Alright everyone, the game is on…
Actually, it’s been on since the apostles received the Great Commission. But so many of us don’t know what it really takes to be a Soldier for Christ, an Ambassador in Chains, a Tower Watchman, a person who bears the Standard of Christ. These are full-time jobs for us as followers of Christ–as my pastor would say, we are to worship God 24/7. And if you know anything about the military, you know that the ideals they strive to uphold are duty, honor, and sacrifice. Well, it so happens that followers of Christ should be striving for the same in their worship and witnessing for God.
Our first duty is to God. In all things, we are to obey Him. In Acts, when the disciples are dragged before the Sanhedrin and are told to stop speaking of Jesus, their reply was that it is better to obey God rather than men–even at the cost of losing their own lives. If you are struggling with a truth that you have found in God’s Word–don’t despair! That is God teaching you about something that needs to change in your life. That is literally the Holy Spirit speaking to you! Don’t ignore it–it can mean that something is dragging you away from your duty to God and your obedience to Him. Does that mean it’s not okay to ask questions? Of course not–God welcomes questions because it gives Him an opportunity to teach you. Jesus took so much time to answer questions from his disciples and even from people in the crowds that he was speaking to. Where it crosses the line is when you’re asking him out of selfish reasons such as the Pharisees were doing. It’s okay to ask questions, but just remember that it is simply our duty to obey God’s teachings, not to change them to fit our whims and our lives.
This can be replaced with the word respect. The Bible calls for us to obey God, but in matters where we must respect something–such as a parent, an elder, or the government–we are called to honor those things because they were instituted by God for our benefit. Parents and elders are there for our social well-being–to teach us how to be the best man or woman of God we can be, how to show love to our enemies and neighbors, and how to best speak God’s truth in love. We are called to all these things. Government was instituted by God to enact laws that would govern right and wrong behavior and to be a terror to bad conduct. If there was nothing to make sure that bad people were punished for say stealing, murdering, assaulting, etc. There would be chaos and anarchy for everyone. Being taught to honor something means you will know to show respect for it, regardless of where you are or whether you agree with it or not. But once again, honoring these things are good and Christ-like, but if any of them ask you to do something that is against God’s law, then it is better to obey God’s Word rather than the laws and direction of our authorities.
This is the one that most people find hardest to do in their lives. Christ calls us to humble ourselves and put others first, and Christ also calls us to die to our selves and serve God. It is difficult to leave the things we like behind, but God says that if there is something tugging at your heart that is anything but God, to take drastic measures to remove it. God is jealous, and He will defend what He has his heart set on, which is your heart. So, if you claim to be a follower of Christ, be ready to sacrifice everything you hold dear for His name, because there will come a time where He will teach you that in the hardest of ways possible. With Abraham and Isaac, we see God testing Abraham’s faith at that point when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac–but then stopped him when God saw that Abraham would not have even withheld his one and only son from God, but had faith that God would provide another son if need be.
All these things are good, but in practice, are tough disciplines to try and live out. But learn them, understand them from God’s perspective, and apply them in your life every day. Have you heard of the USMC Silent Drill Platoon? These guys drill everyday to memorize routines to perform without a single cadence or command to direct them. Then they apply them. God wants the same from us, He wants us to learn His Word and learn about Him and His expectations, but is also wanting to drive us out the doors of Church and to live out His love and expectations so that the all world may hear about God’s love.