"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Manifesting the Character of God - A Test of Faith

Mat 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

Not striking back when hurt or insulted is an opportunity to display the character of Jesus Christ. In the life of a Christian, such opportunities will inevitably arise and it is up to us to choose whether to react in a manner worthy of the Sermon on the Mount, or not.

We glorify God by displaying or manifesting His character. We cannot do so in difficult situations if Jesus is not present in us. We cannot manifest Jesus without His very presence.

Failure to manifest Jesus during an opportunity is not necessarily an indication that Jesus is not present in you, although it could be. It may be an indication of some poor teaching, or poor modeling by those whom we respect. It may be an indication of something wrong in our relationship with the Lord, something that we have not yielded to His lordship.

One of the most important things that we must yield to His lordship is our idea of what a Christian really is. Jesus will mold us into a person capable of displaying His character in every circumstance, if we let Him. But too often we have our own idea of how a Christian should behave, and it may not resemble Jesus at all. When that is the case, we will miss opportunities to manifest Jesus Christ. The more opportunities we miss, the fewer opportunities we get. Are you getting those chances to display the character of God? If not, you must ask yourself why, and the answer is often that we won't manifest Christ anyway, so He won't create the opportunities for us.

One of the biggest reasons we have for failing to manifest Christ is that we have become far too politicized. Jesus was never political. He took absolutely no interest in the difficult political circumstances of His day, and for 1st century Jews, it was a far more egregious political landscape than anything any western Christian has endured for more than half a century.

Jesus interests were entirely spiritual, and until our interests turn away from the political and back to the spiritual, we will have few opportunities to reveal Jesus in us to a lost world. We will be failing the Great Commission.

Politicalism in western Christians is a distraction at best and an indication that we are far off-track at worst. Christian political activism has to do with creating a kind of Heaven, or Christian Utopia in our country. That will only happen during the Millenial Reign, and attempts to make it happen on Earth will not only fail but greatly impair the work of God - ie the salvation of souls.

Our political attitudes display a character which is anything but godly, and cause resentment by those whom we should be leading to Christ. But instead of manifesting Jesus and drawing lost souls to Him, we are turning them into our enemies. We are doing the very opposite thing that we should be doing.

I pray western Christians will repent of our worldly fascination with politics and turn back to spiritual fascination. Only then will the opportunities to display Jesus arise again. And when they arise, we must yield completely to Christ and allow Him to work through us. Then we will see miracles, and we will see many come to the Lord, including some we would never expect.

"Never look for justice, but never cease to live it". Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, July 14.