, Muskogee, OK

November 14, 2012

Fort Faith: God gives us the freedom to decide our destiny

— By Barrett Vanlandingham

As I watched Fort Gibson’s Veteran’s Day assembly last Friday, it occurred to me once more just how blessed our little community really is.

There is no doubt we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Our military continually defends the freedoms we hold dear.

It is important for each of us to pray continually for God to bless us with the wisdom to look to Him for guidance in our decisions and those made on our behalf.

Since childhood I’ve heard people describe the United States of America as a Christian nation.

History would agree that we were founded on Godly principles. But the same liberties that have allowed us to enjoy freedom of religion continue to be used by powers of darkness to cause our nation to slip into moral decline.

It’s the same old trick the devil has used on mankind since the beginning. And now barely over half of all Americans attach any importance to faith.

We know that God has a history of causing nations and rulers to rise and fall (Daniel 2:21).

So what we need to remember is that God is not an American. He’s God.

His allegiance is not to any particular continent on the globe, but rather to His people wherever they are, those who include God in everything they say, do, and think. The apostle Peter said it best.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).”

Christians feel discouraged when laws are passed that promote sin.

But we must never under-estimate God’s power to turn things around. He’s done it in the past. He can do it now.

Our job is to look into God’s word, obey it, and trust God’s grace. He listens to his children. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).”

I guess the question is whether people are willing to be part of God’s righteous nation, or continue to rebel and do their own thing.

Mankind has never been very good at choosing the shortest and easiest path to God. Seems we always have to learn the hard way.

But just like satan sometimes uses good things for evil purposes, God has a history of turning evil into good. In the Old Testament, God gave his people some advice that Christians should remember today.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).”

Have a blessed week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or