When you hear the word “Normal”, what comes to your mind? In fact, how would you even define “normal”?
When I was in middle school, I had a classmate who wore a shirt that said “Normal People scare me.” I still find that humorous to this day. Yet, as funny as it sounds, it has also raised some concern. As I’m writing this post/recording this podcast, I find myself wrestling with these things that I’m hearing from friends and co-workers left and right. The saying goes like this: “This is the ‘new’ normal.” Back then, I used to think that things should be done my way or the highway and that things that were done in the past were considered normal. But since totally surrendering myself to God, I don’t think like that anymore.
One of my favorite books in the bible that has helped me drop that mindset is the book of Judges. Throughout the book, people go left and right doing what they want and not what God wanted for them in their lives. This led them to go down bad paths and later a Judge would be brought into the fold to help point them back to God. But after each Judge died, they went back to their rhythm of rebellion.
If you look at our country, you’d know that this pattern is no different than what the Israelites encountered in the book of Judges.
Now, a lot of well-meaning Christians will say things like “This country is going down because of immorality. We must pass laws to protect everyone from these problems.” Others will say “No! These laws are causing so much injustice to others. We must engage in Social Justice! Let’s liberate, set aside what we grew up within the church, and start making the church more accepted by the world.” To be honest, I used to hold to the latter view when I was in the K-12 System and the primary from Senior Year in High School until after college. But since the healing that God gave me on February 6th, 2015, I no longer hold to either of those views. Rather, I believe that this world is NOT our home and that we are strangers in a strange land.
You’re NOT going to get the point across by trying to pass laws or trying to make the church more like the culture. You get the point across by letting God speak to us through His Word and letting His Holy Spirit work through you.
The book of 1 Peter is another book that has helped me in my walk with God. A lot of people say that we are were supposed to be a “Christian Nation” and that our freedoms are going to be taken away as a result. Let me challenge you with this: I used to believe that ideology, but NOT anymore. It goes against what we were taught in scripture. This world is NOT our home. We are strangers in a strange land. We are citizens of Heaven. We are fortunate to live in a free country. We are not being persecuted like other countries are. Our job and duty as believers to hold to sound teaching and continue to point people to the Gospel regardless of response. As far as Social Justice and other forms of social change are concerned, that won’t advance the gospel either. We need to be aware that as much as we would like to change what is going on in our culture, that cannot happen without the Bible as its foundation. Any kind of actions that we take that are against scripture will only draw us away from God, NOT towards Him.
Listen to what the Apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 1:1-25 ESV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,  inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.  Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,  knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,  but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you  who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,  since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;  for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,  but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
Guys, let me challenge you with this: as far as going back to normal or accepting the “new” normal is concerned, I respectfully don’t believe that there ever was a normal. Before the fall in Genesis 3, maybe. But afterward…nope. Having said that, don’t let that stop you from growing in your walk with Christ in His Word and allowing His Spirit to work in our lives to serve others.
To listen to the podcast version of this post, click here!