VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 1, Fall 2015 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
No Honor Amongst Thieves
by David Eagles
Repentance is a difficult concept to convey nowadays, mostly because many of us are sooooooo in love with our flesh, which the world has yet to see as an enemy being entertained and used by the enemy. The Bible, unfortunately true for too many, is unmistakable when it states that every man's ways seem right in his own eyes (Pro.21:2). It's very hard to see what you don't want, or recognize a need, to see.
Seeing as though we, the saints of God, have a hard enough time convincing sinners of their sin (which we are called to do), how much more difficult can it be to convict our brothers and sisters in the Faith of similarly unsupported acts and/or lifestyles that they have yet to disconnect from, or have somehow found themselves reconnected with? The Bible tells us that it is extremely difficult to restore and recapture, or re-rescue, someone who has seen the power of God move, experienced the life they've been created for, but felt it was not enough and, subsequently, find themselves willingly outside of the perfect and complete will of God for their lives (Heb.6:4-6). Backslidden. Where are we going with this? Glad you asked….
Based on what we've preceded with, it is a task that requires cunning wisdom, strategic tact, and sound doctrine to convince someone who has given their life to Christ and pledged to learn to abide by His ways, that they have stolen from God. No, we're not speaking of every stingy saint and intellectually impoverished person's most hated verse in Malachi (Mal.3:8), but actually taking something else from God that does not belong to them: the glory.
You didn't save yourself; HE did. You didn't fill yourself with His Spirit; HE did. You didn't instruct yourself in the gifts of the Spirit; HE taught you. You didn't give yourself the platform from which numerous lives could be impacted; HE did. So how dare YOU attempt to complete in the flesh what was started in the spirit (Gal.3:3)?! Saying "Praise God” as a response to the praises of men towards you should never be assumed or implied, but should only be automatic in recitation because it is intentional in application of this principle. Some men have no idea that they are effectively-- because of what God has done or is doing in, with, and through them-- one praise away from "ascending to the sides of the north.” Let’s think about that for a moment... (Isa.14 may help).
Humility is a heart condition; one that requires deliberate pursuit and continual examination. The Apostle Paul (you know, the guy who wrote 14 books of the New Testament) was allowed to be intentionally afflicted so that his mortality-- his need to be dependent upon God-- remained at both the forefront and rearguard of his thinking (2 Cor.12:7); as a result, he could continually be effectively used by God. Humility provides a balance that is often neglected—a benefit that pride earnestly seeks to bury under a rug littered with the unresolved issues… issues that are produced by REFUSING to walk in humility.
Tie this in? Gladly! The humble person refuses the price of popularity, because what's asked costs more than the price Jesus paid. The humble individual refuses to get lazy in being used by God, understanding that ungodliness with contentment is NOT great gain (see what we did there?). Pride seduces one to pause the process of decreasing, knowing that it will directly suspend your God ordained increase. No man can serve two masters; you cannot serve GOD and YOUrself.
So let me ask you: when you pray, does Jesus take center stage, or is it you? When you preach, does the Holy Spirit speak, or is it your spirit? When you sing, is it the power of God at work, or the sensationalism of your emotions performing? You don't have to lead a mega church to be a mega jerk; you can sit on your gift and be guilty of stealing from God (parable of the talents ring a bell? Matt. 25). People cheat Jesus on a daily basis, yet still seek the appearance of His approval. But see, that's the problem. You surround yourself with other thieves-- other folks who have bought into the lie that there’s sufficiency within the permissive will of God or outside of His will, altogether. Furthermore, they won't honor you; they're too busy looking to steal from youwhat you've stolen, and this is just one of the reasons that no assumed position is safe. If God didn't do it, it is going to fail.
Today, with so much hanging in the balance, it is vitally important that those who God started a work in allow Him to finish it. The world quickly finds itself worshiping opinions, which is why it's important that we, the saints of God, don't offer ours, but God's. While we spend so much time trying to appease a system God has invested so much to deliver us from, let's be reminded of these harsh realities. Where the world used to hate you because you wouldn't choose their side, they’ll now hate you because you won't choose a side; made by them, destroyed by them. Sorry guys, there really is no honor amongst thieves. Give God back what belongs to Him: you.
© 2015 David Eagles