Tuesday, 20 June 2017

As if no one is watching but God


It is all around.  Pushing you.  Pulling you.  Calling on you to prove yourself here, there and everywhere. 

Well - enough is enough - especially for the Christian.

Before God you don't need to prove yourself.  Christ has done that for you.  He is enough for you.  God is pleased with you in Him.  At peace with you in Him.  He has your back.  He has made you His own child, and promised that the only evaluations, judgments and opinion that matters is His!  And His mind is made up, because you are in Christ.  You are free to live your life before Him in righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, knowing that Christ has ended the pressures.

But the world doesn't work that way.  It will never stop pressuring you.  The world wants to rob you of that peace.  It wants to put more and new pressures on you everyday.  What is the world to you?  How do it's judgments and evaluations and opinions matter?  Isn't the world coming to nothing?  Won't every mouth be stopped on the Last Day?

Yes.  It's true.  The only opinion that matters is God's.  You don't have to prove yourself to anyone.  You are free - to live as if no one is watching but God.  You are free - to live your life before God  - and not before the world.

Who cares what they say?  Who cares what their judgments are?  The only One that matters is God.

Stop and think about that for a moment.  Make it real practical.

How would your day be different if you lived as if God were the only One watching?

How would it change how you treat people?
How would it change how you see yourself in Christ?
How simple, how pure, how peaceful would your live be if you lived as if God were the only One watching?

On account of your trust in Christ, you seek His holy Will - as it is laid out in the Ten Commandments.  Christ has filled them up for you - and given you new desires to seek after them.  Walking with you as your strength each day.

So do it - picture yourself watched by One - by God.  And keep Him there before your eyes - as you live before Him alone - and see how He changes your day, your relationships, your walk with Him.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Use your words

If you've ever spent time with young children, you've probably had this phrase come out of your mouth: "Use your words."

It is a reminder young children need that you will not be able to most fully understand them if they choose to use grunts and whines and other sounds effects to communicate - but more than that, you are working to teach them to rise above their natural, selfish human desires and wants, and engage in conversation with other people.  Words are what allow us to do this.  Words are the best.

With young children, words are the antidote to unbridled feelings and wants.  The plain use of words brings control to the wild "Ugh. Ah. Wah and Uh" that naturally comes out of the human being.  This is taught.  We teach our children this - despite their best efforts.  They definitely do not "want" to be constrained to using words - they would much rather just cry and scream and flail and force our attention to give them what they want - even run all over "thinking we know" what they want - as they wriggle and demand from their throne.  They must be taught - at great loss of energy to parents - to control themselves and use their words.

Now imagine God's Word.  How much more will the heart of man need to constantly hear what God has to say?  We grow up and begin to think we've got it all figured out.  Meanwhile, God and His holiness are not something we could ever "figure out" - we need the Word - God's Word.  And we need it all the time.  We were designed this way, to be on the receiving end of that Word which gave us life.  It sustains us.  It teaches us.  It constrains our sinful human nature, and allows us to "engage in conversation with other people", that is, look to the needs of our neighbour instead of ourselves. 

And God is gracious in giving us His Word.  He sent His Word down into our flesh - made Him one of us - in order to take that sinful human nature and defeat its rebellion by His death on the cross.  Then by His resurrection, the Word of God in our humanity - now our new humanity - rose up and told His disciples to spread the Word.  God's Word is a gift - from His death and resurrection, to His preaching of it today - God uses His Word. 

So see yourself this way - a dear (and sometimes rebellious) child of your heavenly Father - one who must be taught - at great loss of energy to God, yes, even death on a cross - but by that action of His, you are being transformed for the age to come in the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus.  May God's Word shape your mind this way now and always.