I’m about to be very general in my views of people, but if you can give me some grace I’ll try to explain my reasoning. The more that I understand people, the Word and specifically the Book of Revelation (which I’m currently studying) I have seen a classification of two types of people: those who repent, and those who blame.
This first group, those who repent and bow the knee, surrendering their whole life to the Lamb, receive protection and are given the gift of Life. The way of the cross is certainly not the one that is the most enjoyable and relaxing, but the gate is narrow and the way is hard. There are no promises about an easy life, only a lighter yoke – there is still a yoke. But the benefit of the sweet fellowship with the Lord is so much greater after bending the knee. A song lyric keeps coming to mind, probably because of yesterday’s ball game where they played it, ‘Hurt so good!’ But it’s true, it’s painful and humbling, but so rewarding. Jesus is your prize. Maybe it sounds cheesy to say that, but those who have experienced this, know there’s nothing cheesy about it.
Towards the end of Revelation the plagues start coming in strong, the beast is ruling and people are worshiping him and blaming God for all their misfortune. At least three times John writes, ‘and they did not repent’ or ‘and they blamed God’. This group is a vision of people who are so stubborn in their ways and so unwilling to allow the Lord to break them that they continue to bring harm on themselves. Who does it hurt most when you repent? Of course it’s you! It’s not easy, it isn’t enjoyable to say ‘I’m wrong’ (trust me, of all people I know this is true), but the repercussions of not laying your life and surrendering every part is not worth the temporary burst to your pride. But instead this group believes so fully that they are in the right, that they can’t even see the goodness of the Lord any more.
I would even go so far to say that believers can fall into this category, they love the Lord dearly and spend their lives living a life trying to please the Lord, but areas of their life they do not surrender. The Word becomes a tool in their manipulative hands and they begin to lean on these lies they believe to be true. When the foundation is shaken they don’t understand and blame God for the troubles in which they find themselves.
The point of this blog is to challenge everyone to look at themselves and see if there is a place where you might not be surrendering. We must remember, ‘All fall short of the glory of God’. No one is sin-proof. Every single person is susceptible to any sin, given the right situation. I know that I’ve fallen into both sides of the equation at different times. No one is the judge of another, and we are all called to be like ‘iron sharpening iron’, so that when you see a brother or sister in sin, it is your responsibility to address him/her and follow the pattern marked out in Matt. 18. At any point in time we are all able to move from one group to the other. As a body, let’s move to the first, continually bowing and surrendering every aspect of our lives.