Joel Osteen and the Right Question

7 Oct

This article from Charisma magazine caught my attention. The headline reads “Osteen Willing to Vote for Candidate of Different Faith.”

A summary of Joel’s recent television interview with Piers Morgan brings up many controversial ideas. Would he vote for someone of a different faith? A Mormon? A Jew? A Muslim? 

As if that wasn’t enough to stir the pot (or perhaps get high TV ratings), the conversation went on to discuss homosexual marriage. Would Osteen perform one? Would he attend one?

These may be attention grabbing questions, but they are the wrong questions. The wrong focus. And, they’re asking answers of the wrong person.

I’m reminded of Israel’s desire for an earthly king, like all the other nations around them. You can read these accounts in 1 Samuel 8. God said to his prophet, Samuel, in response to the people’s demands for a king. “…they have rejected me as their king” 1 Samuel 8:7b  (NIV). 

God had chosen Israel as his own people, yet they wanted to conform to what the other nations had, a man to serve as their leader. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles” 1 Samuel 8:19b-20 (NIV). 

A long line of kings followed which you can read about in 1st and 2nd Kings. Some did good, some did evil.

What about us? As Christians, do we still want to be like other people? Are we still looking to other leaders to tell us what to think and do instead of to our holy God, and his Word which stands forever?

God provided us with Jesus as our forever King. Our forever High Priest. Our forever Redeemer. The most important question was asked by Jesus himself:  “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 (NIV).

Our standing with the Lord our God is individual. Jesus died to make us the reconciled children of God. (See Galations 1: 3 – 5.)  Yet, we live in a world with many other examples around us. We choose who influences us. Do you choose the world or the WORD? (See Romans 12:2.) 

Once you choose God, he creates growth.  God uses his word in a willing heart to create a transformation. 

Back to the Old Testament kings as an example, Josiah’s father did not do right by the LORD. He did evil. However, Josiah honored the LORD in his heart and in his actions as king of Judah. In Josiah’s command, the Lord’s temple was being repaired. The book of law from Moses’s time was discovered and Josiah had it read aloud to him.

Josiah did two major things in response to what was read.

  1. He tore his clothes (to show grief and repentence of the wrong God’s people had commited)
  2. He inquired of God for direction. (See these events in 2 Kings 22 (particularly v11 – 13; 18 – 20) and Ch 23 (particularly 1 – 3; 21 – 25.) )

God still uses his word to bring willing hearts back to him. The earthly kings of Isreal and Judah all passed away. Current earthly influences will all pass away one day.

Read 1 Peter 1: 13 – 25.  Pray and stand fast in God’s word. The only imperishable life, the only imperishable kingdom. The only thing that stands forever.

Who is king in your heart?


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