being offended at every turn, using the politically correct gender terminology, and being so focused on our own little world of selfies is not what we should be focused on. We should look outside ourselves and our own world more often. When we don’t, we miss the suffering of others and they miss the help we could have given.
Let’s not do a terrible disservice to those who have lost their lives in the fight for freedom and justice by giving away our freedoms because we were too distracted to realize what was happening. We have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world – but only if we will awaken from our sleep and realign our focus to the issues that truly matter.
So on this day, when we promise to never forget, let’s really mean it and do something about it.