There is objective truth, and it can be known. There is right and wrong, and good and evil—and it’s not determined by governments or a majority vote—it’s established by the Creator of All Things. He is the standard of holiness and righteousness, and He does not waver. As constant change washes over us, isn’t that good to know?
The Word of God gives us the opportunity to know God’s Truth, which is often not intuitive and goes counter to our nature. It takes effort and intentionality to align ourselves with it, and that’s why it’s helpful to establish some “givens.” Similar to using a compass to orient ourselves to true north, these “givens” are facts that can help us follow God’s Truth.
The first “given” is life is more difficult than we would prefer. If you don’t know that, you’ll think the world has been unjust to you, and you have suffered wrongly. But the reality of our journey is that life is difficult for each of us, and we gain strength from working through those challenges.
The second “given” is ungodliness tends to be our default position. Romans 7:21-23 says, “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”
Have you noticed that little tug-of-war on the inside of you, too? You can recognize it because it usually introduces its opinion with, “I think,” “I feel,” or “I want.” We need the courage to talk to the Lord and say, “Lord, I realize I am hardwired to walk away from You.” God is not surprised by that fact. He didn’t send Jesus because we were basically good, and we just needed a little bit of encouragement to get across the finish line. He sent Jesus because we had no hope. He said, “I’ll put on Him the punishment you deserve, so you can have the blessing of His perfect obedience—if you’ll just humble yourself and admit you have the need.”
The third “given” is help is available. You are not alone. I am not alone. God will help us! Romans 8:26-27 says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Wherever you have a weakness, there’s help available if you will pray and ask for it! We can’t afford to live apart from that fact any longer. The nature of the conflict around us has become so intense, we need the help of the Spirit of God to renew our strength.
Now, in those “givens” are some choices we need to make:
We choose to overcome evil. Evil can sideline you and cause your story to be frozen at a point in time. Being overcome by evil can come from heartbreak, broken family systems, disappointments, and events you didn’t expect. We have to decide we will be overcomers, and we will forgive, learn, grow, repent, and humble ourselves. We will accept the assignment God has given to us. We will lay down our dreams and offer ourselves as living sacrifices. We will choose to become servants. We will trust God for outcomes we can’t see from where we stand today.
We choose to be obedient, every day. Saying “yes” to the Lord is birthed out of a desire to be obedient to him. That means honoring God in the little, everyday decisions. It also means recognizing there will be critical points in your life where a unique obedience will be asked of you. When I’ve come to those junctions, there’s typically been a far greater chorus on the other pathway saying, “This would be the easier way to go.” The choice of obedience is usually the more narrow pathway, and oftentimes the benefits are not immediate and don’t seem to be as apparent. That’s why it takes faith.
We intend to learn and grow in our faith. Faith is not static. Faith is not recitation of your God-story from years ago. We’re either growing and seeking, or we’re shrinking and walking backward. Most significant growth takes place over time, in barely noticeable increments. When you quietly make choices to follow the Lord, day after day, and week after week, there will be a breakthrough. You’ll look back and see the many ways the Lord has been shaping you, with each small choice you made to honor Him.
The Spirit of God is building a Church with a new kind of heart—a more understanding, courageous, and obedient heart. Let’s decide to be a part of that. Let’s choose the narrow path. Let’s take up our crosses and walk into the harvest fields each day and say, “Lord, what’s my assignment?” Let’s make a commitment to a life of faith, learning, and following God’s Truth—then let’s watch what God will do!
Onward in Him,
Pastor Allen Jackson