20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
This idea is found in earlier chapters of Proverbs, and I think this is repeated because of its importance. For a Christian, the commandments we keep are those given to us by our Lord, Jesus. Everything He teaches can be summarized as love towards God, our Christian brethren, and fellow man in general.
If we have love towards God the Father, then we will love the Son also.
If we have love towards the Son, Jesus, then we will honor Him. We will not take His blood and mercy for granted as a loophole for sinful living without repentance. We will learn His teachings, apply His ways to our life, and grow in service to Him. In so doing, we also grow in freedom from sin as the Kingdom comes to our heart—a Kingdom that Jesus rules as King.
If we apply the teachings of Jesus to our life, we will find that our service to Him entails service to others including those of the faith and those without the faith. This requires knowledge of what it means to love your neighbor and love your enemy—knowledge that we cannot properly discern without divine instruction, faith, and strength to do that which feels impossible.
We need the ways of Jesus to lead us. Though we all go through periods of “sleep” as written of earlier, we who hear the calling of our Lord will awaken more fully to the Christian way and Jesus will talk with us in Spirit through scripture, prayer, our brethren, and life experience.
Jesus has a lot to say if we will listen. His Spirit guides us and strengthens us if we will receive Him, and over time we find the ability to walk more worthy of the calling we have been called to as we grow in love towards God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and love towards our fellow man.
There are not words that can contain the depths of this knowledge. We must get out there and live it, allowing Jesus to instruct our lives so that we can learn what love means. It helps to hear the instruction of others, but there is no instructor like life. We were given this life for a reason: so that we would grow into the sons of God through faith in Jesus.
Every Christian has some form of sin that they struggle with, and we all go through times of doubt. We go through different seasons in our Christian walk. Sometimes we feel strong in the Spirit and close to the Lord and other times we feel overly consumed by this world.
However, a Christian is not defeated. A Christian wars against sin. We are not a slave to it. A Christian fights for the faith. We do not deny Jesus to the point of perdition.
Everything we need is graciously given to us. Jesus has prepared the way ahead of time, and His faithfulness does not waiver. His strength is not limited. His mercy abounds to those who trust in Him.
There are misleading teachings within Christianity, just as there are misleading teachings in the world generally. Has not God ordained this?
If a person wants to live sinfully and use the blood of Jesus to excuse themselves without striving to overcome sin, they can find teachings and scripture that support them.
If a person thinks the measure of God’s favor is determined by wealth and popularity, they can find teachings and scripture that support them.
If a person thinks that a Christian should behave harshly towards sinners within the faith and without the faith, they can find teachings and scripture to support them.
If a person thinks they can approach Christian life and ministry through legalism that fuels hypocrisy and all manner of sin against our brethren such as slander, accusation, strife, division, they can find teachings and scripture to support them.
If a person thinks it is right to glorify high Christian offices and exalt men and women in these positions, they can find teachings and scripture to support them.
The ways in which the word of God is abused and used to fulfill the whims of man is vast, and there are always going to be preachers, teachers, and prophets so-called (usually for hire) who will give you everything you want to hear.
The way we use the Word of God reveals what is within our heart—and the Word of God will be the undoing of many. His word divides soul and spirit, bringing death to those who would harm the servants of Jesus.
We can all learn to use the Word of God more honestly and effectively. We can all learn to apply His word to our life more fully. We can all be filled with the Spirit so that His Word comes to our lips when necessary—and if necessary, destroys our enemies.
This includes enemies who abuse His word first and foremost as a means by which they justify hate for God the Father, hate for God the Son, hate for Christians, and hate for unbelievers.
I do not know any Christian who has not struggled with these things to some degree. Struggle is not the same as wanton disregard. God knows our hearts, and His Word will try the hearts of every person. If our hearts are sincere towards Jesus, then there is mercy. If our Christianity is in word only or through shows of piety, then God will deal with that also.
Writing about such things is tricky. I know I was once a mislead Christian, and I needed to learn from someone else so that I could find my way out of the confusion of establishment, mainstream Christianity. I also know that establishment, mainstream Christianity will come under judgment (or at least chastisement) as a whole due to its abuse of God’s Word—including both abuse of scripture and abuse of the blood of Jesus who is the Word.
However, I also know that Jesus deals with individuals, and individuals are complex. There are many within establishment, mainstream Christianity who are sincere and Jesus will pardon them of much sin and misunderstanding. I never want a Christian to doubt their faith. Even so, we can all consider our Christian life more fully.
I also know that there are many Christians outside of establishment, mainstream Christianity who feel outcast, confused, and weak in the faith. My heart goes out to them first and foremost. There are many who do not have the support they need to grow in the faith because they see the problems within church and cannot find a place of acceptance.
Those who think they know it all already are more than welcome to go their own way, and I pray the mercy of Jesus for you. However, these “little ones” need to have the stumbling blocks and millstones removed from them. These have my heart, and for their sake I will say what needs to be said even if no one else listens.
I simply do not care anymore what other people think. By grace alone I trust in Jesus alone, and I know He is for the cast out and oppressed within the realm of establishment, mainstream Christianity that hates God, hates the ways of Jesus, and thereby hates the “little ones.” He will avenge them, and I do not want to be on the receiving end.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones (Luke 17:1-2).
The beast that rises up out of the sea will come, and He will devour. This is also God’s will. He will cast water as a flood out of His mouth. This is also God’s will. God will make a place of refuge for those who are faithful to the commandments of God (love towards God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and love towards Christian brethren as well as unbelievers). God will make a place of refuge for those who are faithful to the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This refuge might mean peace despite suffering and death, but the suffering and death of a faithful Christian is blessing and life eternal.