I spoke to a friend recently who had a conversation with someone very respected in her church. He leads the men’s group, he always has his Bible open when she sees him and he church hops from place to place all weekend long just so he can learn more. He radiates the image of a strong young “disciple” or disciplined one. When talking to him, he can recite dozens of memorized verses with a sincerity like no other. Wow! This guy must be a good Christian example. I mean look at him, he’s not a soldier for the Lord, he’s a marine for the Lord. Going above and beyond in every Christian setting. He must be that example Paul asks us to find in our verse today. As the conversation progressed she noticed a pattern. He kept bringing up sin and condemnation, instead of walking in the love and freedom of God’s Word. You might think this is weird, but not everyone believes that the goodness of God leads people to repentance (a change of heart) as it says in Romans 2:4. Suddenly she thought, Gee it would be nice if he knew any of the verses that actually applied.
Application is the key to any Example.
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensemble [example].” Philippians 3:17
Paul, was writing this from prison. Surely he didn’t mean for us to walk our Christian walk so that we are put in prison. Yikes! No. Paul’s application and example was of the new birth and the operation of the nine manifestations. He wants us to apply or behave like a believing believer, speak the Word, walk in love/agape, and let our believing faith mark us; which is God’s power being activated here on the ground in any situation. How do I know this? Because Paul used this same Greek word for “example” when writing to another young person, Timothy.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation [behavior], in charity [agape], in spirit [operation of his gift of Holy Spirit], in faith [believing], in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
The last word in that verse is the clincher for me. Purity. Purity always defines a motive. Motives are deeply personal. They are something God adjusts on a regular basis if you let Him. SO I ask, what are the motives of someone wanting to condemn people, teach on sin and bring up how bad people’s past choices have been? Like I said, they are deeply personal. Logically we must look at the facts. If God throws our sin as far as the east is from the west the millisecond we own up to them and ask Him to forgive us, and God asks us in Philippians 3:13 to put the past behind us and forget it, then who is the one trying to bring it up? I believe the motive of anyone doing this is clear. They are (maybe unknowingly) working for the adversary which can easily be determined by their motives. This motive is a desire to control a large (or small) group of young (immature) believers. Control? Hmmm. So then “control” has become the “application” and by default the example. Is that what kind of example we’re supposed to follow? Is that pressing for the mark of the high calling in Christ for your individual life and walk with God?
You’ve heard me say it over and over.
Love God and be yourself.
Love God and be yourself.
Love God and be yourself.
Okay…now you’ve heard me say it over and over. Lol.
God didn’t go to all the trouble of creating you uniquely different from the billions of other people on the planet, so that you could fall in line with a judgmental control freak like the devil. How does he control you? He condemns you and judges you the minute you step out of line. Oh…wait, isn’t that called peer pressure? Do we ever see peer pressure at church? Wow. How about in this world?
No matter how young you are physically, you can be old and wise spiritually by not falling for this trick. There are ALL kinds of people out there who would love to control you and have you dance to the rhythm they set. God wants you to live with pure motives, teach with pure motives, and love others with pure motives. What is that? Instead of judging, bitterness and condemnation.
“And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Love like God loves. By doing that you will be walking in God’s power and love AND you’ll steer clear of all the bondage and control of the adversary. As you’ve also heard me say, just ask God, if you were me, what would you say? If you were me, what would you do? He will, because He loves you, show you how to be as unique and free as He created you to be.
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty [freedom].”
2 Corinthians 3:17
Wow, talk about a great Christian example!
God bless you today!
This entry was posted in Philippians Series and tagged Apostle Paul, Bible Study, Chistian Author, Christian living, Christian Speaker, Christian Writer, Control Freak, HolySpirit, Inspiration, Leadership Training, Motivation, Renewed Mind, Self-Help, Terri Porta.