It is an essential part of the Christian life to lose your reputation of the world. It needs to be on your resume’. I can remember in my life it was hard for me to say “no”. That is a problem-if you want to be pleasing and not rejected sometimes not saying no or anything may wind up in serious trouble (like being dominated by others or not standing for injustice) Even Jesus had righteous anger driving the moneychangers out of the temple.
But back to my struggle with saying “no”. I might be up half the night thinking out how my saying “no” would affect others and how I would experience rejection and they would not understand that I felt led by God to say “no” to this particular invitation.
Finally my husband said, “They aren’t thinking of you, just let them know and that’s it.”
I had come to the place of needing to “let the cards fall where they may”. This is a turning point where I was going to get a lot of painful practice until it would come easy for me. We are taught as women in society (in my day) not to rock the boat and to be pleasing and agreeable, not to lead but follow, especially by those who are our elders. Galatians 1:10 says, Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
So what if the elders you are following have it wrong? What then? You then have to take responsibility for your actions, or inactions…We are to be led by hearing God’s voice and obeying. Heb. 10:16 says, “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
Hearing His voice and being led by His Spirit is our compass.
Sometimes by avoiding rocking the boat, the waves build up so high they become a tsunami and break our boat in two! One thing I learned is no one can bond with a false front. There has to be a cause and conviction to stand for or be known for. Who are you and what do you stand for? Let us become strong and courageous in our convictions to the Truth that every false front and mask of protection be removed and we can know that
as we see in a mirror dimly, we will see him face to face one day and must give an account for our actions or inactions. Help us to know He is bringing us to a higher place and marking out the trail before us to be a strong voice on His behalf.
I Cor. 13:11 says, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
We will no longer struggle with saying no or setting boundaries as He has set them internally in us! Thank you, Holy Spirit, that You won’t be satisfied until we are made in God’s image as we go from glory to glory. The only One we are to follow blindly is You and Your leading.
Are you willing to go “outside the camp” and bear the shame and disgrace He bore for us? For here we do not have an enduring city but we are looking for the one to come.
Help us to represent you unashamedly as you did us and bore our sins on the cross. Let us go outside the camp and participate in your sufferings so that we may participate in your glory when it is revealed. May Your kingdom be the one we are concerned with and stand for not our reputations in the world. Free us all of pretense that we may be identified with the Truth! Help us Lord be a rebel for Your kingdom and go against the ways of the world.
Is. 50:7-8 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near.