One of the most beautiful things in this world, and above it – is someone coming to know Christ.
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Those words came from Jesus Himself. He proclaimed the joy that would flood Heaven over one person. The person, like you and me, who needs a savior. The person who has stumbled, fallen, rejected, manipulated, and seemed to be so far away – we’d never be accepted. Jesus tells us otherwise. Jesus came to save the world – not condemn it, or all of us in it.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus and this truth yet, I’m here to tell you that it’s time. Send me a message if you want to chat. If you have accepted this, then you know the freedom that comes with it. You know that you will never experience death because everlasting life is waiting for you in Heaven with Jesus. You know that your chains were broken, your ugliest, most shameful seasons are washed away. They’re separated as far as the east is from the west. They are gone. Forgotten. Forever. You are free!
What happens next? You are filled with excitement, love, and a determination to shout from the rooftops about this freedom!! Everyone needs to know about Jesus and His free gift. Change happens.
You begin digging into your Bible, soaking in as much as you can about who He is and what He’s called us to do. You seek fervently for His will in your life. You are so convicted you could explode. Your swear people can see your heart pounding in your chest, they can see the goosebumps on your arms, they see the look in your eyes – the light, the life, the truth.
Your goal becomes bringing glory and honor to God in every aspect of your life. To show others who God really is. You become second. You realize this life isn’t yours anymore.
God begins showing you what He wants from you. He shows you the way, He opens doors, He provides over and over and over again. He truly is who He says He is. He is I Am. We allow Him to take us where our feet may fail.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Songwriters: Joel Houston / Matt Crocker / Salomon Lighthelm
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group
We become brave and audacious. Then something else tends to happen as well.
Maybe we forget who it is that we’re supposed to be bringing glory and honor to. Maybe we forget that this isn’t about us. Yes, our testimony and journey are key to sharing with others but we must be careful.
We must be careful of a few things.
It can be tricky to remember that our obedience, our brave audacious souls, our journey’s have nothing to do with us. It all comes from God. It’s part of His plan for our life. Stay humble my friends and never stand in the way of God’s glory to take it yourself.
2 Kings 5 tells of the time when Naaman approaching Elisha for healing of his skin disease. Elisha instructed him to go wash in the Jordan river and he would be clean (v. 10). Something crazy happens after Naaman finally agreed to do what Elisha instructed…it worked! Naaman declared there was no other God in the whole world except in Israel (v.15). He then took his whole company to Elisha and urged him to accept the gifts he brought for him. He also asked for the Lord to pardon him (v. 17). Elisha’s response? Go in peace.
Elisha rejected Naaman’s offerings. Why would he reject such elaborate gifts? It wasn’t about him. Elisha’s purpose was to show Naaman who God is. Naaman declared God as the true God. That was the whole point for Elisha. His role was to lead people to God. It worked here! Elisha knew that all glory and honor belonged to God. He couldn’t accept the gifts because he didn’t do anything. God did! Elisha was careful.
We must also be careful not to condemn others for not walking the same path we’re on. We become so confident in our walk with God, we know that we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing that we can forget that our path isn’t the same as a fellow believers. We each have individual callings. While the end result is always the same – the path to get there can look much different.
Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:
to one is given a message of wisdom
through the Spirit,
to another, a message of knowledge
by the same Spirit,
to another, faith by the same Spirit,
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
to another, the performing of miracles,
to another, prophecy,
to another, distinguishing between spirits,
to another, different kinds of languages,
to another, interpretation of languages.
But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.
For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:4-12
Maybe you’re further or deeper on your walk than a fellow believer but Paul heeds warning about our pride. “..I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.” Romans 12:3
Priscilla Shirer also offers some wisdom as well. In her study of Discerning the Voice of God – she reminds us that the Holy Spirit leads us personally and individually. She reminds us that the conviction and calling that we feel isn’t what God is requiring of everyone else. “If we don’t stand guard, we can become legalistic and judgemental, placing others in bondage.”
While we may feel so sure of ourselves that others seem to not be following the black and white principles laid out in the Bible, whatever personalized directive God has for you will never manipulate or pervert His Word. You cannot hold everyone around you to the same personal application of truth to which God’s Spirit has guided you. We should give other the freedom to obediently follow the courses they’ve prayerfully determined are best for them. (These last two paragraphs were either directly from Priscilla Shirer or paraphrased! Get this study…it will change your life!)
So what can we do? We dare not put others in bondage, the whole purpose of Christ is freedom.
Christ has liberated us to be free.
Stand firm then
and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
We remember that God is who He says He is. He is the Great I Am. He is worthy. We remember that HE has all authority and power of our lives. Our purpose is His. He is the one who will fulfill His purposes for me. (Psalm 57:2)
We submit not only ourselves and our lives but the lives of fellow believers and non to the foot of the cross. We beg for humility, to stay out of the way, to remember that we are nothing but a broken, busted vessel to be used for His glory. He is the alpha and the omega. The only one we will answer to at the end of our lives.
For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.
2 Corinthians 5:10
He has all authority in our lives. He is our freedom.