how to resist?

Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
When his breath departs he returns to his earth;
on that very day his plans perish. (Ps 146.3-4)

This was part of my prayers this morning, and it brought to mind the thoughts of the last few days. About our plans and ambition, and how God frustrates these.

It also brings in the image of "princes," powerful men, politics. Which is directly where ambition leads, into deals with those who have the money and power to make things happen, to get the results we want to see. The only problem is that these alliances always come at a price. Compromise. There is no politics, no gathering of the strength and resources of people, without compromise. Without the give and take that gets everyone to agree to the deal.

And compromise is something I'm very concerned about. There was no compromise in Jesus' living of the truth, no compromise of the message he embodied. Yet everywhere I see that message compromised as Christians try to fit into society, find security, and establish "successful" ministries. And I know I'll face the same pressures to compromise. (I hope that's not what I'm walking into next month at Plow Creek.) How to resist?

One help I see is being broken of the desires and ambition that lead us into deals with the "princes." Being willing to lose all and be a complete failure rather than succeed by the power of men, compromising to get their support.

If God wants something to happen, he can do it without any deals. I don't need to make it happen through compromise and alliances with powerful groups. Jesus clearly avoided these. And he taught that God's power is best demonstrated, not through powerful, ambitious people, but through people at their weakest and most obedient.

I want so much to marry Heather and have a place to live and work together. And I know we can't wait much longer. But it can't be something we achieve through ambition and deals, through compromise with the people who can give us what we want. It has to be given by God. Who gives freely, in our weakness, and asks for no compromise.

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry...

The LORD watches over the sojourners...