Sitting with the Shepherd
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?" But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NKJV)
We live in a world today that is becoming more and more hostile to one another and especially to Christians. It is emotionally unsettling to hear about the persecution of Christian brothers and sisters around the world. It is mentally disturbing to read the verbal attacks in the social media against our Lord, His word, and those who follow Him. Even though Jesus warned us that if they hated Him they would hate us also, so we should expect it, it isn't any easier to experience it personally.
For those of us who are finding true freedom in Christ from the bondage of self and the bondage of life dominating sin, there is a childlike excitement about our new life. Our first impulse upon receiving something this good is to share it with others. We know that we have become new creations, but when we try to share it with others, especially unbelievers they can't understand. So when we are ridiculed and mistreated we need to pray like Jesus, "Father forgive them because they know not what they do."
But what is more difficult is when we try to explain to other believers about our new found freedom and our new identity as liberated children of the Most High God. As fellow Christians we expect them to share our excitement and they don't get it either? Notice Paul's words to believers in Corinth; "Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn't talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn't that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren't you living like people of the world?" (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NLT)
Sometimes even other believers cannot understand the freedom of the Abundant Christian Life, and we can't be upset at their inability to do so. We must simply allow the light of Christ's life in us to shine into the darkness around us.
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)
Questions for Meditation or Discussion
1. How have you noticed personally the increasing fervor of anti-Christian rhetoric in the world around you?
2. What difficulties have you faced in sharing the freedom that you have after dying to self and allowing Christ to live through you?
3. Why is it important not to involve ourselves in doctrinal arguments but instead let our lights shine into the darkened world around us?
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, blessed be Your Holy Name. You lived in this world and walked among men so You understand fully the opposition that we face on a daily basis. We were once as the people around us, unable to discern spiritual truth. Thank You that You placed Your Spirit in us and now we have the Mind of Christ. Help us to be tolerant of those around us who cannot understand so they may instead see the light of Your love shining in us. Amen