"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)
Saturday, May 10, 2014
"Agree with your adversary quickly..." (Matthew 5:25)
When Satan accuses the children of God, it is always their human nature that he targets. Whether we agree with the accusation or not, we can be assured that we are either guilty or quite capable of being so. Because he knows the Holiness of God and the frailty of humanity, he will arrest the lawbreakers and try the self righteous where they are most vulnerable. He desires to accuse and destroy us before the throne of God. (Job 1:6-12)
"Agree with your adversary quickly..." reveals the necessity for us to confess our weaknesses to God and one another because the devil is not incorrect in his assessment. His ploy is to get us to defend ourselves, to place our righteousness in the flesh. But if we agree with him, we take away his ability to cause us guilt. This is when we take our sins to the cross, that we may be "covered" by the blood of Jesus, which redeems us from all condemnation.
If, though, we are falsely accused or betrayed, we are then called to bear our own cross, refusing to defend or vindicate ourselves of what can only bring shame to the flesh alone. So, whether guilty or not, it is when we deny ourselves that we know the fullness of, "There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.". (Romans 8:1)
Now the obvious difficulty is determining whether or not we have been rightly accused. When it comes to right or wrong among ourselves as humans (apart from intimacy with the Holy Spirit), everything is relative, based upon each individual's interpretation. One's right can be another's wrong. Sometimes it simply depends on what would work best for us at the time. This is why the law of nations varies so drastically. But the perfect law established by God does not consider personal interests. It is sacrificial, revealing a love toward others that God had shown us "while we were yet sinners".
So it is by the ambiguity of right and wrong that Satan keeps us tripped up. If we will seek the Kingdom first, then love becomes our wisdom. Rationalizing right and wrong and becoming indignant with our 'neighbors', will only sink us deeper into the clutches of the enemy. And we will be taken before the Judge to be handed over for the destruction of the flesh. (1 Corinthians 5:5) Therefore, let us agree quickly.
"You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:21-26 ESV)