January 11, 2015

1 Kings 21:28-29 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

Actions matter. This is the perennial argument between “works” and “grace,” which is actually a false argument to begin with. What goes on inside us, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, will be manifested in what we do. Ahab knew he was in the wrong, and he expressed his contrition openly. He couldn’t “make things right,” because Naboth had been killed, but he did what he could. That is repentance, and genuine repentance always has good results. What happened to him after he died is between him and God, but as it is, he left us an object lesson. Current society doesn’t have stylized forms of grief the way they did back then. Today if you went around with your clothes torn and your hair disheveled people might think you were homeless, but they wouldn’t recognize you were in mourning. However, God recognizes why we do things, actually better than we do ourselves, so He is the perfect judge of motives, of our hearts. It is not enough to “put on a show.” We have all seen “drama queens” who acted in order to manipulate people and/or circumstances, rather than from sincerity. That doesn’t cut it with God, which is interesting, because we often see such “drama queens” in church! Particularly in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles, some use “manifestations of the Spirit” as excuses to draw admiration, or at least attention, to themselves. The Holy Spirit does manifest Himself in various ways, and all His gifts are as valid today as they were in the 1st Century, but I’m talking about people who are essentially faking it. That will only bring about correction/discipline from God, not blessings and glory.

Well, I didn’t expect to write on this! Having been a drama major in college I’m a pretty fair actor, but thankfully I was raised by a father who had absolute honesty as one of his foundational principles. I often act more social than I feel, because I know the value of people and consider that it’s worth the effort. However, I don’t ever want to be untrue to my Lord and what He tells me. I think I do have a reputation for honesty, as I should, and I must not do anything to mess with that. As I’ve already said, God knows our true motives better than we do, so I must be open to let Him show me when I am being less than honest, with myself or with anyone else. I must walk in humility before Him, not in stylized forms like Ahab, but in moment- by-moment faithfulness.

Father, Thank You for Your faithfulness. May my life be a reflection of that back to You. Thank You for all You’ve enabled me to do in recent weeks, and for all You will enable me to do in the week ahead. The schedule is certainly packed! Help me rest, relax, and rejoice in You so that my responses to people will reflect Your love and grace, rather than my stress. May I be Your agent of blessing in every way, in true sincerity, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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