Our Result is Conditional on the Condition

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November 9, 2017 by James Lindquist

The Lord woke me up this last weekend and started talking to me in a dream about an issue that I have experienced a few times in my 74 years of living. I am sure that we have all been privy to the type of person(s) who is always right (at least they think they are), or who go to the mat no matter what. They will defend their position to the death. You know who I’m talking about because you already have someone on your mind right now. 🙂 However, what is our response? Our response (and not reaction) is the important thing. Matthew 5:10 and 11 notwithstanding, I like the way the NLT translates our subject verse for this week.

v3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
v4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. [Philippians 2:3, 4 NLT]

Many of those people who irritate us will even attack us personally and spiritually to justify their position, just like Matthew 5:10 stated in our recent study of the Beatitudes, when Jesus said, ““Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [1]. Then I got to thinking, was the Lord trying to be subtle in how I may irritate others as apposed to how others might irritate me or how they irritate others? Hmmmm. It may be time to take stock and one thing is for sure: it is definitely a time to grow in grace.

As I reflect on the Beatitudes, they all appear to play a role in deciphering my dream and God’s communique with me in the middle of the night. However, I do not think that the Lord was referring to the Beatitudes when He said to me in my dream, “There is no honor in a person defeating a lesser man.” I took this to mean that rather than condescending to others in a higher position above others in a conceited fashion [2], we are to be humble and condescend to a lower position in ourselves and below others in attitude, actions, and speech. We are not an island unto ourselves.

In other words, do not elevate ourselves to a higher position through quarrelling, but let God do the elevating like He did with Christ [3]. We are to have the same attitude as Christ [4] and are to be humble in our speech and demeanor as Paul reminds us in Romans 12:16. Lest we forget that Christ gave up His divinity, took the humble position as a man [5], and died a criminal’s death [6] on the Cross. . .just for us.

However, don’t misunderstand what I am saying. It’s OK to discuss things and always be ready to give a reason for our hope, but the Bible does not call us to argue the truth [7], only to give the truth [8]. As Matthew four confirms, it is useless. Neither Jesus or Satan changed their minds or began following the other. God did not dissuade Satan, so how can we? Better yet, why should we?

Neither does the Bible call us to recompense evil for evil [9] or to quarrel with anyone [10] to the point of sin and or defamation of character. Quite the contrary, when others persecute you or argue your point, remember Second Timothy 2, and the Beatitudes; poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst, who are merciful, are pure in heart, a peacemaker, and those who are persecuted. Also remember that each Beatitude contained a condition and a result. Our result is conditional on the condition.

Also remember a deeper thought, when we condescend to a higher position, consider which one of the two decides, who is the greater? Even deeper yet, who is the greatest? There can only be one answer. . .Jesus Christ. If Christ, who is God, humbled Himself, who am I, not too?
______________________
[1] Verse 11 was similar
[2] Romans 12:16
[3] Philippians 2:9
[4] Philippians 2:5
[5] Philippians 2:6, 7
[6] Philippians 2:8
[7] Matthew 4:1-11
[8] 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6
[9] Romans 12:17
[10] 2 Timothy 2:23, 24

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