Bible Ballistics: Catalytic or Catatonic? 10/20/13 Vol. 2 No.23
A catalyst is ‘a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change’ or ‘a person that precipitates an event..such as a debate’. For our purposes today we’ll use the former meaning but keeping the later in mind, ‘to change something without being changed ourselves’ (paraphrased). Catatonic, on the other hand is, ‘of or in an unresponsive stupor’. Which am I? You? Are we making a difference in our world or just going to sleep on the job—in an ‘unresponsive stupor’?
Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.
We are called to be different from the world—not conformed (like an ice cube is conformed to it’s container), but being transformed by the renewing of our minds. To keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus—and on heaven– in order to show God’s will and ways to our world. What does the world see when it looks at me? You?
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Forsaking sin, depending on the supply of Jesus, and standing confidently in what HE has done for us on the cross.
John 1:12-13 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
1 Thess. 2:12-13, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
When I walk with and for Jesus I can be a catalyst for change because God is working in me.
Phil 2:12-13 says, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
And Jesus himself tells us in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
To keep His commands I must know them and to know them I must know His word.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 tells us, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
When I walk in God’s ways I can be a catalyst for change as the early disciples were in Acts 17:6, “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;”
Are we “turning the world upside down”? Or are we being turned upside down by the world? Remember we are called to be “transformed” not ‘conformed’. How? By “the renewing of your mind”, in order to “prove” or show the world what God’s love looks like in flesh and bone–US—God’s hands and feet in this world. “Christ in YOU the hope of glory” (Col 1:27b)
James 4:4-8 clearly tells us NOT to be like the world, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
Are we living pure, humble and holy lives, separated from the world though in it? Am I/are we being a catalyst or just ‘going along to get along’? Catatonic?
What does that mean? To be ‘unresponsive’!!! To see what is going on around us and do nothing!!! Not trying to or thinking I can change the world alone, but knowing that when I walk with Jesus,
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”(Phil 4:13)
I don’t have to be catatonic.
I have observed that often times in “Christendom” we try to change the world into our “style” in order to be more comfortable in it, rather than calling the world to Jesus so that HE can change them from the inside out. Not creating an ‘environment’ to entice the world into the church, but living godly, holy lives of obedience and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ, which will draw a lost world to a life-changing Savior.
John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
It often appears that we have given up on the gospel and created our own ‘slide-show’ appeal to save the world. I’d like to close with a most thought provoking verse,
1 Cor 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
Let’s be a catalyst to bring the world to Jesus without changing what God has called us to be, nor being ‘catatonic’. May God speak to your heart this week through His Word. His blessing on you this week.