“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”~2 Peter 3:11
There’s an old saying “don’t shoot the messenger” that applies to a person who is speaking a message that comes from someone else. I have a tendency to direct my displeasure at the individual or group from which the message is delivered from.
We are obviously living in perilous times and I don’t know about you by one phrase in particular has been showing up in my prayers more and more, “Come quickly Lord”! It can be exhausting being bombarded with the way things are going in our world and the natural reaction is to lash out at the people and the groups who are directly responsible.
There is spiritual warfare going on and although people don’t understand what they are standing up for they come against the very nature of God, but it’s the God that is being revealed to us, not them. You see I can get myself all worked up about the injustice that is alive and well in the world today but if my anger is directed at the people I become just as guilty as them. My anger has to be directed at the sin that comes from the person, “hate the sin but love the sinner” mentality.
Now this might mean separating myself from the messenger but if I’m attacking the person my “focus is on the wrong target”. It’s like smacking the Dummy in the face when all along it’s the Puppet master that the thoughts are coming from, just like I used to think before coming to a saving knowledge of Christ. Paul tells us in Ephesians 2 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others”.
I think Peter is writing to help us with our focus, he starts of chapter 3 of his second epistle by telling us “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder)”. The reminder is God is “still in control” and He says “stir up pure minds” which will lead us back to the teaching of the Prophets and Apostles, trusting God with the person delivering the message but certainly showing a displeasure of the message they bring.
Peter reminds us that God did not forget about His promise but in fact is waiting for the scoffers and mockers to come to repentance, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” vs 9, I’m sure glad He waited for me.
So let’s direct or shots at the right target, the true enemy, and maybe begin to pray for the salvation of those that are delivering the sinful blows. Let’s let our life be a testimony. Remember, it’s God who changes the heart not us. I read a billboard in front of a church once that said “God isn’t looking for attorneys, He’ looking for witnesses, Amen!
Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member at America’s Keswick. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.
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Daily Quote: “The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.” ~Rick Warren
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him. ~Psalm 28:7