One area that I struggle with is the balance between trust and action, especially when it comes to the culture's opinion or treatment of believers. How much are we to trust to God in prayer, and how much are we to step out and take action?
We see the Apostle Paul committing his life in the Lord's hands whether it meant life or death. We read in 2 Corinthians 4 where believers are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. (But not crushed, in despair, forsaken nor destroyed.) "For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."
And yet was also see the Apostle taking advantage of forums to defend the truth, defend his own reputation and defend his rights for the gospel's sake. Throughout Acts, and especially the last several chapters Paul makes a strong defense before kings, governors and tribunals, even castigating his enemies for their lies, and appealing to his rights as a Roman citizen. But when it looked like a death sentence was inevitable (2 Corinthians 1) he committed himself into the Lord's hands.
When some in our culture resort to lies or distortions about Christians in order to advance their agenda, we need discernment. We are told to live quiet lives before outsiders, so we should not be too quick to protest, and we should choose the causes we are involved with very selectively so that the gospel is never second place, and no other issue becomes a close second to the gospel. If we have a forum (citizenship) like Paul, we should pray about using it. But we should not forget that, ultimately we are blessed when we are persecuted for truth. (Matthew 5:11-12)
I think the Lord has the right answer for us for each challenge we face in our culture. But I wonder if we have even prayed for His will about each challenge?
Often I find that I have prayed my will fervently, but I don't have peace until I yield to His sovereign will. Sometimes praying turns to insisting on my own view. As Aaron preached last Sunday, even these immature prayers which lack wisdom-are heard, and God can change the one praying. Once you have prayed and asked, are you then willing to submit to His mysterious will and His perfect wisdom? Is God's sovereignty acknowledged in your life?