One of the main things that my wife and I know is that what we are called to do is minister God and His Word to expats here in Panama. Plenty of us expats are here and we are informed of many more coming. Our calling and desire is to reach the saved and unsaved, and some who think they possibly fall somewhere in the middle. We want all to understand what it means to know God, follow him through Christ and the Holy Spirit, and to understand clearly the difference between living by Christ as opposed to mere religion, which Christianity is not.
To understand things like our title, our message to you is not at all the same as surrendering to avoid humiliation, torture, and maybe death. We born-again, Spirit-filled Christians are not to be looking at ourselves and the world the way the common world does. It sees fellow humans as a physical being, which probably is soulish, and may or may not know of the spirit issue. If we look at the world the way its Creator-Sustainer does, we will realize that we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. That’s the way God teaches in His Word. That makes us quite different.
If we are set on living life our way, it being independent of the plan and desire of the Father, then we will view life and its encounters as a worldly, Godless person. For instance, we think we can handle our challenges our way. This is the soulish, godless viewpoint that truly puts God on the back burners. This is playing games with His sovereignty as Lord, Creator, and Sustainer. We begin to think that if we are truly winners, we have to prove our stamina and resolve. We say we are going to be a winner come heck or high water.
Especially in human relationships, as complex as human nature is, we can confront differences our way and hope everything turns out our way. Has this victory measured up to God’s way? What good has been accomplished in light of the pain, rejection, or suffering to the other party? Have we reduced vital relationships to the analogy of a sporting event? Has God’s essence been side-tracked to the reign of mere ego? Are we measuring victory only in our terms? These difficulties occur in employment, business relationships, family, social organizations, and the list goes on. Should we set our minds and spirits to win regardless of the consequences?
Ever heard of the occasional interchange where biggest enemies become best of friends or allies? This doesn’t come from man’s brain. It demands a type of compromise, or more clearly, a surrender of “My way or the highway.” This hints of the essence of wanting the God-way, the real victory. Ask yourself, “Have I really spent honest time before the Lord to grab hold of His solution even if it means doing it His way instead of mine?” He will set the pace, and the outcome will be true victory. This is the only way to arrive at righteous justification and wholeness.