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Not for Sissies

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against-the-crowd

 

AS A BELIEVER in Christ…

What is the one thing that is so hard core that it requires mega courage?
What aspect of a living godly life demands the utmost humility to succeed?
What’s the one thing you cannot accomplish without absolute surrender?

 

If we’re honest . . .

  • When you hear it spoken, it might smear you as would a 4-letter word.
  • It might make you cringe inside.
  • This word might make your lip snarl without effort (and to your embarrassment if anyone knew your thoughts).

 

To do this word requires:

  • You go against the grain of society
  • You might have to turn your back on the crowd
  • When it comes right down to it, at the core, you might have to act against your own will

Yes, even act against your own will.

 

This word is so hard core:

  • It would be, no doubt, undesirable without possessing a sold-out love for God
  • It’s too burdensome to do without the Holy Spirit’s empowerment
  • It might happen naturally if we agree with it—which would display extreme maturity, a devoted heart, and a deep intimacy with the Lord. (How many actually attain that level of maturity?)

 

This powerful word is hidden in Psalm 112:1:
“Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish His commandments.
Another version says delights greatly.”

Obedience.
Obedience to the Word.
Obedience to the call to live Holy.
Obedience
to the point of cherishing the way He asks you to live.

  • Not just hearing about His commands
  • Not simply discussing them with friends
  • Not merely reading the Word
    But DOING it, according to the example given to us:

Christ was obedient to the point of death.Phil 2:8

HOW HARD CORE IS THAT?
Even in my greatest act of obedience, I will never out-humble Jesus Christ.

Not ever.

 

“What God says is best, is best, though all the men in the world are against it.” ― John Bunyan, The Pilgrims Progress

 

Search my heart, O God!  Whenever I cringe at that phrase “obedience to the Word,” this tells me something is off inside of my heart. I lack courage! Yet ‘striving’ to obey is not the answer either; that would lead to a self-righteous, legalistic mindset and cause me to judge myself and others — which would be disobedience to the word.

 

Practical steps I can take:

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to fill me (without His empowerment, forget the rest).
  • Commit to a regular time spent simply being in His presence.
  • Bathe my mind in the Word.
  • Journal the scriptures that jump out at me and my accompanying thoughts.
  • Turn the above items into prayers where I want my life to look more like Jesus’s.
  • Ask the Father to give me a ‘repentant heart,’ one that’s willing to completely change the way I think.

 

THE TO-DIE-FOR BENEFITS of living courageously, revealed in verses 2-10:

shadow-cross-on-grassTheir children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor….

 

Search my heart, O God!

If you’re honest with yourself,
what is your initial response to this power word?

Cringing or delight?

.

The Obedience of the Embattled Spirit

 

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