Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)
20 Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— 21 may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in us, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
James 3:17 (NLT)
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
This is powerful truth and amazing love. The God of peace, who sealed the deal with us even as broken as we are, with his life, so he could equip us with all we need to do his will, and do the good things that are pleasing to him. This wisdom is pure, peace loving, gentle and willing to yield, full of mercy and the results of good deeds.
That’s amazing and, having lived on both sides of the equation, I wonder if the worlds the revulsion to it is anything like I felt: I don’t need no stinkin’ god to tell me what I can’t do! I’m good a good person, I’m good enough, I’ll get to heaven without having God tell me what to do.
It doesn’t work that way I’ve come to find out – on all fronts. Seems that what God didn’t want me to do was destroying me and his way was better for me anyway. Turns out that while I was a good person (when I wasn’t being a selfish, angry _____), it wasn’t sacrificial like God wants it to be. Turns out that good enough isn’t good enough because God doesn’t grade on a curve, but took care of that for us if we wanted him to. Turns out God was right all along and I wasn’t. Go figure.
The revulsion comes from the fact that we have to willingly submit to God, to take our free will and focus it on Him, not on us. We have to admit that God knows more than us and that he’s right, we’re not. I know I don’t like to submit, nor do I know anyone who does. It requires that we put ourselves second. No wonder we rebel, no wonder we make up and follow lies to avoid it. No wonder we find it so revulsive.
Yep, you can deny it all you want, but can you come up with a good reason for not following Christ like he calls us to follow? Can you find a good reason to not follow Christ like he calls us to, an “all in” following? If your excuses fall into what man’s religion has done in the name of God, or how “Christians” act, it’s time to go back to what Christ has taught, not what man has done.
Yes, taming our self will is a challenge, but that’s why we have it. It’s a choice and He’s there with us every step of the way. When revulsion turns to understanding, the world looks fundamentally different and so will you.
1 Corinthians 11:32(NLT)
32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world