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The State of the Union

The future is unclear. Fear and apathy hover in the air. Confidence in the wisdom of leadership is on the decline. Armed enemies are prowling in the darkness. The signs of a hostile takeover ripple through the air. Hope is fading. Unity is weakening like a rapidly fraying rope. Our union is threatened.

I’m not talking about the United States, or even what's happening in the world at large. I’m talking about the state of MY union with Christ. Depression, confusion, hopelessness, fear, apathy - these are the demons that prey upon me when my union with God is not as it should be. When I don’t press into Him entirely, when I waver between sweet moments at His side and rushing to put out the “fires” in my day-to-day life, I am weakening the “state of the union.”

When I find myself in this precarious place, I turn to the Bible. Scripture gives us such practical ways to strengthen the "state of the union" between us and our Savior.

First, confess your sins to God. To be brutally honest, the weakening state of the union is your doing, not His.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7 NIV

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 NIV

Second, focus all your attention and energy on JESUS! Don't let yourself be distracted any longer by what's going on in the world around you.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3:1 NIV

Third, fight fear/discouragement immediately whenever it rears its ugly head. Find as many scriptures as you can that address fear and use them as weapons to battle the enemy.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 NIV

Last, but not least, make this scripture your banner, your covering, your marching song. Print it out and stick it on your wall or your bathroom mirror. Memorize it, and remember that even when the "state" of your union with God feels shaky, the truth of this scripture is absolute.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NIV

Take a Five Minute Walk with God

Set aside some time today to go for a walk outside and connect with God. No matter what the "state" of your union is at the moment, God longs for you to spend time with Him. Tell Him if you feel you are straying from His side. Talk to Him about your fears, your doubts, or anything else that is troubling you.

Tell Him you want to be close to Him, and allow Him to draw you close to His side.

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