Have you ever got to the point in your life that you expect everyone to agree with you? Now you did not arrive at that juncture consciously, nevertheless you may have found yourself at that spot. You get to the point in your life that any disagreement towards you from those close to you is received as betrayal. To borrow a phrase from my pastor, youâ€™re living your life as though it can be all honey and no bees. Your skin is so thin its transparent.
I can tell you in my own life that is a point of stoppage. You will not make decisions if you are concerned about contention or confrontation. You will not follow Godâ€™s will if youâ€™re afraid of how you are going to be received. And worse yet, youâ€™re living in a fantasy world devoid of any Biblical truth. To believe you can live your best life now without any failure, feuding, or frustration is to ignore the life of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter was one of Jesusâ€™ closest friends on earth and he recollects Jesusâ€™ life:
â€œ… who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously…â€ (1 Peter 2:23)
The New Living Translation Bible renders this verse, â€œHe did not retaliate when He was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.â€
That is a good interpretation of what Peter is teaching. As slaves to Christ we do not have rights as most of us at times think. Weâ€™ve looked at that extensively here. What we do have is a righteous God Who will judge our actions fairly and those who comes against us. We do not need to try to get even. We can leave everything to God. You know how much I love this John Quincy Adams quote, and it rings truer today than ever:
â€œDuty is ours; results are Godâ€™sâ€
If God calls us to go into the culture and take a stand against it, when can either obey or disobey Godâ€™s call on our lives. Last nightâ€™s title to the lesson with our 1st-6th graders at church was â€œObey It,â€ speaking of Godâ€™s Word. One of the illustration verses was from the Book of Psalms:
â€œI made haste, and did not delay to keep Your commandments.â€ (Psalm 119:60)
As I told the children last night, that verse is short enough that even I can memorize it. But just memorizing and meditating on it is not enough. I must obey it.
And be there no doubt that when you are obedient to the call of God, especially if you must oppose the culture, you will be reviled for it. As I said this last Sunday in our Sunday school class, the culture will revile you for standing on Godâ€™s Word and doing whatâ€™s right, and it will revile you for being a hypocrite by not standing on what we believe. So if I am to be reviled by the culture no matter what, let me be reviled for righteousness.
In his seminal work, a devotional that shaped the life of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, Major W. Ian Thomas wrote this in â€œThe Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Meâ€:
“If you are not yet prepared to do as you are told, no matter how weak or foolish it will make you look, then whatever you believe about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is still academic. You have not yet entered into the good of it. When it comes to the point of obedience to God’s clear instructions, the Life of Jesus Christ within you make human circumstances irrelevant; for to share His Life now as He once shared His Father’s Life on earth is to know, as Jesus did, that Someone else is taking care of the consequences.”
Beloved, I pray that challenges and encourages you as much as it does me. It challenges me to get past my academic Christian walk into one that is good, to the point that my human circumstances are no longer relevant in my life. if I live my life in complete devotion to God the Father then I will be living it like my Savior Jesus. And by doing that, I can imagine no greater security than knowing that Someone else is taking care of the consequences.
That is for what I am striving. That is my one great desire. I pray it is yours too.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers