To protect our self-esteem, maintain our sanity and secure our space (which are very necessary) we do so much, and our “so much” are most times gotten from the world. The “world” being opinions that originate from different cultural backgrounds, researches, polls, studies etc. Unfortunately, most of these opinions that are so very loud and are generally accepted aren’t in sync with scriptures.
Now, God’s Word is infallible and inerrant. God’s Word is not going to give in to the opinions of the world. It is not going to move for these opinions that are screaming so loud. It is not going to change its values and standards. Interestingly enough, the opinions of the world won’t move either. So, we’ll always have this conflict between light and darkness.
This obvious resistance from the kingdom of darkness is the reason I don’t joke about my faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ anymore. You see, in times past, if I hear a Christian say things like, “I haven’t read my Bible in a while now” or “I can’t remember the last time I prayed in the Holy Ghost” I might just wave if off, but now? Hell no! If I hear such comments coming from a Christian, we’re going to stay right there and talk so much about how that is not okay and will never be okay, while trusting the Holy Spirit to intervene through my words.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the Holy Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the flesh (Godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other—continually withstanding and in conflict with each other…”
If we leave Bible study, our prayer life and every other thing about our Christian walk to happen by chance, the devil will do everything in his power and within his reach to make sure they never happen. And when we don’t carry out spiritual activities like praying and studying the Word, we won’t be in tune with the Holy Spirit, and that makes us prone to the devil. If the devil sees a weak point in your life to launch an attack, he’s not going to be gentle about it…he’ll come with full force, cunningly though. The opinions of the world, which are very much against scriptures, will gradually begin to make sense to you.
In recent years, I pray and read the Bible, regularly. I actually just attended one of the best conferences (if not the best, yet), two weeks ago. But guess what? Few days before writing this post, I’ve had it hard from the devil. The devil came for my health, my faith, my hope…even my peace and joy. You will think the devil will not be bold enough to confront someone that was just coming from a retreat. Well, he was bold enough to confront Jesus when he saw Jesus coming out from forty days of fasting and prayers. So why would he not be bold enough to confront me…or you? I believe the devil gets scared, but I also believe he doesn’t allow his fears get in his way. So you can imagine what the devil will be doing in your life if you give him a free pass.
If we don’t stay in tune with the Spirit, we can easily allow opinions that are marked “Excellent” by the world yet not godly, rule our lives. In such state, we’ll be wearing the Christian jersey…yet playing to help the devil win BIG on earth.
The devil is trying so hard to redefine God’s standards on everything…and in this post I want to talk about an area the Holy Spirit is drawing my attention to, again.
As I mediated on God’s Word, the Holy Spirit showed me how I was allowing the actions and words of people be the rhythm I danced to…and that shouldn’t be the case. The rhythm I dance to should be the one coming from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has convicted me about this before, but I obviously didn’t stay with the conviction. So, I’m learning, yet again…and I’m so grateful for God’s patience towards me. Now, I’m so committed to staying with this conviction until it becomes second nature, and I just want to take you along with me because I was also convinced to write about what I’m learning.
So, in summary, what am I learning? I’m learning, like never before, that people’s words and actions (especially when they’re not pleasant) shouldn’t determine my response and reaction to them.
It’s like a DJ (Disc Jockey)
Have you been to a party where there was a DJ?
I want to believe your answer is a “YES.” I also want to believe you know how much a good DJ controls the sounds we sing and dance to in a party. If a good DJ wants us to go slow and steady…we will. If he or she decides to get us up and jumping…again, we will. For folks like me that have a strange relationship with dance floors…even while we sit quiet and calm at parties, our minds and souls still follow the lead and rhythm of a good DJ.
A good DJ has the right to control our steps and heartbeats at parties, but in life, as Christians, that right is solely on the person of the Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t control our lives without the leadership of the Holy Spirit and we, definitely, shouldn’t allow others control our lives.
We can’t decide to live our lives the way we want. We also can’t decide to response to people based on how they make us or not make us feel. We can’t shout at people because we are convinced they called forth the shout. We can’t just ignore people because of how poorly they treated us first. We can’t decide to “get at them” because they gave the first blow. If we live like that, we reduce the value of our lives and the mandate God has placed in us. We don’t dance to the rhythm of humans, no matter how inviting it is. We should always stick to the rhythm of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 is in the Bible to always remind us that the children of God are led by the Holy Spirit…not their impulses.
I love how Lecrae said it, “…we’re the odds, the outcast, the peculiar, the strangers…and they say we don’t fit in, but I say we are exactly who God created us to be…Anomalies.” Now Lecrae was obviously inspired by God’s Word, because all over the Bible are verses that affirm the truth in his lyrics. One of such verses is John 15:19, itsays, “…you are not of the world—no longer one with it—but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world…” (AMPC)
No doubt, people can create an entire hell for you and it can be very justifiable to just throw them into the hell they’ve created and watch them burn…without dying. Plus, there are times when every “sound reasoning” in the world might say it is not just right but also wisdom to “clapback.” But when we turn to God’s Word, we see scriptures that say things like,
“…If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers do that. I tell you love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God created identity the way our Father lives towards us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Don’t pick on people on their failures…don’t condemn those who are down…be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier…give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving not getting is the way…” Luke 6:32-38 (MSG)
If we keep allowing people show and teach us how to treat them….we’ll miss God. We’re supposed to be an extension of heaven here on the earth…and how does God treat us from heaven? Now that should be our cue.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “…You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—Shine! Keep open house. Be generous with your lives, by opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)
Here’s a truth you should hold, tightly:
I John 4:4 says, “Little children, you are of God—you belong to Him— and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.” (AMPC)
Galatians 5:22-23 say “But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit, [the work which His presence within accomplishes]—is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness; (Meekness, humility) gentleness, self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].” (AMPC)
If we bring the truths in the above scriptures together, we can say, “Greater is…the Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Humility, Gentleness and Self-control…that is in me than any force in the world from the devil, through anyone or anything.” Declare it…believe it…insist that this truth becomes a reality in the physical because that’s already what it is in the spiritual.
My prayer for you and me:
May we receive Grace to, continually, stay in tune with the Holy Spirit…may we understand the rhythm of the Holy Spirit…and may it be the only rhythm we ever get to dance to. In Jesus’ name…Amen.
Get in the gym, and do
Stay Spiritually Fit.