Those Who Know–Listen!

“But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.”

During my attendance at band-camp this week, I’ve learned that those who actually have a relationship with God live according to His principles. Those who know about God, live according to their own. When talking to people who actually listen to what is said, we intuitively know which is which.

I don’t understand how some people can proclaim a belief in God and yet–never read a bible and certainly have no clue as to how He wants us to live. How does one proclaim belief in anything and yet deny the principles therein?

I am yet incensed over the practice of “practical jokes” initiated by senior members of a high school band and approved by the band director, and accepted by other parents; especially when it involves the chaperones. But then, I’ve never liked “humiliating other people as an initiation right” or “rite of passage” activity. This is why I have never pledged a sorority, would never encourage anyone to do so, and really hate it when people think making others look foolish is funny!

There must be something intrinsically wrong with people who think humiliating others is a rational activity of a sane person!

But when I tried to get some understanding of this ludicrous practice–no one could give me a rationale for it. The only answer I got was–it’s tradition. What is the point of a tradition that people do not understand it’s origin or what purpose it serves?

These same people–who claimed to know God–did not want to hear what was being said–because in their minds–the seniors had a “right to prank the other band members.”

When truth is spoken–in any arena–those who know and understand respond accordingly–demonstrating who it is they serve. Creating chaos and confusion is the devil’s arena, so—the pranks are a demonstration of his influence,  and it’s not just in having fun at the expense of others.

Okay, so now I know who I’m dealing with and I have to make a decision–whether to protest the practice of practical jokes that could traumatize unsuspecting students, for life, when they are at band-camp or just let it be.

Lord, I want to do what You want me to do, so speak to my heart right now! Let me know what You would have me to say and do so You and You alone get the glory for any changes that need to be made.

Who People Say You Are!

“Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27 NLT)

When Jesus asked this question, it was not randomly asked. He had been paying attention to the interactions between the people and His disciples and knew they had been discussing among themselves, who He was. And notice–He did not ask them “in front of the people” they were ministering to; He asked them while they were walking along by themselves–out of earshot of others.

After a bit of discussion and it was established what most thought, Jesus asked them another question, “Who do you say I am?” Granted those who did not know Him, intimately, might have various thoughts as to who He was, but surely those who walked with Him daily, ate with Him, and prayed with Him, would know this answer. The only record we have is Peter’s response, “You are the Messiah!” And Jesus warned them not to tell anyone else. In another passage of scripture, we are told that, “only the Spirit of God” could reveal His true identity.

The questions that rise in me from reading this passage are–who do people say you are and who do you say you are? Are we who people say we are and why do they say what they say?

Do they say we are someone or something that we’re not because of what they see us do? That was the reason why people thought Jesus was anyone, but who He was. Or have we reached--a place where the Spirit of God–acting in our lives–has caused some to see us for who we are-Children of the Most High God?

We can say a lot of things about who we want to be, but until we realize who we are–in Him–and others can see the evidence–do we really know who we are?

The only way we can establish ourselves as His–is by our conduct towards others, in front of others, and even when others don’t see us–we are still being His.

Now, who do people say you are? Are they right or wrong? Do you say  who you are? Or are you yet becoming? Think about it and ask God to show you and accept what He shows you and be willing to change–if He shows you–you–as you really are!