“Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?” (ESV)
“And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (KJV)
“And who is the one who will harm you if you become imitators of the good?” (MKJV)
“And who is there to mistreat you if you become zealous for what is good?” (MRV)
“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?” (NASB)
“And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good?” (HCSB)
I like the comparison between versions. Take a look at these words, which are so alive, so vibrant. Zealous! Followers! Prove Zealous! Are Zealous! Imitators! Passionate! These refer to the object of our existence, doing good, as Paul tells us: “For we are His creation–created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 HCSB)
Now let’s look together at some point on passion toward G-d.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:21-22) “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:18)
We simply must set our faces like flint, facing forward, proceeding as we’d intended, as we feel we ought. Like draft horses, we often need blinders to minimize distractions. We proceed in doing the good we intended.
“A divided heart lacks the first element of strength–it is unstable. The men who leave their mark on the world are those who can say: “This one thing I do.” But we need more than concentration, we need consecration. We must not only be united in ourselves, we must be united in God. Let us make the prayer of Psalm 86:11, our own: “O knit my heart unto Thee, that I may fear Thy name.” Yield yourself to God that He may disunite you from the world, and weave you into His own life.” —from a devotional by F.B. Meyers.
“And she said, ‘According to your words, so be it.’ Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.” (Joshua 2:21 ESV)
“The devil’s in the details,” is an expression used occasionally to remind us that failure comes from the simplest of details.
Look at the story of Rahab. She took the spies as representative of G-d, assisted them, and was promised deliverance from the approaching destruction of Jericho. She was told to tie a scarlet cord to the window.
We might wonder at the simple tying of a cord to the window. Did Rahab also wonder? Perhaps. Yet once the spies left, she tied the cord to the window.
Charles H. Spurgeon asks us in his devotional, “Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord’s will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential?”
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” (Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV)
Is it not a wonderful thing to look with our physical eyes at an empty glass and see it full to the rim with cool, life-giving water? Y’shuaJesus gives us perfect water, pure water, life-giving water.
Do we have the confidence to see with our hearts His water in an empty glass? Confidence comes with experience. Experience begins with trusting in what G-d has done. He is willing and able to do again. We learn confidence from believing the Word of G-d; we also remember His gracious works in our lives.
Point Four—Filled with the Spirit
“And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled with the Spirit. . .” (Ephesians 5:18 HCSB)
We can be filled with many things. We can eat a big meal and be filled. But that won’t help us in our righteous works, our good works. We can, like the apostles, fill our boats with fish—-which is to say we can do well at earning a living. We can be filled with rage, as were the scribes and Pharisees (Luke 6:11). Sadly, we can take from the LORD, be filled, but not desire Him. Jesus answered, “I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26 HCSB) And, of course, we can be filled with fear, as were Y’shuaJesus’s disciples while boating through stormy seas.
To be fully consecrated to the Lord, to be fully obedient to the Lord, to be fully confident in the Lord, we must be “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because [we] will be filled. (Matthew 5:6 HCSB) As were the disciples on the day of Pentecost: “Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech. “ (Acts 2:4 HCSB)
Abba, Father, in You is our victory. Let us be passionate in our love and our work today and each day. In the Name of Messiah Y’shuaJesus, Amen.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .