Turn the other cheek - for what purpose?

Persecution at any level is allowed by God, so that He can reveal Himself in us.

If spiritual knowledge came from education (Acts 4:13) I would know nothing.  Although the Lord has given good minds to many people, spiritual insight is not produced through human intellect.  It takes Divine illumination and only the Holy Spirit can reveal the riches of the Holy Scriptures and (John 16:13) teach our minds and flood the eyes of our hearts with enlightenment.  Of course, His teaching is obstructed if we are not faithfully feeding our souls on God’s Word, so that He has something to work with.  I have found that it is while I am musing (Psalms 39:3) that the fire burns and fills me with awe and gratitude.  Just think of how often we’ve heard Ezekiel say – the Word of the Lord came to me.  Ezekiel knew many astounding facts about the future of several nations, which he could never have known apart from his obedient attention to the Word of God.  God speaks and immediately it is accomplished history, whether it has happened yet or not.

If you know your Bible at all, you know that God’s will (Romans 12:2) is good acceptable and perfect.  Why are some of us Christians willing to settle for anything less than good, acceptable perfect and Omniscient?  Some Christians seem to care more about what other people think than about what Almighty God says.  How could anyone adjust their lives to such a sinful and fluctuating standard?

(C.S. Lewis) – “To love is to be vulnerable”.  Compassion is often a one-way street because it does not always elicit the expected response.  Hard hearts are strangers to compassion.  But love is not shut down or turned off by even the nastiest of responses.  Love just keeps on being love, keeps on caring, keeps on giving and serving, keeps on meeting needs wherever possible.  Christian compassion (Matthew 15:31-32) can result in other people praising God.

While talking to the Lord a few nights ago, I received further insight regarding judging.  This is how it played out in my mind.  All believers will appear before (2 Corinthians 5:10) the Judgment seat of Christ, but none of us will be judged personally because that was taken care of at the Cross.  What will be judged is our works – what we have done as responsible stewards with everything and every opportunity God has given us.  You can see the separation of persons and deeds.  Now suppose I see a Christian doing something that is wrong according to the Bible (not according to my pet peeves and opinions), I am wrong to judge that person, I don’t know the depth of their spiritual knowledge or the struggles and difficulties of their private lives, but I should pray for them.  But I certainly can and should judge sinful behaviour as being wrong always.  I am not sinning or judging when I agree with God about something which He has declared to be wrong.  We are never to be judges of persons but we are to be fruit inspectors.  It is by their fruits (Matthew 7:20) we’ll know them.  How else would we determine error and stand for righteousness?  We are never to overlook or be silent about sin.  Silence gives consent and can be perceived as agreement with that sin.  We need to learn the difference between sinful judging and Godly discernment.  Fruit inspectors must judge the quality of the fruit.

‘Turn the other cheek’ are words that came (Matthew 5:39 directly from Jesus so we need to heed and obey them.  But what is the significant reason and purpose for this command?  Filling up (Colossians 1:24) that which is behind can be taking the blow myself when insulted or hurt, to prevent Jesus from being hurt.  If I retaliate in kind and hit back, I’m acting just as an unsaved person would do.  What does that say about Jesus?  Do I entertain some foolish notion about standing up for my rights?  What about God`s rights in the lives of those He redeemed at such tremendous cost?  We have been set free from sin to become the slaves of the Son of God and slaves have no rights.  When we sign on as disciples we sign away all our rights to the Divine Control of our Saviour and Lord.  Our ‘my rights’ behaviour tells lies about Jesus and in fact it is denying Him.  Are we willing to turn the other cheek to be humiliated as a floor mat under other people’s feet and see it as an opportunity (Oswald Chambers) to reveal the incredible sweetness of Jesus.

Remember that everything that happens to us must be allowed by God and He will work it into the ‘all-things’ – of – His- purpose (Romans 8:28-29) to make us like Jesus.  Persecution at any level is allowed by God SO THAT He can reveal Himself in us.  That is a glorious reward for turning the other cheek.  We need to be careful in all situations not to cast a dark shadow of SELF over the outliving through us of the Light of the world.  Our greatest privileges can become our greatest dangers if we let the familiar and the customary rob us of our wonder, awe, gratitude and enthusiasm.  Are we astounded that the One Who said (John 5:30) I can of Myself do nothing, is the same One Who (Genesis 1:16) made the stars, of which there are 100 billion trillion at the present time?  Have we forgotten that the wonder of creation exists in everything we see and touch?  Have we heard about the Cross so often that it no longer melts our hearts?  We are in great danger if we have become bored with our glorious, transcendent God, when Living Word of God prayer has deteriorated into monotonous vain repetition.  We cannot enjoy ever-present closeness with the Lord and be passionate about Him if we are dabbling in the carnal allurements of the world.

It is time to wake  up,  We need to recognize our enemies.  They are always messengers from Satan who come in a deceitful guise as friends.

The GOOD can be the enemy of the BEST.

The URGENT is often the enemy of the ESSENTIAL.

ANXIETY is always the enemy of TRUST.

God’s alarm clocks are ringing loudly in every place on the Globe.  If we call ourself Christian, we need to be 24/7 what we have become through the precious shed Blood of Jesus and His Atoning Death.  It’s high time to be REAL.  As part of the Bride of Christ we need to be busy (Revelation 19:7) making ourselves ready for our beloved Bridegroom.

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