Recently, I walked into a prayer meeting, only to be met with some opposition. The opposition came from human hearts … mine and my opponent’s. A war was brewing between the forces of good and evil. I’m not saying that the other man’s heart was evil because he is a precious brother in the Lord. However, he ended up walking out of the prayer meeting, not happy with what I was saying concerning our need to spring into action for the Lord.
Now I don’t mean to be rude, or mean, or cruel in any way, but you can’t just sit there and complain about the problems around you unless you’re willing to spring into action for the Lord. That was the challenge I laid before him. You can either sit there and complain, or you can stand up like the soldier that you were called to be in Christ Jesus, and prepare yourself for battle! You choose!
Don’t sit there forever and wallow in your sorrows. The world will not be any better for it, and it could be a lot worse, as others learn to follow your ways of despair. God’s way is “… forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded.” (Philippians 4:13b-15a) God’s ways are “Go for it and don’t look back!”
Jesus warned us of the danger of looking back, and meditating on what could have been when he said, “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32) You may remember, she was the one who looked back to examine what a terrible shame it was that her whole former livelihood was being destroyed. As the expression goes, she “couldn’t see the forest for the trees”. She was so busy looking back, she couldn’t see what a glorious future she had ahead of her! Too bad, because she lost that future! She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt!
Again, Jesus warned his disciples, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62b) Those were harsh words. They might even sting. But the question is not how hard they sting. The real questions are “Are you fit?” and “What are you doing to press on to obtain that prize that Paul talked about?” These are the real questions which we all should consider carefully. Lest our lives turn into nothing more than a salt lick!
In the end, how much you or I are offended by others who challenge us won’t matter one single bit to our walk before God. What will matter will be if we took all we could and used our lives in the most profitable manner possible, and fulfilled that unique mission that the Lord has called each and every one of us to. How much you were offended, or how much I was offended, must be put aside in light of the larger task. Let the offence deepen your walk with God and draw you closer to his side. Let it not act as a wedge between me and you, or between one brother and another.
We have a work to do. And do it we shall! Press on and achieve that mark to which you were called!