A recent sermon really kicked my rear.
Listening to it was a mix of good: a desire to do better, enthusiasm to propel me forward, conviction of sin.
And bad: realizing I totally missed the boat on that one and…I’m not even sure I want to do better.
The sermon pinpointed how I long for things on this side of eternity instead of things on heaven’s side. It highlighted my sinful nature, desiring earthly things above godly things. It shone a spotlight on how I avoid improving godly attributes that will cause other people to dislike me.
I do not like to suffer.
I just don’t. For Jesus’ sake nor any other. But isn’t that the point? Aren’t we called to live on this earth in such a way that makes us different, makes us stand out, even if it means suffering?
Just when I thought I could put it behind me, the Holy Spirit led me right back to it in our reading. I guess I need to go a little deeper, huh?
…we…who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (italics added) ~Philippians 4:3b
I must have too much confidence in myself and in this life, that I am willing to not live counter-cultural. Between you and me, I think biblically a good chunk of the time. I just don’t always want to make those thoughts known. What would my peers think of me? Would people stop coming to my Bible study if I spoke biblical truth that is hard to hear? I admire friends and pastors who speak biblical truth. Me though? I’m scared to make enemies.
If my confidence were in Christ alone, I wouldn’t fear what man says of me. If my confidence were in my heavenly inheritance, what would it matter if my reputation was varnished and people spoke behind my back? If my confidence were in my real home, not this earth, then what would I care if I suffered on the earth?
Does this ring true for you too? Let’s make a pact to lay our earthly longings before our Father and ask Him to help us exchange them for godly ones.