Leave or Stay?Listen
Article # two: Words About Words
Assuming you desire to accomplish the will of God in your life (your high calling), you would be wise to ask some serious questions:
Whose words reign in my heart?
Whom am I obeying?
Who is my lord?
If you have resemblance to Joe or Jill Average Evangelical your answers would be:
The words of Christ do not reign supreme in my heart.
I am obeying someone other than Christ.
Therefore someone other than Christ is my lord.
Most certainly the words of Jesus are in the heart of every believer. Somewhere. Maybe tucked in a corner or hidden behind words of custom and tradition. But the words of Jesus Christ simply do not reign (rule, have preeminence) in the hearts and minds of most.
Everyone is obeying someone (church, self, spouse, traditional decrees). Sadly, most are not walking in day-to-day submission to the “Spirit of Christ.” The Holy Spirit is relationally distant because Christ is relationally distant. Once the Lord was more than a symbolic lord. Everyone, at one time, was on fire. Passionate. Consumed. The Holy Spirit burned within. But the fire has cooled and enthusiasm has shifted to another. That another has captured their obedience.
We must understand that which is so easy to understand: If we are not obeying Christ, Christ is simply not lord. Savior, yes. High Priest, yes. Lord, no.
Most likely the Galatians (who had turned from Christ to tradition and traditionalists) would be surprised and dismayed if told:
The words of Christ do not reign supreme in your hearts.
You are obeying someone other than Christ.
Therefore someone other than Christ is your lord.
The obvious escapes us when we don’t want it, such the power of the deceitful heart. The words of another reign…. yet we deny the words of another reign. We follow man yet assume Christ to be our shepherd. We can even verbalize man as our shepherd (“Good morning, Pastor Whoever”), and yet suppose Christ to be our shepherd (pastor). Symbolically Jesus is lord, but a symbolic lord isn’t.
J E S U S : If you love Me, keep My commandments….. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. (John 14:15,21)
Simple, simple, simple. Obedience reveals our love. We know whom we love by whom we obey. A teen disobeying her parents does not love her parents, not supremely, not in the sense Jesus was talking about. Someone else has captivated that teen’s loyalty. She has become anchored to another. To be anchored to Christ we must be anchored to His words.
Christ’s commands are in the Bible, not just the words in red but also in black. Those hundreds of thousands of words packaged between two black covers are God’s gift to you. Allegiance to those words, as you understand them, is allegiance to Jesus Christ. The degree of allegiance is the degree of love. Exactly.
And so you examine your allegiance. You check it out. You want to know where your allegiance is placed. If it is set on Jesus, you are living your life in agreement with the Bible as you understand its words. If you are not, your love is set upon someone or something else. Simple, simple, simple.
J E S U S : Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man….. everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man. (Mat. 7:24,26)
Simple, simple, simple.
This series of articles, Leave or Stay?, is of little value to the one with little regard for the Bible. So hopefully this article, Words About Words (a discussion about assorted words in your life), will boost the respect you have for the word of God.
L a r r y J o n e s : To build on the rock (the sayings of Christ), one must determine two things….. first, a total acceptance of the Word, and second, a complete rejection of everything that is not the Word. Such a decision would be the beginning of a closer walk with the Lord Jesus….. He will no longer be reading a book; he will be reading God’s Word — infallible, creative, living, authentic, prosperous, awesome, praiseworthy, complete, changeless, sharp, inspirational, sure, lively, warm, protective, sincere, powerful, faithful, knowledgeable, just, holy, satisfying, joyous, life-giving, secure, effective, wise, medicinal, pure, fruitful, prophetic, indestructible and divine. (A Catholic No More)
C h a l l e n g e : Be certain to build on God’s word. Building your life on God’s word will certainly lead into various complications and difficulties, but it will also bring you into adventures and good fruit.
P r a y e r : Help us, Jesus, to build upon the rock of Your sayings, to choose wisdom over foolishness, good fruit over bad. In Your name, Lord. And also, please anoint this article. (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!”)