Jesus said that those who walk in his steps and obey his word would be persecuted. As pilgrims in this world, you and I are living a cross-life from others in the world. Jesus prepared us in his word for such opposition. Anyone today that professes to be a believer in Christ, but who never goes through any persecution for their faith in Christ should seriously consider the road they are traveling (John 15:18-20) (2 Timothy 3:12).
“If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death, but if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace”
Christians are known for their distinction from the rest of the world because the church is called to walk a different road than others. God’s people are called to be witnesses and to be Christ-like-ones that obey God’s word everyday of the week (Matthew 5:10-16). The world says that one should seek to get all he can in life and make it all about self. The world also says that if one wants to be great, he should seek riches and material things to display power and status. We see an example of this when we look at the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man built bigger barns to store his goods even though he had more than he could ever need. The Word of God says that one is actually more blessed when he gives, and that if he wants to be GREAT, he must first be humble and serve others. It is then that God will exalt him.
It is indicative of the world to serve the carnal nature. There, judgments are based on a wisdom that sees things from natural senses. God’s word says that the carnal nature is the enemy of God. “If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death, but if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God”. (Romans 8:6-8 NLV) Instead of giving into it, he says to mortify your members. In other words, bring it under the guidance and control of the spirit by obeying the truth, as the carnal nature has not yet been saved; only the spiritual part of us is actually born again. It’s the spirit of the world, or devilish wisdom that would guide us to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the carnal nature. Satan’s power is strong in the carnal realm. Satan is, however, powerless against the authority of Christ in one who lives in the Spirit. When one is born again, the spirit man contains the light of God; the carnal mind does not know God. Romans 12:1-2 says to be not conform to this world,(we’re just passing through) but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We are visitors here headed for a Heavenly city whose builder and maker is God.
Christians lives are a paradox my friends. The greatest example of the paradoxical life is found in (Matthew 10:32-39). We live by the truth of God’s word, ‘the straight and narrow road’, a contrary life to worldly-popular sentiment. As Christians, God’s wisdom in us produces light for living in the midst of a dark and lost world. We are to be that city of light on a hill for all who are in darkness to see (1Cor 1:18-29). Common sense is nothing more than demonic wisdom, promoting self sense instead of God’s wisdom and understanding. We are bought with a price according to the Word of God. We don’t get to choose our own way any longer when we come into God. If one is a born again believer, he surrendered his authority as a free moral agent to Christ, and God decides his life for him. Now, this does not mean that he should not use his brain and make choices; however, everything he does is in accordance with scripture, and is therefore, the RIGHT way. Technically speaking, we should never act, think, or confess anything that disagrees with the wisdom found in God’s Word. Each of us should make decisions in alignment with the principles and laws of the Word. When we do this, we are headed for persecution because we are exposing the darkness everywhere we go. Light exposes the deeds of darkness and those that do not walk in the light hate the light, thus they hate you. (1Cor 6:20) (1st John 1:5)
Jesus said that in the world, ye shall have tribulations, but to be not afraid because he has overcome the world, and greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. The life of a believer is the essence of genuine living today and is the source of lasting happiness. Living openly for God brings persecution from those who do not live for Christ. If one is getting along with those not living for Christ all the time, it is not possible to be on the road to Heaven. The devil will never oppose those who are walking with him; he only opposes those who walk in the light. Acts 19:15-16. There can only be one true way, and it’s time that we find it, and walk it out for all to see, and count the flack and persecution as a blessing.
We are to be that city of light on a hill for all who are in darkness to see (1Cor 1:18-29).
God is endeavoring to move people out of a failed system (sinking ship) of trust in man and into a realm of total faith in God. It’s going to take men and women choosing to stand for God, unashamedly, in these final hours. So what if you have a little persecution? People are funny and you can never do enough or say enough to satisfy them. God is the only person we can actually satisfy all the time. Why? Because Jesus paid it all on the cross and all we have to do is accept the free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. If they hated the master for being different, rest assured that you too will be hated. Let me challenge you to dare to be different; dare to take a stand for God, now and unashamedly, so that when the roll is called in Heaven, your name will be honored among the saints of Almighty God. His word says, “If you confess me before men, I will confess you before the Father in Heaven.”
If you do not know Christ as your Lord and Savior today, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins; tell him that you believe he died on the cross and is raised and seated in Heaven. Tell him that if you were the only one that needed saving, you know that he still would have died and that you put your faith in him now. Do it today; eternity is waiting.
Let us confess this together today: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. The spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding and might, the spirit of counsel, and knowledge are also upon me. I am made to be of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord. I judge not, by the seeing of the eyes or by the hearing of natural ears, but I judge things righteously and truthfully by a spiritual judgment. I have the mind of Christ.
May the Father always guide you, and show you his favor, in the name of Christ. Amen