Every human being is created with a body, soul and spirit. Our soul and spirit are the elements that allow us to commune with God. The soul consists of the MIND, WILL and EMOTIONS. The most important element of our soul is our ‘WILL’.
The answer is found in Jesus’ prayer to His Father on the Mount of Olives. What was His prayer? ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless, not My will but Thine be done’ (Luke 22:42). Note, there are two parts to this prayer … the first part is a prayer to remove the trouble, the second part is a prayer of ‘will’ and surrender.
Salvation is a decision of our will in the face of distress; in the face of being aware that the decision will cost me distress.
Why does it have to be in the face of distress?
The Bible declares that if you are going to build a tower you should first count the cost (Luke 14:28). In other words, you can make a decision to follow Christ, but that decision isn’t verified unless, or until, circumstances dictate a cost. This is explained in the parable of the sower and the seed (Mark 4).
You see, the problem is, most so-called Christians don’t make a decision of ‘will’, they make a decision of ‘emotion’. That is, most people decide on the basis of their feelings, and usually those feelings are hurt ones. They decide to follow Christ in the hope He will remove the trouble.
You see, whenever you make judgments against someone for offending you or someone else, you effectively initiate retaliation against that person. Once you take the bait of hurt, and retaliate, you are no longer able to have control of your will. Once you lose control of your will you can’t surrender your will to the Father, and your will comes under the power of Satan. Your prayer will be … ‘remove this trouble from me’. If you hold this judgement for some time your heart will begin to harden and you’ll block your salvation. This is proven in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 (KJV).
Once you choose ‘offense’, you unwittingly choose ‘hate’ and automatically lose your ability to surrender your will to His. Your whole focus will be on removing the trouble by striving to win the competition of who is the best. You see, if you continuously allow your hurt emotions to control your judgement, the truth is, your spirit revolves around the lust for IMAGE, not Christ.
I was observing a group of girls in our fellowship. One of the girls decided she was more special and started recruiting a best-friend. The other girl could sense that she was being used and manipulated so she formed a best-friend relationship with someone else. This polite and silent retaliation stirred up more secret hatred in the heart of the first girl so she went about trying to steal the friend from the second girl.
Hypocrisy is judging someone for doing something wrong, then practicing it yourself
Both girls played their parts with seemingly pure goodness. They’d learnt the art of pretense, perfectly. The truth is, God’s not after ‘good’; He’s after ‘will’. If your will isn’t surrendered to Him, then your ‘good’ is not good.
Mood = reacting to wounded emotions
If you allow an offence to hurt your emotions you won’t have power over your will and, sooner or later, spite will flow out of you.
The truth is, if the first girl tries to build her relationships on the foundation of her hurts, it will fail, and If the second girl builds her relationships on the foundation of retaliation and hate, it will fail, too. No wonder most relationships fail; they’re invariably built on spit and spite.
Spitefulness = trying to injure someone
When I finally challenged the original girl about her spitefulness, she couldn’t see that she had done anything wrong. As far as she was concerned, all she was doing was trying to find a friend and the other girl had given her the cold shoulder.
Until you own your sin and repent of it, you can’t free your will. You can decide to not keep doing it, but it’s all a waste of time because your will can’t perform its will whilst your hurt emotions rule your soul. You have to repent to free your will before you can truly see you are wrong. Contrary to the popular belief that ‘I have to see it before I can own it’, the truth is, you won’t see it until you own it, first.
It’s not fair
If you don’t pray the second half of what Christ prayed, you’ll simply be plotting how to escape your hassles on the ground of justified fairness, or if you do decide to pray it, it will be ineffective whilst ever your hurt emotions rule your soul.
The truth is, if you seek fairness in this world without living for the next, then you are not saved. This world is not fair … Jesus was crucified for doing good, Christians are being persecuted for simply loving Christ, people are being unjustly treated and unjustly suffering all over this planet, plus homosexuals demand equal rights, women who hate male authority demand equal rights, aboriginals who worship the serpent god demand equal rights … they’re all into fairness; Jesus wasn’t. Striving for fairness is an argument from Satan to justify that the cup be removed from me. True fairness is only under the Lordship of the Creator judge, Jesus.
Christians are not called to receive fairness; we’re called to serve and suffer for the name of Christ. The reason so few pray the full prayer is simply because we want the cup removed; we want the right to defend injustices against us; we don’t want to suffer for His name.
The healing of the lame man at the gate ‘Beautiful’
In Acts 4, Peter and John were arrested for performing this miracle. The religious tribunal demanded by what authority they had done this. They weren’t inspired by the miracle; they were offended with envy. Peter, under the power of the Holy Spirit stood his ground and preached Christ crucified.
Why don’t we see miracles in the western world, today?
In the modern Christian church, everyone wants the power of miracles for their own positional image, but to my understanding, God gives the power of His Spirit when you’re facing ‘fire’. Moses didn’t get the power till he faced Pharaoh. Elijah had to face Jezebel. Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego had to face the fiery furnace, for the miracle to be done.
In the same way, Peter and John would have had to weigh up the consequences of healing the lame man. They would have known there would most likely be a reaction against them that would cost them. It’s the cost that confirms where one’s will is placed … under Christ’s, or set doing and seeking what’s best for one’s self.
If you’re here for Christ, people will hate you. If you’re complaining about the hate, then you’re here for image. One has surrendered their will to be hurt by offenses, the other hasn’t. One is saved, the other isn’t.
May God open the eyes of His remnant,
Pastor Clive Douglas