Psalm 105:1-3 “Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!”
It is very difficult for the world to take God seriously. For every conclusive statement, the world has a rebuttal. For every reason to follow, there is a subsequent excuse not to. The world has its own philosophies, origins of the world, standards of righteousness, and sense of purpose. There seems to be no end to the ways the world tries to replicate all that God has revealed.
Years ago I had an opportunity to share a couple books with my brother who chooses to identify himself as an atheist. We would talk philosophy, scriptural truth, he would attempt to refute biblical claims and I would present counters to those claims. I would show him archaeological proof and he would present an article that would leave an air of doubt. He would present a philosophical argument that was counter to God’s truth, then I would reason with him to try and demonstrate the fallacy of his arguments.
There seemed to be nothing my brother and I could fully agree on. In all our interactions I came to a deeper level of understanding about world philosophy and my conclusion brings me sorrow for all those who subscribe to these lies.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Determined to Deny
When a christian attempts to bring the light to an unbeliever, they are attempting to bring part of a revelation of God to them that helps them understand why it is so important to submit to Him. If I express God’s love only, someone may think that God might be willing to accept them in their sin and rebellion. If I bring only God’s judgement to someone walking in darkness, I might give them a false impression of a vengeful and angry God.
Walking in darkness is to be spiritually blind to the depths of the knowledge of God. Blindness is due to being separated from the light. Spiritual light is not only God’s revelation of Himself to mankind but is actually the Spirit of God Himself. When believers walk in the light, they walk in the knowledge of God. They know what is important to Him and understand the necessity of obedience to His lead. When the light of Christ is manifest in the life of a believer, they are reducing themselves so that God may shine through them. The less our flesh is in the way, the more the brilliance of Christ shines through us.
If I don’t reveal the characteristics that God has told me to reveal to them, then the doorway to the love of Christ will remain closed.
Galatians 3:23-24 “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. “
The Call Continues
If we are called to become spiritual sieves so that the righteousness of Christ is made evident through us, we have to understand how to allow God to make that happen.
Galatians 3:25-27 “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
The first step is to have Faith.
- Without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) If I lay claim to being a follower of Christ, I have to actually trust Him with every part of my life. It’s easy to say it, it’s another to do it. Faith is real when it is coupled with obedience to God’s righteousness.
- God’s righteousness is made evident through His moral law. When we honor God’s moral law, we walk in step with the character of God. Jesus made it clear when He said, “If you love me, obey my commandments”. ((John 14:15) Our presentation of love is invalid without obedience.
The second step is to submit.
James 4:7-8 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
- With submission comes a reliance upon the Lord without knowledge. We may not understand all that God has planned for us, but we trust Him implicitly, and that is enough. If we try to lay claim to God’s wisdom, we muttle all of the clarity that He brings in our lives. (Job 42:3) Clarity comes when we take our ambitions out of the equation and just watch the Lord work. When the Lord’s hand moves, it is like watching a maestro lead an orchestra, it is majesty to behold.
- When we submit to the Lord, we humble ourselves before Him. It’s not like we have anything we can bring to the table, it really serves as a reminder to ourselves regarding our position before Him.(Isaiah 57:15)
Finally, we must repent.
Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”
- With repentance comes a process of learning how to follow. Before Christ, I followed either my own reasoning or I followed the reasoning of the world. Now, I learn to follow the Lord, my Creator, the One who loves me, knows me, and who holds my future in His hands. A contrite spirit is a spirit that learns how to recognize their error and turn then follow, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. The world doesn’t want to see you go, your friends, family, or acquaintances will at times try to draw you back into the hopelessness of what you were. Without the strength of God, it will be very difficult, but praise be to Him, He doesn’t leave us alone in the journey.
John 14:17-18 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
I love my brother, I could have been a much better brother to him if I wasn’t so messed up as a kid. I was wrestling with so many emotions as a young man, I didn’t have the capacity to love others like I should have. Today, my brother and I might disagree on what compromises truth but I’ve learned I can’t reason him back to it. The only way for me to express the Truth of God to him is to show him what it looks like by the way I live.
We are all called to be salt and light in this world that lacks the substance and knowledge of God’s love. Becoming more like Christ is only done by way of the Holy Spirit working in us. Trust the Lord for the process and remember that He is working in ways you cannot see. He will always remain faithful.