Friday, June 10, 2011

Walking Tall

“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them” (Hosea 14:9).

The life of a Christian is different because it is a life of striving for a goal that requires faith to ...realize. It requires a willingness to place the interest of others around us at a higher priority than even our own desires. It is a difficult lifestyle because the things we are taught in the fleshly mindset are now regarded as stumbling blocks that cause problems reaching this new goal. It is holiness for which we strive, a goal that is mocked, ridiculed and even despised by our friends and even family. It is a goal that requires us to change our hearts so we can change our minds to let go of the things that are not allowing us to be made “complete in Christ” (Colossians 1:28). We know that God has a specific lifestyle of holiness for His children and to reach that goal we surrender our own will.

God’s ways are tremendously different from any way of human origin. To understand His mind we must open our minds to the Example He sent in Jesus, our Lord. We must let go of the instructions we once received about how to make it in this world because our goal is not to make it in this world but to make it out of this world (John 15:19). His love has changed our minds about what it is we want to become. We confessed Jesus as Lord because we decided to no longer follow the ways of the world. We turned our hearts back to God because we desired to be led to eternal life, not deceived into eternal judgment.

It is true that God is a complex being, but His mind is opened to us in a manner of simplicity. He presented the simplicity of His logic to mankind so we could know what He desires in His children (1 John 5:13). When it comes to understanding God’s desire for us, we need to recognize that He desires greater things for us than the world can know. He is using His love to mold us into the image of holiness. We are to be transformed into the image of His Son and not conformed to the image of the world in which we are visiting (Romans 12:2). Our relationship with Jesus will determine how we discern good and evil. If we love Jesus then our minds are set on following His steps to avoid having any resemblance to the ugliness that dresses the world.

Hosea wrote to a nation to instruct them to leave their carnal ways of pride, idolatry and spiritual adultery. But the people would not listen and continued to follow the unholy ways of the world. This eventually led the Hebrew nation into the captivity of an ungodly nation. The Lord’s unheeded instructions were to turn from their worldly ways and return to God and His cry is still heard from the pulpits today. We are God’s children and we have to turn away from the world and its ways if we are to remain in God’s grace. We must study His mind to be wise; we must sacrifice what we once held as knowledge to know Him, and we must strive to be like Christ to reveal what is “good, acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2) to the world by disregarding what is good to their carnality.

In His Love,

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