I was a little surprised when he once told his listeners that he had a sign on his desk that read "God is in control". But my surprise was an indication of immaturity in my own faith and lack of understanding the depths of our sin nature. Of course, we need daily reminding of who we are and Who God is. I now display that same message on one of my desks.
But on another desk, I have a scale model of a 1983 Plymouth Reliant. Thirty years ago, you could buy a roomy, six-passenger car with generous trunk space that could get up to 40 mpg on the highway. I can't find an equally spacious car today with that mileage anywhere on the web. I challenge the fallacy that humanity is improving.
I am grateful to the Lord for the gifts of technology. Of course, computers and phones have advanced since 1983, but are we better children of our parents? Are fathers better at being fathers, and mothers at being mothers? Are we kinder and more patient with one another? Are we more generous and thankful?
Adrian Rogers knew that we daily battle our sin nature and the devil prowls for our souls. The devil is in control of the world's system which humans handed over to him in Eden so long ago. The Lord had given human dominion over the earth, but playing god seemed like more fun. (Genesis 1-3) Now, we sweat for our suppers and complain over our manna (and our cars).
The best daily reminders are ones that are simple and oh-so true. Signs on desks and walls are good for quick recalls of the basic realities of life. But they are just reminders. For further enlightenment, we seek God's revelation of Himself and us through His Word. Recently, I saw a poll that revealed that a majority of Americans now believe that pre-marital sex is moral. Behind this is the wandering from God's Word and it has nothing to do with technology or progress but a slide back to what Shakespeare referred to as our "basest metal"--in this case, our most primitive and devilish service to the self. Righteousness is never discerned from the minds of fallen humanity. Righteousness in only found in the authoritative Word of God.
Any culture that denies the authority of God's Word will find itself with no moral compass but will be enslaved by the Prince of the Air (and airwaves) through his human minions. As early American William Penn wrote in 1701, "If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants." Relying on the self for judging righteousness is human folly at its utmost. As David surmised in Psalm 16, "I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." Now, that's progress--reliance on the Lord. Gloria Deo--Glory to God.
Rev. Timothy Matthew
is pastor of
Redeemer Lutheran Church