Christians, who are you? If someone were to ask you what your reputation is, what would you say? This will be very difficult to hear and even more difficult to live out, but God is trying to KILL your reputation in this world. I know that may sound wrong, but it’s actually very good for you and me. You see God has a plan for each and every one of us and His plans usually go against what society or “the world” accepts as “normal, acceptable, or rational.”
God wants us to live world-impacting lives for His kingdom and it’s going to cost us. It’s going to cost us our time, our free will, our freedom, our energy, our families, finances, children, comfort and last and most difficult to let go is our reputation. Let me give you a real life example. God lead my wife and me through a very important test/trial period some years ago. It went against everything we thought about our lives physically, and totally went against social norms. It was longer, harder, and more difficult and more challenging to our reputation than we ever thought possible.
We defended ourselves for 3 years, trying to justify what we were going through and at the same time knowing we were in the will of God. Trying to get people to back off essentially. Finally when God had worked on us long and hard and had us pretty bare and vulnerable, He drops this revelation into our lives: that He does not care about earthly reputation. It does not matter whether or not people think you are excelling in this world. In fact, He does not want us to excel in this world at all, He wants us to excel in His Kingdom, which may cost us ALL we have in this world. He cares more about your calling than your comfort.
I am NOT saying that God does not want you to have finances, a job, a car, or a house, but He might take them all away for a while (He did for me) to show you that you shouldn’t measure your worth in Him the same way people of this world do. Christians, we measure our worth in things unseen, incalculable, unimaginable, unquantifiable, they exist only in the Kingdom of God!
I had waited 3 long years for God to restore my reputation. Then I stopped. I don’t want to be widely accepted in this world and be rejected by God. No, I want to reject the world and the reputation that it wants me to seek. I want a Godly reputation, a good name with God, eternal favor, a hidden life of deep intimacy with my Heavenly Father, that no one knows about. I will seek it out, at the cost of all I have physically, mentally, and emotionally, most of all, at the cost of my worldly reputation. Will you? God longs for us to be a radical lover who will stop at nothing to seek His face, and to be with Him. I pray that we will find the strength to look beyond the physical, to desire the spiritual realm, to be one with our Father, in Jesus name, Amen.
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. Philippians 1:27-30 (NLT)
“Write this letter to the angel of the church in sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Revelation 3:1-2 (NLT) (emphasis added)
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of the Father. Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. James 4:4 (NLT)
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]? Or what would a man give as an exchange for his [blessed] life [in the kingdom of God]? Matthew 16:26 (AMP)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2016