Godly Living Has To Be Worked On!
Updated: Jun 15
This is not a comfortable statement, including to me! We hear so often about the new position that we have in Christ (grace), that I am afraid we may also too easily forget that we still live, surrounded by hostility (antagonism) to Godly living.
There is hostility within side of us. Our new person knows instinctively that we should long for the healing balm of righteousness that God wants to proportion to us on a daily basis. But it doesn’t just happen. It has to be “worked” at.
There is hostility in the churches we attend. Much of it, I am convinced, comes from people who call themselves Christians, but are not. Some of it does indeed come from true Christians. Christians gossip, complain and even mobilize to change something, or introduce something new, or even to oust existing leadership. Righteous living among brothers and sisters has to be worked at.
And of course, there is hostility all around us in the micro worlds which we live in. More often then not, it is simply exasperation one with another. Sometimes that exasperation gives birth to violence and we are reminded once again, that, we live in the midst of hostility! Hostility which has little hope of receding without new birth.
In the face of all of these expressions of hostility, we must daily decide to obey God, act on His commandments and submit to the empowering of the Holy Spirit. We must discipline ourselves to righteousness. Discipline is an act of deciding.
Yes, I fill my mind with the word of God. Yes, all too often, I have to say no to my emotions. Because I have a radically new person living within me, the residency place of the Holy Spirit, I can, I must decide…..to obey. Obey in all aspects of righteousness revealed by God in His word. I cannot allow the hostility still within me, nor around me, to sway my will.
What provoked my line of thinking in these thoughts above was a short quote a friend sent me from Elizabeth Elliott, which is apparently anonymous.
“Just to be clear. God will not destroy one marriage to build another one.”
This statement, like so many others in the Bible is uncomfortable. We can find all kinds of variations to “adjust” it. Many of us who have worked with people long enough know the unseen stories in all of these kinds of biblical/ righteousness “things.”
Somebody made a decision. A decision to lie, a decision to cheat, a decision to gossip, a decision to divorce, etc, etc. When, they could have made a different decision!
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)