Thursday, 21 October 2010

Thinking Thursday: Living on God's Terms

The terms of Christian living are not up for debate or for negotiation. I live the Christian life on God's terms, or I do not live it at all. Salvation may be free, but you have to surrender your life to get it.

Matt.6:24 No one can serve two masters
Rom.14:9 … so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living
2 Cor.5:15 … no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them

Do we want Christ as our servant but not as our master? To meet our needs but not tell us what to do? That is not the way it works.

Acts 2:36 God made this Jesus … both Lord and Christ
Phil.2:9-10 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow …

The issue is not one of 'making' Christ Lord of our lives, God has already made him Lord. We have to submit to him as Lord, and allow him to direct our lives. When Jesus said:

Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.

There is nothing wrong with these relationships, they are important and good, but Christ takes priority over good things as well as bad. In the same way, when Jesus said:

Luke 14:33 Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple

It does not mean that Jesus will take everything away, but that it will now function under his authority and be conducive to his purposes. If that seems hard, and we do not trust him to direct our lives, it is because we do not know God well enough.

2 Tim.1:12 I know whom I have believed … I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him
John 17:3 eternal life is knowing God and Christ
Rom.12:2 his good, pleasing and perfect will

Sometimes the plans of God have taken his people through pain and suffering as they have allowed themselves to be the means of his will being accomplished. There is a price to pay for obedience. It takes us to the front line of the battle with Satan and his cohorts, and we are not exempt from danger, tears or pain. But through it, beyond the immediate suffering, beyond the unanswered questions, beyond the pain of battle, there is good that God is accomplishing, and it is perfect, and when we see the whole picture there will be no doubt that it is pleasing.

Gen.50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
Job 23:10 He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold
Job 2:10 Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?

We are never told in scripture to ask God to show us his will for our personal lives.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths (Prov.3:6).

We are not told to pray for guidance, but to acknowledge him. Directing our paths is God's responsibility, and God is under no obligation to explain what he is doing. Every day is in his hands and he is never caught unaware.

[Based on Christ For Real by Charles W Price]

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