This morning as I was clearing out my overnight emails, and preparing to attend my regular Wednesday morning bible study on the pursuit of holiness, I encountered an email which had been passed along to me from a dear brother in Christ. The email only contained a five minute video called “Three and a Half Days“. The video is about how someone would deal with what is going on with the protesters who are protesting under the now popular heading of “Occupy Wall Street”. After taking the time to view it, I was prompted to think about how Christ would have us think about entitlements. This subject will be raised again in my mind during our morning bible study.
In our morning bible study we are reading and discussing through the book “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. This week the discussion was over chapter 13, “Holiness and Our Wills”. One of the points from the chapter we discussed is that as believers in Christ we are to submit to the will of God. In order to do this it is important to understand how our will functions. There are two factors that carry huge weight in our will. These are our mind, and our emotions. The mind reasons, discerns, and makes a judgement. Our emotions bubble up with our personal likes and dislikes. These two factors help to determine our will. To choose or refuse to act in line with God’s will.
These faculties were implanted in man’s soul by God, but were corrupted through man’s fall and sin. Our reason (or understanding) was darkened (Ephesians 4:17-18); our desires were corrupted (Ephesians 2:1-3); and our wills diverted (John 5:39-40). Therefore, it is incumbent upon the believer to renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2), set our affections (desires) on things above (Colossians 3:1-2) and to submit our wills to God (James 4:7). (* citation below)
So as I think through this data I once again think about those protesting as “Occupy Wall Street”. I have listened to some of the interviews of those protesters and in my mind it sounds as though these folks just don’t want to work or repay what they’ve been given or provided. I do not love to go to work every day or pay back the debts that I owe and have committed to repay, but I am commanded by God to work and provide for my family and myself, and to repay my debts. As believers we also might fall into the temptation of feeling entitled, especially if we see others getting away with not working and or not repaying what was provided to them with a promise to repay. The Apostle Paul warns us of idleness in 2 Thessalonians 3:5-15. Verse 10 could sum it all up:
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
This verse brings me back to the video (embedded below) I mentioned in the beginning of this post. It is similar to the solution found in the video. The presenter, Bill Whittle, would like to take three and a half days of every living person each year and put them in an isolated cabin in the woods and leave them there to fend for themselves. If they do not work for their food they will starve for the three and a half days. Having to work for your food, clothing, and other living necessities will create in folks an appreciation for what they have been given and have been blessed with.
So my thought for today is in order to pursue the holiness that God has commanded me to have, I need to conform to His will and not my own. Experience has taught me that when I submit, I find peace and joy. The blessings of those gifts from God should cause me to fall on my knees in utter appreciation for God.
Soli Deo Gloria!!