Let’s not try to outsmart God. It is the message of the Cross that saves and God’s chief means of glorifying Himself is through simple, common believers who have been graciously redeemed by Him.
We need to hear and heed the words of Paul:
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
The Lord wants our minds to be pure and useful for the tasks he has planned for us. It is difficult to serve effectively when a person is considering thoughts of revenge, envy, or other wickedness. Paul understood this and challenged the Philippian church to think about things that were honorable, true, lovely, admirable, and worthy of praise. This way, their actions would match their thoughts.
Dr Jack Graham, once heard a story about a missionary who left Liverpool, England to go to Africa. When he arrived, there was an outbreak of disease in the area where he was supposed to go. Thousands had died, and he devoted his time to helping the sick and sharing Christ with those on their deathbeds.
One day, a slave trader came up to him and said, “Sir, if you stay here, you’ll die.” So that missionary nodded his head and said, “Friend, I died before I left Liverpool. That’s why I’m here.”
In Christ, we are dead to sin and alive to God. The moment we trust in Him, our old self dies and we begin to experience new life. It’s an amazing exchange. Yet many Christians still live as if their old self never died. How tragic!
Instead of living in light of sin and shame, remember the freedom and forgiveness that was given to you the moment you believed in Christ. Stop looking back and recognize the blessing of new life you have today. Don’t expect to lose. Expect to live victoriously in Christ!
Our natural instinct is to be afraid of challenging the status quo. We might be laughed at or in some places even killed for different beliefs. But God is telling us, if we want to live, we have to stand up for what is right. God is the source of our protection and blessings. When we fear only Him, we will live and prosper. It’s when we stray that we should be truly afraid.
In what areas of your life is God calling you to stand out from the crowd? Where is it that you need to swim against the stream? Don’t be afraid to do things differently. Stand up for God and He will stand for you.
A society characterized by savage violence and the darkness of depravity and deception will, without a preservative, deteriorate . . . and, ultimately, self-destruct. Because servants of Christ are like salt on society, our influence is essential for society's survival.