The Word of God says that Christians have been given all the tools and the abilities necessary to think more clearly than anyone, to see the truth absolutely clearly, to discern wrong from right, to be able to discern in all matters. Abundant power is at our disposal to act on those judgments.
We’re expected to study, search, think and mediate on His word, and trust that we will find the answers to our questions. God can speak!
Ps 119:97-101:Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it day and night
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies.I have more insight than all my teachers
I have more understanding than all the elders, for I obey your precepts
I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I may obey your word
You have the mind of Christ. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5
How about this verse for clarity?
Evil people don’t understand justice,
but those who seek Adonai understand everything. Proverbs 28: 5
We never need to consult the wisdom of the world on any important matter. It offers us no reliable or true guide in the making of decisions.
What happens when we don’t use the standard?
‘Error, superstition, bigotry, and fanaticism attempt to repress free discussion, by saying that there are certain things which are too sacred in their nature, or which have been too long held, or which are sanctioned by too many great and holy names, to permit their being subjected to the scrutiny of common eyes, or to be handled by common hands. In opposition to all this, Christianity requires us to examine everything – no matter by whom held; by what councils ordained; by what venerableness of antiquity sustained; or by what sacredness it may be invested. We are to receive no opinion until we are convinced that it is true; we are to be subjected to no pains or penalties for not believing what we do not perceive to be true; we are to be prohibited from examining no opinion which our fellow-men regard as true, and which they seek to make others believe. No popular current in favor of any doctrine; no influence which name and rank and learning can give it, is to commend it to us as certainly worthy of our belief. By whomsoever held, we are to examine it freely before we embrace it; but when we are convinced that it is true, it is to be held, no matter what current of popular opinion or prejudice maybe against it; no matter what ridicule may be poured upon it; and no matter though the belief of it may require us to die a martyr’s death.” -Barnes
We are fully equipped to be leaders in this culture. What’s more, we have a lot of freedom in this particular culture to exercise that leadership. I think we squander that opportunity. We have conformed to the culture of this world.
Why don’t we lead? Why do we follow the blind?
How much have we conformed? We have bought the premises that we Christians are a marginal sub-culture; that we are nearly powerless to influence the world around us; that it is too uncomfortable to move out of step with the world around us. We act out of the fear of man when we look to our peers for reassurance in making major life decisions. We put ourselves under the influence of peer pressure. And worst of all, we don’t even question those other sources; we don’t apply discernment or wise counsel from an unquestionable source which is freely available to us. We don’t test all things.
We want our families to look like everyone else’s. We don’t want our kids to feel different, and to be left out.
And we certainly don’t want to be identified with those Christians who … fill in the blank.
Be careful. Perhaps those Christians with whom we are so uncomfortable are doing exactly what God is telling them to do. He may even be trying to tell you something similar.
We have conformed to the world’s thinking when we believe we have a right to maintain a standard of living like our neighbors, a standard which is comparable to royalty at any other time or place. We have completely bought the world’s under-evaluation of women and mothers in the home. We act as though we ought to seek the world’s good opinion in the court of popular culture. We have an aversion to extremes, when truth is truth, no matter where it leads. We have adopted the world’s definition of relationships, and the world’s standard for conducting relationships. We willingly share cynicism and pessimism with a hopeless world. We assert that we have the right to make decisions to suit ourselves which would impact His kingdom!
In our women’s Bible study last week, we were looking at David facing Goliath. He was the only man among all the men in the nation of Israel who wanted to challenge the giant. He was a man after God’s own heart.
But what made him different? You could name a lot of things about David that made him special, things that end up making him a magical kind of person who could do what he did. But I think it comes down to one thing. Those other soldiers who weren’t willing were no cowards in battle. But they were all thinking with the group, responding to peer pressure. David was the only one who was willing to step out of the crowd and act on the behalf of God’s name and reputation.
We have to be willing to do the same. God wanted all of the Israelites to be like David—and they could have been. There was nothing magical about David.
David also knew that God would give the victory—it wasn’t up to David. He could step forward out of that crowd because he trusted God to do as He had said.
We act as though everything is up to us to orchestrate and make happen. But God is there! God has a special place and task for you if you step forward out of the crowd, and listen to Him instead of the voices in the world.
Now all of us, if we’re believers, have already stepped out in a major way! We already have declared that we’re different from the rest of the world. We believe we are willing to suffer for our beliefs. But are we willing to suffer for being different?
Here’s the application to Titus 2:3:
The decisions that women make…all women, married, single with families or without….define the culture.
2 Timothy 1:7: For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
We must step out from the crowd. We must wade against the relentless current. Our culture is not to be trusted for sound advice for walking a Christian’s path. We must recognize that we are necessarily, positionally living lives which are in opposition to the world’s purposes. We have to expect to be different!
How much do we impact the culture by our distinctiveness…and how much can we…if we become people who really prove all things, and who live every bit of our lives acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ?
Who is the person who fears Adonai?
He will teach him the way to choose.
He will remain prosperous,
and his descendants will inherit the land. Psalm 25: 12-13