In this current crisis of Covid 19, many in the world are fearful. Politicians do not know how to handle people and matters efficiently, giving out confusing messages. Fear is rife as people are losing jobs, suffering financial and emotional breakdown.
In the Body of Christ, sadly, there is also much controversy regarding how we should conduct ourselves in this climate. We can all prove what we believe through scripture. Some take a stand on Hebrews 10: 25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…..”
Others take a stand, at the moment, on obeying government rules, as recorded in Romans 13, but that position is subject to change when a government takes a “hard line” against Christianity, (such as in China and the church is driven “underground”).
Some Christians have allowed this difference to cause division and have judged their fellowmen. They would do well to reverently read Romans 14, in the fear of the Lord, substituting references to meat and drink with conduct. There is a unity in diversity. When I accept that every individual stands, or falls, to our one Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, I refuse to judge my brother. Everyone must learn to hear the voice of God for themselves. This is not license for each one to do what pleases himself, but to learn to hear God’s proceeding word (Matthew 4:4) daily and obey.
How come there is so much controversy over the will of God for Believers? We have all been given the responsibility of choice. God did not create us as robots, but gave us a free will to choose. Joshua 24:15 adjures us: “….choose you this day whom you will serve….” I either choose God or the devil, but choice is imperative. If I refuse to choose God, then that very refusal seals my choice to serve the devil! There are only two camps with no grey areas as a third choice! The devil is always seeking opportunity to get a foothold on my life. Scripture teaches us to beware of his wiles, (Ephesians 6:11, 1 Peter 5:8). This is a warning to make us aware, not fearful. When I am walking in truth, in the light, I am devil proof. The devil hates the Light and flees from it.
The devil came to Jesus to tempt Him, (Matthew 4), but found nowhere in Him that he could get a foothold because Jesus was totally one with His Father. As it was with our Pattern Man, the Lord Jesus, so it is with us. When we are one with our Heavenly Father, choosing to allow the Indwelling Christ full Lordship of our hearts, then we cannot help but be one with our fellow men in unity. God’s unconditional love operates here, even if we are rejected by others, it matters not. Love covers, expecting nothing in return and the treasure produced from this action is deposited in the store rooms of heaven. Sometimes we may joyfully eventually see a result of such love, sometimes we may not. But the joy and peace produced by operating in the one-ness of the Father’s love is reward enough. He presences us with divinity, the resurrected power of His Son. The devil is always seeking to bring division, but finds no foothold here and flees. Jesus called the devil the father of lies, (John 8:44). He only has “visiting rights” with me when I am believing a lie, (his children). In a court of law during divorce proceedings, the judge may grant the father of the children legal visiting rights, because he fathered them. So it is with the devil. He is the father of the lie, and when I am believing such, I give him the right to visit that lie in me. Lies produce fear.
Deal with the fear, and fear stays near. Deal with the lie, and fear will die! Learn to nail the lie.
Hebrews 3:7-8 adjures us “…as the Holy Spirit says, Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts…..” We reflect on choice again. Refusing God’s voice produces a hard heart where strife and confusion reign. The apostle Paul appeals to us in Ephesians 4 to walk worthy of our calling in Christ, our vocation in Him…..with meekness, long-suffering, fore-bearing in love, endeavouring to keep the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT in the bond of peace. One body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all. There is no division here. Division is all man-made…….through choice. The devil gains no access when a company of people are united. Look what happened in the book of Acts. The people were gathered together “with one accord”, no division, and the fire of God fell.
It is vital in this day that we find the will of God for our lives. We can rest in the knowledge that God is using this strange climate for His purposes with us. We are established and covered by His love and therefore have nothing to fear. We rest in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…”.
We do not find unity by discussion, debate, argument, sentiment, sweet talking or behaviour, sharing a common undertaking or otherwise. One-ness is unity of the Holy Spirit. Lives lived in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, not the flesh. It can take a lifetime to realise and learn, but it does not have to if I choose humility and learn the new standards and values of the new birth in Christ, submitting to the Lord and to one another in the fear of the Lord, (the only healthy fear for a child of God).
God’s heart beat for the hour is relationships, and always has been – firstly with Him and then with one another. True unity. We can be united in diversity of our gifts and expressions, but all one on our firm foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. He was, and is, totally one with the Father in thought and acts. This is God’s desire for us. When we live and walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit flourishes. Jesus said, “A tree is known by it’s fruit” – and speaks for itself in demonstration. When all has been said and done, am I living my life to the glory of God in the light of Romans 14?