Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"It Just Seems"

"It Just Seems"      

    I've had several conversations recently with fellow believers who began a sentence with, "It just seems…".  They went on to express a thought they likely knew to be contrary to the Word of God as appearances and perhaps emotions seemed to belie God's promised Truth.  I fully identified with my brothers and sisters, having said the same thing myself during times of challenge.

    "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).

    I responded, "Well, you said it well - It just seems.  Because the Truth remains the truth regardless of how things may appear or feel."  We must overcome our native fleshly tendency to think in carnal terms rather than the Holy Spirit's working in us to remember and affirm the "Thus saith the Lord" of Scripture.  How we experience life in both general and particular terms rests upon the nature of our response to happenings, whether pleasant and painful.

    "To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6).  

    The default position of our flesh is to be believe that circumstance, condition, and situation determines our experience of "life and peace."  This perspective suggests that if things appear to be as we would like them, or if we feel good about the matters of life, we are alive and tranquil.  In truth, however, the Bible indicts such a notion as being deadly.  Life actually revolves around the condition of our heart rather than the circumstance of happenings.  "Keep thy heart with all diligence.  For out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). "The "righteous judgment" commanded by the Lord Jesus directs our focus to God and truth, and thus, to the blessed promise, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).  Indeed, find the believer who in this moment most experiences God's life and peace, and we may well discover a brother or sister whose conditions and circumstance involve great challenge, difficulty, and turmoil.  As with the Apostle Paul and Silas long ago, the most beautiful song of praise may ascend from wounds, bound feet, and a prison.  "At midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God" (Acts 16:25).

   Paul teaches us that life and peace have nothing to do with circumstance, situation, and condition.  Nothing.  Spiritual mindedness rather governs the vitality and calm of our hearts.  But "it just seems…".  Yes it does, and the "seems" can look and feel like the main truth of many matters in our life.  It is not, however, and we must embrace the challenging, but absolutely vital fact that "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).  Nothing less.  Nothing more.  Nothing else.  This is spiritual mindedness, based on the mind of God as revealed in His Word.  "Seems" or Scripture?  Regarding every matter of life, the choice presents itself, promising life and peace, or warning of death.

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Weekly Memory Verse 
  Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
(Hebrews 2:17)

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