God has always been a fair God. In fact, He’s been miraculous about how He deals with us in ways we don’t truly deserve, blessing us daily when we deserve death. Those of us who say “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I’ll follow you to the depths of the world.”… Would we really?
We know that feeling. That tug on the heart, mind, and soul from the Holy Spirit (or what the world calls our “conscience”) to do something that makes us very uncomfortable, that places us outside of our Box of Selfishness. What if the Holy Spirit leads us to go or do something we would never do naturally solely because we’ve never done or heard it before? What if His prompting is scripturally supported? Do we keep it to ourselves and only follow the Spirit’s leading behind closed doors, but remain unchanged in front of others, so we don’t face ridicule? Do we completely ignore it and just keep doing what makes us comfortable? Sadly, often more than not, we suppress the Voice and go about doing what we want to do, doing what others tell us to do, as opposed to what God is calling us specifically to do. It could be something as simple as being led to sit with someone in the cafeteria that we never speak to, to correct someone else’s child who is in danger and their parents are doing anything about it, or sparking conversation with that smelly, gross homeless lady at the bus stop. It could be something as epic as following all 10 Commandments, or eating clean and celestially blessed foods as according to the Word.
But of course, we are human. Sin and disobedience are in our DNA. We cast judgements. We keep ourselves in our own shoes, in our own boxes, blinders on, and “faithful to our Lord.” We cannot see past what we have “always known.” We cannot hear past what we have “always heard.” We stick with those who know us, who understand us, and who don’t think differently than us when the Spirit calls us to do as Christ did, to follow the teachings of the Bible, and go into the market place (the mission field, which is anywhere outside of the church) without fear to meet and love the people as Christ loved the church. We pick and choose which Spiritual tug we’ll follow according to how we feel. We pick and choose which scripture we’ll apply to our lives according to how we want to live our lives.
But where does God what us to go? What does God want us to do? Why would He place the Holy Spirit in our lives to know truth from fallacy when, most of the time, we don’t always want to choose truth anyway - and don’t? Thank God He is a God of free will. Without that option, He wouldn’t know which of us are really for Him and who aren’t. But we should not take free will lightly, for it is a blessing to know good from evil solely from the tug of the Holy Spirit, and even more so from the teachings of His Word to support each tug. It’s one thing to ignore callings to choose to do evil. It’s another to purposefully close our eyes and ears to revelation and block Spiritual callings when the caller ID clearly says “Jesus Christ.”
God did not make being a Christian a stroll in the park. Think of the ridicule Christ Himself received during His years on earth. Think of the number of believers in the Bible who literally lost their lives for proclaiming and living the truth according to Scriptures. Think of what happened to those who delayed from promptly following through direct callings from the Lord.
Matthew 10 how God equips the called to do His great work here. He explains how persecution and ridicule - physical and spiritual - are strong possible realities if we are doing it right. We are not going to please everyone, and everything we are called to do will not have a positive outcome. That does not mean we are to not do them, but we are to stand strong in the calling and guiding of the Lord. To not just say we believe and have faith, but live out our believe and faith through our daily actions. We are to fear the Lord and confess Christ’s love to the world - not just to the other Christians. Christ said that families will turn against each other because some want to follow Christ above all things, and others will want us to follow them above Christ. Matthew 7:13-14 reads: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Are there believers walking down the “wide gate” as well, or only non-believers on that path? Either way, are we following the crowd or following Christ? Is our faith blind? Do we want to please God, or please man? If we want to please God, is it because we love Him, or because we are scared of the results of not following Him 100%? What are our motives? What do we want to be our motives?
I pray, my dear friends, that we stay as vulnerable to the Holy Spirit as possible. I hope that we plead to God for strength to not watch man (including family and friends), but to watch Him and stay as true to the Scriptures as we possibly can according to what HE personally teaches us through our humble asking and personal seeking of truth through His Storybook. The more we listen for His voice, the easier it will become to actually follow His voice because we will be able to recognise it (which is the first step in following Him). The more we read and pray, the more He will fill us with His strength and unconditional love. He knows it might be difficult at first, but He doesn’t just do it for the mission, but for us, the messengers, to be strengthened in our faith in Him and rooted deeper in our love for Him. So that He may show His mighty power through our obedience to Him, His still small voice, and His complete Word. The right doors will open on the straight and narrow path to Christ when we choose to follow Him 100%. But it is a chose. Let us not be lukewarm, but on fire for the Lord, bold in our faith and in our motives to be more and more like Him, as well as do what He as called us to do.
May the Lord guide us to not selectively believe, but to fully step out in faith.