Rob and I were discussing my post about godly people having different convictions. He agreed that God calls us to unique purposes, but he said he thinks there are things in the Bible that He calls all of us to–holiness, love, devotion to Christ, raising godly families. I do agree, and I told him, “Believe me, I have many strong convictions and I think they are all biblical!” Of course. Don’t we all? But it is not my responsibility to be the Holy Spirit in other people’s lives. When I look back at my life, I see a gradual progression of sanctification which will go on until eternity–I cannot believe some of the things I used to think were okay.
The verses I remind myself of frequently regarding convictions and how I view others are from Philippians 3:12-16, “Not that I have already obtained it (the resurrection from the dead), or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect (mature) have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by the same standard to which we have attained.”
I am comforted knowing that God accepts my obedience in what I have learned He desires, and that He will continue to open my understanding to what holiness is. He does this for all of His children–I can pursue Him with my whole heart and not try to make others agree with my convictions. God will lead each member of the body how He wants to, and in His perfect timing.
If every day we cry out to God for wisdom, and seek Him in His word, we will find that God takes us down a road less traveled; one that doesn’t make sense or look good to our culture. If we only had our Bibles and lived on a deserted island, it is possible that some of our ideas might change. When evaluating activities and beliefs it is important to learn what the histories of those things are, and what fruit they have produced. A phrase I heard recently was “look at the root and the fruit.” Don’t just look at the here and now. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Many things we accept as normal today were considered sinful only a short time ago. Some things we do even in our churches were started by ungodly men, or are based on worldly philosophies.
My purpose here is not to list specific things and tell you what to think about them. My prayer is that of Paul’s, “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. . . . And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent (rather than what works, is accepted, makes sense to us, is easy), and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” Philippians 1:6, 9-11.