Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Is The Gospel Set Free?

Some years ago, after he was released from prison, Jim Baker wrote a book titled, “I Was Wrong”. It was a BIG book. When I saw it in the store I commented to Rhonda, my wife, “He must have been wrong about a lot.” As I said, it was a BIG book.

My friend Eric asked me last week after "
Don’t Back Down", “How can I objectively know whether I'm really "dedicated" to standing up for God and when I'm being "stubborn" with my misunderstanding of Him?”

The risk we run when we take a stand that is unyielding is that down the road we will see that we were wrong. Sometimes it is not our stand that is wrong as much as it is our hearts. What does my heart display while I am standing firm? If we display an attitude that contradicts the character of Jesus Christ we can be sure that, while our position may be right, our heart is not. Our Master is not well served by those whose spirit is controlled by their flesh. (see Luke 9:54-56)

Christians have been guilty of being right in a wrong way far too many times. I may know a thing is wrong in my inner man. But if my outer man, the flesh, is in control, then my actions and attitudes will be seen as fleshly not spiritual. If, on the other hand, my outer man is no longer the controlling part of my character, then my actions and attitudes will reflect the heart and character of my Master.

Galatians 2:20 says in part, “The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God.” To live by faith means, (in part) we will stand for what is godly and right, without apology or backing down. That same passage begins in the KJV “I am crucified with Christ”. Remember that those who do not know God will not be won by the brute force of our godly stand, but by receiving and accepting the Gospel within their spirits. If our flesh interferes with the righteousness that is within our hearts, then the Gospel is hindered.

When we are crucified with Christ and living by faith in him, our outer man will reflect the redeemed inner man that belongs to Christ and the Gospel within us will be set free.

Michael Taylor


Screaming Flea said...

John 13:35 says by loving one another
John 15:8 says by bearing fruit
I don't recall any verses that say they will know because we are vocally forceful, radically political, united in protest, or louder than others. Neither does the verse that says hordes will be won by intellect winning the debate. Nope, none of that... just love and good deeds; the very Word played out and spoken with "great patience and gentle instruction".
I guess this means you're right, Michael.
"Go and make disciples" is a great commission... "Follow Me" is fantastically terrifying.

gibor_el said...

Ok, so for the stand for God checklist we have:

1. Eyes on God.
2. Heart in the right place
3. Don't stop. (or for some sweet beats...Cant stop, cant stop the rock)

Ok so that's when you are the first one in a scenario to stand for God. But what if you are the second guy?

The first guy stood with a busted heart and now that a few years have gone by he may or may not realize the problem. Nevertheless, we are left with Number 2 making a stand with a group of people who remember the other guy and still bear the scars of colateral damage. I realize the hardness of their heart is on them, but that doesn't fix the need for a stand for Christ, or the difficulty of the situation. Is this a Zorro moment? "When the pupil is ready the master will appear." Cause that sounds more like an excuse not to stand than a good reason to wait.

If God is calling you to stand, is that a constant prayer and your best judgement thing, or a "Here am I Lord." "Ok Rob, it's time to cowboy up," scenario?

I think the answer to most of my questions here is "Yeah, sometimes, but it depends." And that bugs me, but sometimes I guess you just gotta trust that god will give you the wisdom to, "Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run."