Jesus Christ spoke very plainly and clearly to His apostles. Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus was asked what was the greatest command that was to be followed, and His answer left us with just two charges.
Matthew 22:35-40 (AMPC)
35 One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
If we are loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, then why do we waste a majority of our time doing things that do not accomplish loving God or looking out for our neighbors. I think the 2nd century Christians would have something to say to us today, myself included. What if we, as a church, need to examine our lives and see if we need to get our own houses in order before trying to straighten out others?
Since we have the Holy Spirit and that power that raised Christ from the dead in us, why then do we do the things we do? I find great solace in the fact that Paul struggled with what we are still struggling with when he penned in his famous epistle the following, (paraphrased) “I find myself doing things that I don’t want to do, but I do them anyway.”
What I have found is that we are guilty, just like Lucifer, of wanting to be like God. Satan’s lie found fertile ground starting with Adam and Eve that they too could be like God. Everyone is seeking to be autonomous and does not want to follow a master. The Bible aptly points out that we all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us wanting to go our own way.
So if we have Christ’s mind then we should be thinking more and more about God, and less and less about this world. Since we do have this power in us, then we need to focus and place Christ as our “true north,” as I have said in previous articles.
1 Peter 4:1-2 (AMPC)
4 So, since Christ suffered in the flesh or us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], 2 So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.
I’m not there yet, but I have felt my spirit being drawn more and more to ask the following question: what are you meditating on? What are you spiritually eating? Things that edify and build up faith and other Christians? Or are you wasting time on pointless endeavors. I feel that we should be wondering about things like the time we spend reading and studying scripture, and what we are putting into our minds and dwelling on. Is our reading, movie watching, TV watching, video gaming, social media dwelling, etc., doing anything to further a relationship with God? If it is not then we, not God or our faith, need to change. As Isaiah said in chapter 6 verse 5:
“Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
I want to reiterate that I am just as guilty as you when it comes to these things. I am fighting right now to decide how I want to proceed with the time I have left in my life and how I fully want to enter the storm. I do know that if we are convicted to change and realize that something isn’t right, then we must change. It might be a radical departure from the world, but it must be done. Eternity is much too long to sit and realize that you knew that truth, but failed to act and, in so doing, damned yourself to hell. Let’s all pray for each other that God will move each of us in our spirits so that we will know what He wants us to do, and then have the courage to act.
Be of good courage,