I have been often criticized and rejected because my viewpoint on life is found by many to be too narrow. Christ forewarned all those who would take up their cross and follow Him that this would be the reality. YESHUA forewarned us that the servant is not greater than the master, as we walk in His likeness, we should also expect similar treatment from those in the world. People in their imaginations often try to make Christ out to be this all accepting, well-loved, and popular person, but that feigned image of Christ just does not hold up to scripture. As Christ continued to teach spiritual things, which were alien to many who followed Him, His disciples began to thin out greatly. The multitudes welcomed bread for their stomachs, but not so much the true bread of life.
“66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” (John 6:66 KJV)
For context, Christ was teaching that unless His disciples ate His flesh and drunk His blood, they would have no part with Him. Many who heard this found it unreasonable and offensive, so they stopped following Christ. If they believed that Christ was truly the Savior from GOD, what choice would they have had, even if it were unreasonable to them. We see the patriarch Abraham didn’t turn away from GOD when he was told he had to sacrifice Isaac, and we are safe in assuming this was no less a disturbing thought.
“67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-68 KJV)
Obeying GOD requires faith and trust in Him, not our reasoning. This is where the way gets narrow. Walking after the spirit by faith requires abandon to GOD. This means wholeheartedly believing that our lives are saved through obeying the Word of GOD. Randy Shankle, in his book The Merismos says, “The Faith-Word movement was the cloud of GOD to bring us to the teaching we are receiving now because faith is for the spirit and hope is for the soul.” This is important to understand because GOD is seeking true worshippers, those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. This is a call to ascend above how we feel or what our mind tries to interject. This is what the Apostle Paul was speaking about when he admonished us to bring every thought into subjection and obedience to the Word.
There is a lot of counsel abounding in the church today centered in feelings and emotions instead of the spirit. This is nothing new. Remember Peter, in His emotions, counseled YESHUA to stop talking about laying down His life. Christ rebuked him telling him that he didn’t savor the things that be of GOD but of men. That word savor in Matthew 8:33 comes from a Greek word which means exercise the mind. So, Christ told Peter he wasn’t exercising his mind toward the spiritual things of GOD but rather carnal things after men. The church coming to consensus through reasoning and emotions may make everyone feel good, but it doesn’t deliver their souls or cause them to grow spiritually.
“GOD has come and established a standard, which He will not compromise for anyone because He can’t deny Himself. That would be the doom of all creation. He is the way to life. We must conform to His standards because He alone is Life. In Matthew 7:14, when YESHUA states that narrow is the way and straight is the gate that leads to eternal life, and few there are that find it, it speaks to the point that there is no compromising the mandates of life.
Life does not bend to us; we must bend to life. In order to walk the path of life, we must be willing to lay aside our preferences to stay on the path. Those unwilling to take up the cross will detour and be lost in their own way. By denying our carnal and worldly impulses, we give liberty to the spirit to reign in us and lead us in the way of Life.” (from my book “Unleashing the Gospel of Christ”)
It reminds me of the politicians telling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr that he was demanding to much too fast, integration and equality needed to be slowly and methodically implemented in society so that everyone could adjust. Of course, these white politicians meant White people needed time to adjust because the suffering and marginalized Black people wanted full citizenship immediately. To liberate our soul, we can’t wait until it is comfortable with the ways of the spirit, we need to obey as soon as we hear the Word of GOD. As Dr. King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” If it seems that I speak to often in terms of Black and White, this way or that way, in or out, it is because I serve a GOD that requires us to be Hot or Cold. GOD graciously gives us time to decide but we have to decide one way or the other. YAHWEH loves purity and He will not accept perversions. YAHWEH will have all of our trust, all of our loyalty, and all of our love or He will not have us at all.
Great word regarding The Word my Brother! There is no gray area between God’s word and that of man. We must seek Him at all times with all our heart, mind, spirit and soul!
Les: Amen to that!
Spot on brother!!!