Beyond The 4 Walls
|Posted on January 25, 2017 at 9:35 AM|
How are you doing on this wonderful day? With all of me, I pray that you are having a great day. Also, I hope that your 2017 has been positive and productive so far. Many events have occurred this year - both good and bad! Nonetheless, I really hope that you are encouraged to press on!
The topic of this current blog relates to the mental and verbal stance of the Christian believer - specifically surrounding politics. We live in a world where things are constantly moving and changing. Some of those changes may benefit our life and some may be a heavy burden to our current situation. Regardless of what changes have occurred, the Christian community must resolve to stand solely on the Word of God.
Too often, I find the body of Believers in the physical church shouting the praises of God. Heralding God’s name and His greatness with our voices, we read passages of scripture with such conviction, awe, and authority. We shout Amen when we hear that God’s word is the authoritative voice declaring the beginning and the end. We find a sense of peace in agreeing that God’s word is infallible. What a unified approach to understanding our position as being created in God’s image - beings meant to serve and worship their Creator.
The very presence of God invokes action! “God is a spirit and they that worship Him, must worship in spirit and in truth”. (John 4:24). The life of a believer is a life of service, self-denial, and sacrifice. Understanding this is crucial to being a fruitful believer. Of course, coming into this understanding and practically applying this to one’s life is a process, but at some point there should be evidence of the verbal confession lining up with the actions and choices of the individual. Jesus perfectly illustrates this in Luke 13:6-9. Jesus shows the relationship of time, purpose, identity, and mercy, with the parable of the fig tree. The fig tree was given three years to produce fruit, but it didn’t produce. It was not fruitful. The “dresser” requested of Jesus to give it one more year after Jesus said to cut it down. Jesus said, “Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.”
The emotionally driven Christian is similar to this tree. Christians have time, purpose, identity, and mercy. In addition, we have God’s word, the Holy Spirit, and fellow Christians to encourage us while we are yet living. We do not know when our life will end, but (Colossians 3:17) God’s word encourages us to “do ALL in the name of the Lord”. The fig tree did not have such encouragement. It was created to produce figs.
Christians have purpose! I speak extensively about the purpose for men, women, and children in my American Society and Never Quit books, but the short version is that our purpose is to Glorify our Creator. Exodus 20:3 declares “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. Christians are to serve God and have Him as number one in our lives. Our identity is also found in Christ! 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirt, which are God’s”. Your mind and your body belongs to God when you accept Christ as your personal savior. How does this verse reflect identity? It reflects identity because it establishes “whose” you are. We then go to Romans 12:2 where we are instructed to not conform to the worlds mode of operation, but to be transformed and align with the will of God. Because of the price that Christ paid, believers have to take on the identity of God. This is not a random choice. Neither is it open for negotiation.
I see and hear many believers that feel as they can do any and everything they want and still be an acceptable child of the King. Unfortunately, there is not a passage of scripture in Gods infallible word that supports this type of thinking. In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” This tells us that this is an expectation of how we conduct ourselves as Christians - aka “Followers of Christ”.
I have been saddened by the bold and public display of the Christian community surrounding the latest presidential campaign and final election results. There is always some type of dramatic controversy within the political arena, and the last presidential election was no exception. The point here is not to dissect the two candidates, but to look at the response of the people.
Again, I want to remind you that the body of Christian believers acknowledge God’s word to be infallible! Some of the actions that were noted during this election season include:
Praying against an individual candidate.
Prophesying that it is God’s will for a particular candidate to win.
Instructing people to leave the country if a particular candidate won.
Instructing people to boycott a particular individual line of products/services.
Encouraging believers to boycott the inauguration.
This course of action from a believer doesn’t seem to line up with biblical teaching. Complaining about circumstances and promoting an atmosphere of discord is contrary to the infallible word of God. Another theme that this type of thinking is in direct contrast to is the adamant disregard and disrespect of authority. Leadership is a theme that flows throughout scripture and the examples we have in God’s word should serve as examples for our lives - especially the life of Jesus Christ. Being a believer in Christ and the member of the Christian community means that you honor God’s word and its AUTHORITY!
Here are a few examples of scriptures that dismiss the course of actions previously mentioned.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.”
Romans 13:1-2 - “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Colossians 3:23 - “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”
There is an underlying theme of a focus to the Lord here and a respect for His will. This cannot be ignored by anyone of us. This means that even our thoughts and desires must submit to the authority of God. If not, then we cannot confidently and honestly say that we are doing the will of God. As we think about our feelings and emotions and how we respond to life, consider Isaiah 55:9. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Also, consider 2 Corinthians 10:5 that says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to OBEY Christ”. As we pointed out earlier, John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”.
I know that it can be challenging to acknowledge God in all you do, but it is imperative that you make this a habit in your life. God wants to be a part of everything you experience. He wants to be welcomed into your life. This requires you to focus and be intentional about what you are thinking about, what you are saying, and how you feel like you should respond to the circumstances of life. God loves you!
Revelation 4:11 - “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”