Thursday, March 23, 2023

He Does

 When did it become acceptable for soldiers to mimic lovelorn school girls, picking at daisy petals and alternatively mumbling he loves me, he loves me not? When was it that we grew comfortable with the arduous task of perpetual analysis, to the point that all we do is analyze, split hairs, and debate amongst ourselves, never actually marching onto war? It is a strategy of sorts, I guess. You argue over the route you’ll take to the battlefield so long that you miss the battle altogether, but still, you show up afterward just in case your side won for the accolades and attaboys.

If I’m not afraid of death, I’m certainly not scared of keyboard warriors with sensitive feelings and a need to vent. I understand that excuses are the mainstay of the coward, but it doesn’t mean that the excuses carry any weight. Most contemporary Christians will not defend the truth because they are concerned about how the world will view them if they do. As such, they remain silent even when everything inside them is screaming to say something, anything because the voiceless need a voice too.

If you are a sheep, your faith will mirror it, but so will your life. If you are His and He is yours, you know Him as Lord and King. Because He is Lord and King, you also live your life according to His will and Word.

1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”

Well, there you have it, all this talk of sanctification for naught. Holiness is for the birds; I have an advocate, so I can do what I will, and Jesus will fix it. It’s like having a lawyer on retainer, knowing you’re going to break the law. The only unknown is the measure of severity.

Not so fast, Speed Racer; there’s more to the chapter than the first two verses, but we don’t want to be bothered with that. Knowing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the need for an Advocate with the Father is undeniable. What we must establish is what sort of sin John is speaking of. There is a difference between habitual, continual, and unrepented of sin and an angry thought toward someone or action less than ideal for a child of God.

1 John 2:3-6, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also walk just as He walked.”

If your walk and life are not commensurate with the walk and life of Jesus, though you say you know Him, you are a liar. That’s not me saying it; that’s the Bible saying it. That whole notion of I can live whichever way and still make it on The Way is contradicted by a multitude of Scriptures.

Yes, I know, the Apostles didn’t have the internet, so they couldn’t run a poll to see which opinion was more popular, but a majority doesn’t make something right by the nature of being a majority. Throughout history, it’s those who were in the minority that turned out to be correct because there is a madness to crowds that is dangerous and twisted, in that good seems evil to their eyes, and evil seems good.

If I call myself a sheep but all I want to do is hang out with the wolves, and the wolves accept me as one of their own, then maybe I’m not a sheep after all.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a wolf by its fangs. You can tell whether a tree is good or not based on the fruit it produces, and no amount of sugar and cinnamon will make bad fruit passable as good.

The Bible says we know Him, not if we have a fish sticker on our car, wear a white dove pin, attend a particular denomination, or support our favorite televangelist. The Book says we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.

Living out one’s faith is more complex than speaking the right words. I’ve heard people declare that Jesus is Lord, then watched as they did things that would make the devil blush. Our declaration requires foundation. When we speak the words with conviction, we will live according to His precepts because if He is Lord, then our faithfulness and obedience are naturally occurring.

The how of it is easy enough. In everything you do, make certain that you are willing to suffer for the sake of the truth rather than be willing to let the truth suffer because of your actions. If that is the metric by which you live your life, then you will know obedience, self-control, self-discipline, and restraint.

Remember who you are. Remember what He promised. Remember that eternity is forever; where you spend it is the only metric yet to be decided. If you are a sheep, then follow the Shepherd, hear His voice, and obey His commands.

It’s not complicated if we choose to humble ourselves. Only when the flesh, our pride, and elevated sense of self insert themselves and wrestle for dominance does this journey become vexing and troublesome.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

No comments: