These are indeed difficult times that we are in and if you are like me, I have really needed to focus and rely on God to quell the anxious thoughts that come into my mind and guide me on a day to day basis. And in this pursuit I am learning that the dealings that I have with others, with both those that I love and those who are just acquaintances, needs to be continually overshadowed by God’s Holy Spirit, so that less of me and more of God is heard and visible.
In my prayers I frequently ask God to allow me to see what He sees and hear what He hears so that I can comprehend that which He knows, that I do need to know. I do understand that while I am in this body I will never fully comprehend the mind and heart of God and even that which He grants me is partial but . . . I believe that He has been answering my prayers.
The picture and message that I am constantly getting is about the sheer amount of God’s good will that flows towards us and of the dire necessity to forgive because we are forgiven for so much. God is also opening my ears to not only being sensitive to the words that I hear but also to consider why they are being said. And in our response to these words that we hear from others, just as we need reassurance from God, so do those who love and care for us. Consequently, our words and our actions, in response to them, feed back this reassurance or lack of assurance daily. Consequently, the words that we say and the tone in which we say them do matter. They matter a lot.
The magnitude of what we are forgiven for, dwarfs what we are asked to forgive.
If we lose sight of this, we in essence, move away from the very nature of God. I see so much animosity and distrust, hatred and anger, where the reality of who and what we all are, is overlooked and it becomes an “us” versus “them” exchange or mentality. In the big scheme of things, there is no “us” and “them” when it comes to humanity, it is God’s ways and our ways and it is God’s thoughts and our thoughts. And the “our” thoughts and “our” ways includes all of us, irrespective of our color, political affiliation and even religious beliefs. Jesus focused on this when He told us to love our enemies, to do good to them who misuse or abuse us. That’s the big picture, that is God’s perspective. But is that what we “Christians” are doing?
We (as in humanity) are either forgiven for our sins because of our faith in what Jesus has accomplished for us or we are not. And if, through the grace of God, we have been forgiven, through our faith in Jesus, even that is a gift from God, brought about by Him, not us. That is the only difference between “them” and “us”. But we have or are losing sight of that. Left on our own, they, the “them” are no different from we, the “us”.
And before we judge, before we cast offensive adjectives at others, either individually or collectively, we first are to look at ourselves (Matthew 7:3-5). The justice we demand and expect from others, includes us being just to others. The consideration and mercy we call upon for ourselves, includes the consideration and mercy we show towards others.
None of this is new. Jesus specifically spoke about this when he told us the parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). These are God’s standards and far too many of us have adopted the world’s standards and because we have done so, we are collectively reaping the world’s results.
Jesus said we are to be in the world but not of the world. That means that we, the Church, place our trust in Him. That also means following His commandments, which would include the Great Commission. That means relying on God’s Holy Spirit rather than our own might (Zechariah 4:6).
And here is where the objectives and the means by which these objectives are achieved, for “nationalism” versus the “Kingdom of God”, need to be separated, one from the other. I am not advocating the abandonment of nationalistic defences and policies but nationalism is primarily, of the world (politics), while the Great Commission of extending the Kingdom of God is the work of God’s Holy Spirit through His empowered Church (Ephesians 6:12).
Is that what we are doing? Or have we put that spiritual reality aside and adopted the world’s methods to bring about our own perspective of what we think God wants?
This is not new either. The Pharisees did the exact same thing. Do you recall what Jesus said about their approach?
Matthew 5:20 NASB
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” And while we are at it, we might want to take a good hard look at the overview of God’s perspective in the whole of Matthew chapter 5. Chapter 5 of Matthew is the overview that Jesus gave us of God’s thoughts and God’s ways.
Just sharing my thoughts.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!