1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
HERE’s a great book, that really applies to what I've been going through in my walk with GOD; it was recommended to me through a comment from someone I've never met, who read my earlier post, "THE SHIELD of FAITH: GOD's Vision 4 Me and HIS Standard of Law and Order in the 21st Century," and since then, I've ordered the book, and I've started reading the book: THE JOSEPH CALLING.
I'm only on chapter 3, but I'm already hooked, heart and soul, because I see how my journey with GOD and my journey through life have been similar to that of Joseph's from the book of Genesis and many other "souled-out" men and women, young and old, from the Old Testament and the New Testament, who were chosen and called by GOD to do GREATER things, EXTRAORDINARY things, SUPERNATURAL things, UNCOMMON things, PECULIAR things, LIFE-CHANGING things, IMPOSSIBLE things, all in the name of JESUS, all in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT, for HIS GLORY, HIS HONOR, HIS PURPOSE--GOD's--who often in their walks of faith had more hardship and pain, adversity and struggle, sweat and tears, heartache and betrayal, than butterflies and rainbows, sunshine and starlight, goodness and laughter, love and happiness.
What I've learned in my own walk of faith is this: More than anything else, including race, gender, denomination, nationality, politics/group affiliations, and hometown, I AM child of GOD, and my IDENTITY is found IN CHRIST JESUS; and my allegiance, foremost, is to HIM: JESUS, GOD.
And GOD is all about having UNITY, especially in the BODY of CHRIST, even though we may be DIFFERENT and DIVERSE, and what this means to me, as a "souled-out" believer, is this: I, as a believer, should be all-in--totally committed to GOD first--above any and everything else, and I should always be moving and looking GOD-ward, with my focus on HIM: JESUS, GOD.
And I should always be WALKING, TALKING, THINKING, LIVING, LOVING, and ACTING LIKE JESUS DID, in obedience, humility, service, holiness/righteousness/sanctification, set apart and dedicated completed to HIM: GOD. This means I should be in the world but not of the world, which means, exactly like the world, including the people of the world.
This means I should be wielding words for GOOD and wielding words for GOD; therefore, the words I SAY and the words I WRITE and the words I SHARE should be LIKE THOSE WORDS JESUS WOULD SAY, JESUS WOULD WRITE, and JESUS WOULD SHARE, and they should be said and/or written in love, even in correction, equally encouraging, edifying, gathering and building people up, drawing them closer to JESUS, to GOD, and these words should always ALIGN with the WORD of GOD, the WILL of GOD, the WAY of GOD, the HEART of GOD, the CHARACTER of GOD, the NATURE of GOD, and the SPIRIT of GOD.
If my words, either spoken or written, are negative, full of hate and anger and venom and resentment and mockery and cursing and contrary to any of the above, in regard to GOD, then my words are not pleasing to the LORD, and the SPIRIT of GOD (the HOLY SPIRIT) is not in those words, and my words do not give glory and honor to GOD, nor do they encourage, edify, and build people up, drawing them closer to GOD but actually cause more division and strife, more anger and rebellion, more discord, especially in the BODY of CHRIST, and I, even as a believer, will have to give an account of every idle word and every ill intent, when I eventually stand before JESUS, the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE.
So, for me--one of the chosen, one of the redeemed--this is part of the surrendered life, the crucified life, the Cross-centered life, the CHRIST-centric life, which is explained in Romans 14:8, and, basically, says, we are not our own; we are GOD's--paid for in full by HIS SON, JESUS, and HE LIVES in us, and HE WORKS through us, and we live unto the LORD, and we die unto the LORD, and whether we live or die, we are the LORD's. And while JESUS, the LORD, walked on earth, He "did not involve himself in activities that contradicted his purpose, and His purpose was to do the will of the Father, and he never did anything contrary to that purpose" (31, THE JOSEPH CALLING).
AND THIS WAS JESUS' ASSIGNMENT:
1-Defeat the work of the devil (1 John 3:8);
2-Be the payment for the sins of humanity (John 3:16);
3-Bring glory to His Father and do His will (John 5:30);
4-Bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).
And if we truly are walking like JESUS DID, shouldn't we be doing the will of GOD the FATHER, too? Shouldn't we be bringing glory to GOD? Shouldn't we be bearing witness to the truth? Shouldn't we be more KINGDOM of GOD-minded than kingdom of darkness/kingdom of culture-minded?
After all, GOD is GOOD; GOD is JUST; AND GOD is LOVE; He's not GOD in ONE; HE's GOD in ALL THREE.
So, we're either WALKING LIKE JESUS DID, as "souled-out" believers, being led by the SPIRIT OF GOD, or we're WALKING LIKE JUDAS DID, LIKE BARABBAS DID or LIKE LUCIFER DID, as "SOLD-OUT" rebels or double-crossing agents, being led by the spirit of the anti-christ, which is the spirit of demons.
Even in the Bible, GOD clarifies what He means by sin, which is lawlessness, wickedness, rebellion, witchcraft, and He identifies six things He hates and seven that are an abomination to Him in Proverbs 6:16: a proud look (pride), a lying tongue (lies, deception), hands that shed innocent blood (murder, homicide, infanticide), feet that are swift in running to evil (wickedness, violence, evil), a false witness who speaks lies (liar, deceiver), and one who sows discord among brethren (agitator, gossiper, slanderer, hater, rebel, etc). However, in Micah 6:8 we found out what is good, what GOD requires of us, and what really pleases Him: that we do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with HIM--our GOD.
In the Bible, these questions are often posed, usually by JESUS: How can you love GOD, whom you haven't seen, when you don't love your own brother, whom you have seen? How can you expect GOD to forgive you when you won't forgive others? How can you call yourself a "true" disciple--a real follower of JESUS CHRIST--when you HATE your enemies, REFUSE to forgive them; REFUSE to pray for them, REFUSE to love them, BEYOND HOW THEY TREAT YOU, and REFUSE to do unto them as you would have them do unto you? How can you call yourself a real son or daughter of GOD, a real follower of JESUS CHRIST, when you have no problem cursing others, mocking others, spreading lies, sharing fake news, deceiving others, giving false reports, slandering others, bad-mouthing others, judging others, and promoting hate, division, lawlessness, wickedness, violence, chaos, and rebellion?
Most people are quick to jump on a bandwagon today, giving their opinions, bad-mouthing people they don't like--throwing dirt on people, casting stones at people, mocking people, cursing people, criticizing people, making fun of people, in person, in the community, in the media, on social media, at home, even in the church house--but how many of the so-called believers and followers of JESUS CHRIST--who are supposed to be the "temples" or "houses" of the HOLY SPIRIT--actually get off those bandwagons and rally around the cause of JESUS, of GOD, actually sharing the GOOD NEWS--the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM--and actually doing what JESUS, what GOD, commands--loving HIM--GOD--first with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength; doing the work of an evangelist, the work of a disciple, the work of a child of GOD--by getting on their knees and loving others, too, BEYOND HOW THEY LOVE and TREAT THEM, enough to FORGIVE them, for any real or imagined offense; to INTERCEDE for them, especially the people they don't like, FASTING SINCERELY and PRAYING FERVENTLY and SEEKING GOD's PRESENCE, GUIDANCE, SPIRIT, WORD and INTERVENTION in the hearts of the people and the affairs of our nations?
Isn't this really what makes us different, peculiar, righteous, holy, and set apart, that we, as believers, as followers, and disciples, walk, talk, think, act, pray, love, and forgive, LIKE JESUS DID?
Didn't JESUS command us to love others and forgive them, to do unto them what we would want done unto us? Isn't justice and righteousness the foundation of GOD's throne? Didn't GOD say HE would fight our battles, that vengeance is HIS, and that HE--GOD--would be every believer's PROTECTOR and every child of GOD's AVENGER?
Didn't JESUS say, especially to the religious leaders and so-called chosen ones in that day, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?" He also said, a tree is known by the fruit it bears, whether it be good or bad, and didn't JESUS also say out of the heart, the mouth speaks? And we must all remember, GOD searches and KNOWS what's really in our hearts, and GOD knows those who are REALLY HIS, whether they be HIS SHEEP or the devil's goats.
Finally, the book, THE JOSEPH CALLING, poses this question: WHAT IS YOUR GOD-SIZED ASSIGNMENT? Furthermore, according to the summary,
"God has an assignment for you--a God-sized destiny for you to fulfill," and THE JOSEPH CALLING "presents six unique stages that people pass through to fulfill their destiny. Such was the case for Joseph in the Bible--he was a dreamer with a calling. After being the favored son, his brothers betrayed him, which led to a thirteen-year journey of hardship, humble circumstances, accusations, and pain. But God used Joseph's adversities to fulfill a larger story--to be a spiritual and physical provider for others. "Josephs" today are men and women, old and young, who are set apart by God for his divine purposes.
God has a plan for you at every stage of life, and He wants you to know his assignment for you--and only you--so you can live an intentional and purpose-filled life."