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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No.03 Dignity Or Dishonor???

 

Dignity: “bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of a situation or occasion…

Antonyms of Dignity: “dishonor, indecency, bad manners, worthlessness….

Dishonor: “lack or loss of honor; disgraceful or dishonest character or conduct… a cause of shame or disgrace….

We hear a lot these days about dignity or the lack of it around us, particularly in the public arena, and while it is often connected with ‘pomp’ or ‘ceremony’, it is also something that we ought to practice in our everyday living. One of the songs that I sing regularly in my private time with God (And yes I think singing is a wonderful way to worship God privately as well as corporately—it’s amazing what singing privately to God will do to create an atmosphere of intimacy with HIM!) has a verse I’d like us to consider today; “Be Thou My Vision”, by Dallon Forgaill.

Be Thou my battle Shield,

Sword for the fight;


Be Thou my Dignity,

Thou my Delight;


Thou my soul’s Shelter,

Thou my high Tower:


Raise Thou me heavenward,

O Power of my power.

The first two verses talk about God being our “vision” and our “wisdom” and then it comes to this third verse and talks about God being not only our “vision”—how I see and look at things; and our “wisdom”—the truth of the “Word” put into action in our daily lives; bur also when we come to the third verse we can call on God to “be” our “battle Shield” and our “Sword for the fight”! Like Paul mentions in his call to take up the “armor of God” in Ephesians 6, we are in a spiritual battle whether we realize it or not. There is an enemy of our souls who desires to destroy our usefulness to God—but when we put on the armor of God we have the Spiritual power to live abundant life through Jesus!!!

Then said Jesus unto them again,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me

are thieves

and robbers:

but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door:

by me if any man enter in,

he shall be saved,

and shall go in and out,

and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life

for the sheep.” John 10:7-11

Jesus came to give “eternal life” to those who will come to Him in repentance and faith, and He said that He would not only give us “life”, but that we would “have it more abundantly”! Amen! Life that’s all about Jesus—not about me! He is the One who supplies our every need, and without Him we are working in fleshly vanity. Paul helps us understand that we must lean on Jesus, to walk “in the Spirit” not the flesh!

This I say then,

Walk in the Spirit,

and ye shall not fulfil the lust

of the flesh……..

25 If we live in the Spirit,

let us also walk in the Spirit.”    Galatians 5:16 & 25

Walking in the Spirit is where our victory is, because we are His and He is ours, but we must take up our armor and walk in HIS power, not our own! Jesus clearly calls us to “abide” in HIM!!

I am the true vine,

and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me

that beareth not fruit

he taketh away:

and every branch

that beareth fruit,

he purgeth it,

that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean

through the word which I have spoken

unto you.

4 Abide in me,

and I in you.

As the branch

cannot bear fruit of itself,

except it abide in the vine;

no more can ye,

except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”    John 15:1-5

Pretty plain isn’t it? Jesus said, “without me ye can do nothing”, and yet there is a reverse side to this equation that Paul boldly proclaimed to the Philippians.

I know both how to be abased,

and I know how to abound:

every where

and in all things

I am instructed both to be full

and to be hungry,

both to abound

and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things

through Christ

which strengtheneth me.”    Philippians 4:12-13

I can—but only “through Christ”–not on my own! And that is the whole idea behind the third verse of the song that I shared earlier, Jesus will be our “Battle shield”, and when He is my Lord and my defender, He will “Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight”, because HE is my all in all! Apart from Him, I can do nothing, but in, through and by HIM; I can do anything He calls me to do. I thank HIM for His faithful provision when those trials and difficult times come—and they will come, they do come; but our God is always faithful to the task! And when we “walk in the Spirit” we will find victory in HIM!!! Always! Even when it doesn’t look like we think it ought to look—remember it’s about Jesus, not me! “Thy Kingdom come….Thy will be done…

And have put on the new man,

which is renewed

in knowledge

after the image of him

that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew,

circumcision nor uncircumcision,

Barbarian, Scythian,

bond nor free:

but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:10-11

It is by His life in me that I can live victoriously—and for Him to live, I must die to “self”—each day, every day, just as Paul testified to the Galatians so long ago—true then—still true now!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”     Galatians 2:20

As I learn to walk with The Lord Jesus, yielding to His Spirit, resting in His grace and provision, trusting to His care; then I can truly learn to rely upon Him who “is all, and in all”! In Him I can find the strength and courage to respond to trials with dignity and not dishonor—dishonor to my Lord, or those to whom I am to be a witness and reflection of the glory of Jesus. And as that third verse of our song says, we can truly proclaim to the world that we desire HIM to:

Be Thou my vision…….

Be Thou my wisdom……

Be Thou my battle Shield,

Sword for the fight;


Be Thou my Dignity,

Thou my Delight;


Thou my soul’s Shelter,

Thou my high Tower:


Raise Thou me heavenward,

O Power of my power.

The “Power of my power”, the One who gives that victory, is also my:

 battle Shield

Sword

Dignity

Delight

Shelter

Tower

Power!

The choice is yours—will you walk in victory with Jesus, and reflect His power and Dignity to the world? Or will you go your own way and find that you’re wallowing in dishonor and disgrace? Jesus is calling—will you respond to His call? Questions only you can answer. But remember there is a test at the end!

Behold, I stand at the door,

and knock:

if any man hear my voice,

and open the door,

I will come in to him,

and will sup with him,

and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Amen and Amen!!!