USA Today reports, “Not that the evangelical old guard hasn’t cared, or hasn’t served others, but we are seeing a seismic shift in emphasis — from an emphasis on assenting to the right theological ideas and getting to heaven, to one where it’s all about translating belief into righteous action…
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… it is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”—C. S. Lewis (via theclivestaples)
There are many things that may “hit us in the face” when reading God’s word; seem harsh, leave a bitter taste in anticipation of how our fellow church mates might interpret our intentions. We read these piercings scriptures and may become fearful to speak them, even among the brethren. This is a fault among the church; a most fearful fault.
The thought that we could receive persecution for merely speaking the words of God seems paradoxical, but in root, this is what God has promised those who speak His truth. God’s truth may not be the most comfortable thing to embrace, but this should, if anything, reveal it’s quality of truth: that is stirs such conviction of opposition. We as sinful creatures do no seek to embrace the things of God, we pursue to combat them; it is our sinful carnality. This is the fight in every area of life: the battle between flesh and spirit. For it is much easier to live ignorantly, but to except truth requires sacrifice. We must sacrifice these temporal worldly pleasures: fame, man-rooted praise, a financially set lifestyle, but what are these sacrifices worth in perspective of God’s eternal glory? Are we willing to forgo the glory of God for the glory of men?
So I will stand firm on truth, for on God’s word I can not be shaken. Though I may sow discord with the world or even my brethren, my true brothers in Christ, who earnestly seek truth, led by the same conscience of God, will find themselves standing by my side if I am indeed coupled with Christ in my thinking and actions.
What is one who is more than a conquerer? Does human interaction even know a position, a term? We judge men on power, and view God in the same light: as Lord. Maybe power dwells, and should be judged, in the realm of control, and by this judgement we do not, and can not, have true power on this earth. We are fed the perception of power often. We conjure up titles, governmental systems and positions, but can these men really control my heart? Where is their control in my life? They only control me by my submission; and my submission only comes from God.
Who is placed into power that God does not control? Are there any true conquerers on this earth? Can this world be conquered? How can it be if God holds the universe in His hands? Many men have tried, and even come close: Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, etc. But the reality is that God only ushers lordship, and it is only a perception at that. This reality check is not meant to stir rebellion, for God calls us to be submissive to the ones He placed above us, but if we are heirs of God, who can place power over me but Him? If I have the God of the universe indwelling me, then who can lead me to submission but God?
I am more than a conquerer. I have the creator and controller of all things within me, empowering me with the same power that resurrected the Son of God. I can not grasp an entitlement greater than a King, but then again, I can not term my God in a way worthy of His title. My entitlement, only founded in You, is beyond this worldly reign. My life is now something beyond this world, I am but a mere pilgrim in it. In Christ, I am something beyond this world or any person in this world, yet equal with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If my God is for me, and lives inside me, what or who can even stand against me? My God has conquered this world, created and controls it, and yet He lives and breathes in my own soul. This truth will never cease to leave me in awe of my savior, my God.
God thank you for exploding my theology, reminding me that You are greater and higher than any other.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Our wretched introspection must always recoil into the perspective of God’s grace. Our mind was renewed with our souls by the blood of our Savior, but our carnality still shrinks back into its sinful desires. This is why our mind must be disciplined, which is only by the work of God HImself, that thrives only in the nourishment of His word.
In my trials, I have learned to cope. I have disciplined myself to pass them off. I have done a swell job at shunning them, and hiding them away. I am even able to bring myself to praise You despite them, but my joy is stripped away in those trying times. I can not hold fast to joy, but I merely mediocrely accept them. You do not command us to merely accept them in faith, but You call us to rejoice in them. Where is my joy rooted then? If I can let a petty earthly tribulation strip my joy, then where is my faith? Where is my hope? Have I simply hoped in the prosperity that You bring to my life? It is a scary truth, to question where my faith hinges, because if my joy in You and Your salvation can be trampled by minuscule trials, then have I really embraced Your grace to the full potential? I know that I will never complete sanctification, for that is a continuos work of You, but how can I let the world reign over my joy in You? This is a sin that can not fester. This is a sin that must be tamed, and how is this done? It is done in faith: true acknowledgment of who You are and trusting in the promises You have given me, that everything is for Your good pleasure. Your word tells me that this surrender to radical faith leads me to peace.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
In peace I can find joy; in joy I can find hope. Your hope does not dissapoint, because Your love has drenched my heart by the ultimate sacrifice of Your son.
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Thank you Lord for Your love. Give me the faith to rejoice in my trials, not merely cope.