OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
HOW DARE THEY THINK WITH THE MIND OF CHRIST!
Scriptures are from the King James Bible.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Sound and wise counsel is something that we all need. We need to receive it and we need to give it. But it is vital to seek our Lord for His infinite counsel. The counsel of GOD trumps all other advice.
For the most part, from the outset, our Lord "wired" me as one who doesn't "go along to get along." That was my M.O. in the world and it is my M.O. now as I walk with JESUS. I have often challenged the status quo and questioned obvious abuses, especially in the area of authority. Abuses of authority have, for as long as I can remember, deeply disturbed me. In one of my previous places of employment, my supervisor teasingly nicknamed me D.A. - short for District Attorney. I steadfastly hungered for justice - still do. Our Lord has taught me more about how to feed that hunger in righteous ways.
My time spent "in the trenches" with our Lord has progressed to where He has situated me such that I am rarely fazed by what people think of me relative to my earnest aim to please our Lord. He does lead me to seek and heed counsel but mostly, I hear directly from our Lord as to what actions to pursue. Daily I am in His Word, and in prayer, and communion with Him. It is in those times that I gain the bulk of my instructions and revelations from our Lord. Sermons and Christian programs are helpful aids, as well. I'm sure that others can relate that, often, our Lord provides confirmations, from His elected resources, of what He has shared with us.
It can be to our detriment to heed the counsel of man above the counsel of GOD. We can worry, "What will people think?" What people think shouldn't intimidate us if we KNOW that we have sure directions from GOD.
We all have drama, issues and foolish actions that we engage in. We miss the marks but praise GOD that we can repent and forsake our wicked ways and receive forgiveness from our merciful Lord. We all have matters that we haven't conquered. GOD knows our hearts. He expects us to love righteousness and to hate iniquity. When we do our best to overcome, GOD honors our steps.
We cannot afford, spiritually or otherwise, to waste energy on the foolish judgmental conduct of others. And we don't always owe people explanations about why we obey GOD. If our Lord leads us to explain, that is reasonable. It helps to be mindful that those who are unrighteous in their judgments are not doing that which is acceptable to GOD. Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." There is no win if GOD is displeased.
In Hosea 1:2, GOD told Hosea "Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms..." What do you think people thought about that?
In Judges 11, Jephthah, "the son of an harlot," was "thrust out." Later those who thrust him out called upon him to be their captain. GOD thought enough of Jephthah to appoint him a judge. Judge Jephthah went on to subdue the enemy. Initially, what did people think? They thought that Jephthah was inferior because his mother was “an harlot.” Eventually, what did people think? He was a "mighty man of valour" who they needed to be their captain. GOD'S thoughts always trump our thoughts.
I once heard Pastor Fred testify that a significant financial church investment opportunity came up for a vote among him and his board members. Pastor Fred stated that he received from our Lord a "no" on the investment opportunity. The board majority voted yes. Pastor shared that he didn't feel comfortable using his pastoral authority to go against the board majority so he went along with their choice. The investment was unwise and resulted in the loss of the entire financial investment. Pastor Fred said something like, "I had to get up BY MYSELF in front of the church body to tell them that we had lost that significant amount of money."
Years ago, I was the hold-out juror in a criminal case. Fellow jurors became angry at me because they were ready to leave. I believe that Mother's Day or some holiday was approaching. I refused to cave under their anger. It got "cold" in that room because of my hold-out status.
I informed the other jurors that, according to the judge's instructions, I wasn't convinced that I should change my position. Further, I said that I was prepared to remain firm in my position unless evidentiary revelations and reasonable arguments were presented by them to convince otherwise. Also, I said something like, "I plan to be here until..." The jury foreman glumly responded, "I believe you." By then, the room was in "freeze mode." I was surrounded by "polar bears." The lion in my heart kept me warm, determined, and assured. Anyway, I cannot recall precisely, but it was at least another day or two before I was convinced. What did the people think of me? My choice was not "embraced." Did I have any regrets? - Not at all.
Relative to the Little Rock Nine, in 1957, a white woman, Grace Lorch, rescued one of the Nine, Elizabeth, from an angry white mob. Grace stepped out ALONE to help that terrified black child. It was a dangerous act executed by a brave woman. Did Grace wonder what people would think? Perhaps - but we know what she did - she acted courageously, regardless of what people thought. Also, Grace clearly had awareness that her actions could have further incited the crowd. Her valor froze the mob, and she and Elizabeth made it safely away from there.
In Galatians 2, we read where Peter was eating with the Gentiles until his fellow Jews arrived. Peter then withdrew and separated from the Gentiles for fear of what the Jews would think. Galatians 2:13 says, "And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him;..."
When Paul saw that they "walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel," he rebuked Peter "before them all." Paul withstood Peter "to the face." What Peter did affected others as they followed his "lead." And certainly, those unrighteous actions affected the Gentiles from whom they withdrew. What a mess - all because Peter and his "crew" were intimidated by what the Jews would think. Paul took holy authority over that nonsense. What did GOD think? "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." - Matthew 25:21.
JESUS walked on this earth in flesh form and did our Father's business. Did he unreasonably concern himself with what people thought - above the desires of our Father? No, our innocent Savior allowed Himself to be crucified so that we could be saved from our sins, and have life more abundantly. What did GOD think? "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” - Matthew 3:17.
Written Monday February 21, 2011
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