Struggling for the world, amidst heavenly race – Part 3
(1 John 2:15-17)
There is no way we can effectively win the race to eternity, if we cannot overlook certain wrongs people have done to us, or better still, when we want to win every argument, then our hearts may be tilting more into earthly righteousness, which will not count for us in the kingdom of God.
In addition, if we react to everything people say about us, be it negatively or positively, we may eventually realise that distractions have set in, and if care is not taken, it may be too late before we discover that we have totally lost the ticket to eternity. The one that is even worse is for us to have around us those that can be referred to as “unemployed advisers,” who will always come to tell us about those who love us; those who do not like us and those who talk ill about us. It is in this process that many of us eventually surround ourselves with sycophants. Not only that, we would also have succeeded in directing our thoughts toward imaginary enemies, leading to the subtle abandonment of our spiritual goal.
Let us look at the case of John, who reported to Jesus Christ that the disciples saw someone, who was using His name to cast out demons, informing the Saviour that they forbade him. But Jesus was not going to toe the line of John, as He said that those not against them, would be for them. It was reported in Luke 9:49-50 thus: “(49)And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followeth not with us. (50)And Jesus said unto him, forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”
This was to also let John and other disciples know that their focus should be on the assignments given to them, and not to be derailed or lose focus of their Master’s direction. Many among us lose focus of the heavenly race for things we ought not to even bother about. We listen to side talks; we give more time for those that report others to us, yet if we take time to do critical analysis of the backbiting, it will result in value depletion to our eternal home. Due to this do-not-let-it-go attitude, our relationship with others will no longer be spiritually inclined, but carnally and earthly influenced. We will still believe we are on the right path, but the world would have imparted so much in us that it stops our eyes from seeing that the eternity light has already dimmed.
This was why the biblical King Saul could not reason appropriately that the songs of the Hebrew women, ascribing greater victories to David than himself would only add to his failing in God’s presence, by being envious of the young man, who had nothing to do with the divisive song in the first place. This was recorded in 1 Samuel 18:6-9 thus:“(6)And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. (7)And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. (8)And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displayed him; and he said, they have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? (9)And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.”
Despite the obvious that it was Saul’s disobedience that caused him the kingdom, his negative attitude towards the assertion of Jewish women made him think and act alongside the way of the world. He became envious and brought out the wickedness in him. He started planning evil against an innocent man, and exhibited uncontrollable anger. He became murderous in his actions, and lost every opportunity of showing remorse and asking God for forgiveness.
So, in his pursuit of eternal race, he struggled with the world and got entrapped in it. This made him to lose his soul, and he could not take with him all the beauty of office, but died like any other common man. Vanity upon vanity, all is vanity. May we never be derailed from the heavenly race in Jesus name. Remain permanently under God’s banner!
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