Directed and Perfected

I know…I let the month of November get completely away from me. While I had every intention of posting another video to continue the thought introduced in October, any time there was an opportunity to record it, I found myself sick and without a voice. Go figure.

So here I am. But enough excuses. Let’s jump in.

If you missed the post from October, start there. It will give some context.

The main point was that good works are not an attempt to earn salvation, but rather a result of the relationship with Jesus.

I want to start this post with 2 Corinthians 10:3-6.

‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.   ‘

2 Corinthians 10:3-6, emphasis mine.

https://www.bible.com/bible/111/2CO.10.3-6

 

Now read it in the Message translation:

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (emphasis mine)

 

The things we do, our actions, our words, our thoughts, and—yes—even our emotions, are going to be directed by one of two things: the devil (disguised as culture, society, expectations, ect) or by God. Choosing to allow all of those things to be subject to God and His discernment naturally results in a more mature relationship with God.

But it’s not that easy, you might be thinking. Well, let’s look at another verse. This time from a really dark period of Israel’s history.

Isaiah was a prophet who began his writings with warnings for the Israelites (turn back to the God of your fathers. The same basic lesson I’m still teaching my kids: there are consequences for your choices—good and bad). The second part of the book is filled with hope for the coming King (the Messiah). It talks of a new thing that is coming that will restore Israel and allow them (us) to become righteous (which means being right with God). This second part is where we find our verse:

I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you. Who directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)

At the time, this was just a hope for the future, something to look forward to. They didn’t have the privilege of an intimate relationship with God. But for us, this is a promise made and fulfilled. Because of the mercy of God, because of His grace alone, we have the opportunity to choose (by faith) to live a life for Him. We do this through trusting what it says in that verse from Isaiah. We trust that God is for us and not against us. We trust that He knows what is best for us so when He directs our paths, we can walk confidently in them.

So, this is the question:

Are we following in the direction that God is directing us (including taking every thought, emotion, and impulse into this same authority)? Or are we following in the direction of our culture?

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