Bible Ballistics: Who’s Values Do We Hold??? Vol. 5 #12
What do we treasure in life today? The draw of the world is strong and often it is a real struggle to keep our focus where it ought to be. The thing I’d like us to consider today is how to keep a right focus in a crooked world.
Philippians 2:12-16, “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. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
Working out our own salvation as we go from day to day, simply means letting God work out what HE has put within us—His Spirit in our hearts. Jesus Himself, promised that HIS Spirit would lead us into all truth; that He would teach and reveal truth and righteousness unto our hearts so that our lives would be a glory to God and a testimony to the world!!! But we must listen and yield!!!
John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
And Peter reminds us that we are empowered to obey through the “Spirit”:
1 Peter 1:22-23, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
“Being born again” by the power of the Spirit of God, then we can also overcome sin and the world the same way—by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. That Spirit of the ‘promise’, the “new covenant”, enables my obedience.
Acts 1:4-5, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
The New Covenant is the ‘Promise’:
Jeremiah 31:31-33, “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” That very ‘Holy Spirit’ writes the ‘law’ of God in our hearts.
And Ezekiel 36:26-27, “ A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” The ‘promise’ of the ‘Spirit’ which would guide us into ‘all truth’. (See John 16:13 above)
As God is doing HIS Work within us, we are enabled to do His Work before the world. (See John 4:34) To be a reflection of His “Word” and His ‘Work” before this “crooked and perverse nation”. To be right and light in the darkness of the world. We must learn contentment with Jesus—to let Him satisfy the longing of our soul. As the Psalmist says,
“O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:14-17
Real heart-felt satisfaction comes from God, not things or circumstances—God will establish our ways, if we but keep our eyes on HIM. We must exercise contentment in Jesus, to resist the spinning vortex of the world–the rush, the hustle and bustle, the pull of the world. It is not easy to stand fast, but we must, and by God’s power, provision, grace and strength we can.
1 Timothy 6:6-11, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
We are to treasure the things of God, to trust in His Word, and rely upon His Spirit: to love and depend on God and not things!!! We are also called to love people and use things for God’s glory and purpose: not to love money and use people for our own ends!!! It is a difficult culture that we live in, and it is a constant challenge to resist the pressure of ‘things’ and remember that God has a better way. Paul warned us that in these last days the world would forsake God and right to pursue self.
2 Timothy 3:1-5, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
And in closing, Isaiah reminds us of the same things as he cautions us to keep our standard aligned with God not the world:
Isaiah 5:20-21, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
May we stand fast in these days of calling “evil good” and “good evil”? It’s going on all around us. What are you valuing? What are you willing to compromise to get along? It’s your choice! But remember—consequences come from the choices we make!!! We are free to choose—we aren’t free to set our own consequences!