Have you ever questioned your faith, or your understanding of God’s will for your life? What I mean is; have you ever thought that your understanding might be lacking, limited, or even too extreme? Well, for a brief nano second, I (Minister Rodney) have questioned myself and my level of understanding. The worst thing about my doubts was that they were the result of the odd looks, the indignant responses, and flat-out rejection that I received when I shared God’s Word. I’d often think; what if someone knows something that I don’t know? Or what if someone with more experience, and a fancy title disagrees with my message? Then God made it clear to me that it wasn’t my message at all. The mission was to share His message, and if anyone opposed me, they opposed Him. Talk about taking the load off of one’s shoulders! What a revelation; I am but a messenger, who has been given the responsibility, and great honor to share God’s truth to those who are caught in Satan’s lies. Imagine, I almost gave sinful man the power to make me doubt the truth of God. It is only through the guidance and confirmation of the Holy Spirit that we can resist the temptation to doubt God. Remember the whole forbidden fruit fiasco (See Genesis 3:1-4). That being said, I count it all joy when I am met with disdain because of the message that I have been commissioned to speak (James 1:2). I cannot and will not hold back, or water down the truth of the Gospel for if I withhold the fullness of God’s message I’d be guilty of denying the hearer the opportunity to really know God. I am a servant. A servant of God and a servant doesn’t decide who or what to serve; they simply follow orders. 2 Corinthians 4:13 says”we believe, therefore we speak” and Jeremiah 20:9 says “But if I say, “I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot”. I am also reminded of how Ezekiel was tasked to speak God’s Word despite opposition and danger (Ezekiel 2:3-5). 2 Timothy 3:12 says “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived”. The bottom line is that it an honor to be considered worthy of sharing in the mistreatment and suffering that comes because of steadfast, unwavering commitment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do realize that there is a lot of confusion and division due to the many varying interpretations of God’s Word. I also know that the truth will often challenge the foundation of all that we think or know. Heed these words for the wise; if your faith walk in this dark world is easy, and you are not experiencing painful challenges and opposition because of your faith, you might very well be a victim of deception. Remember, Satan’s sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy your hope for eternal life and deception is his weapon of choice. Acts 14:22 says “”We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” and that is a matter of fact. Our flesh hates anything that causes it pain or denies it of Worldly pleasures. That is why when our flesh is confronted with God’s truth, which often causes pain, our natural inclination is to reject it. The truth of the Gospel is definitely strong medicine, but sin is a deadly condition that can only be cured (not treated) by the truth. Though it may not always taste good to our flesh, our soul receives it like honey from the honeycomb.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, and yours alone. I, despite all of my detractors, must continue to share the unmitigated truth to all, knowing that pleasing God far outweighs being popular in a World that is destined for His wrath. That is why I go to great pains to ensure that everything that I speak is confirmed by the gospel of Christ; of which I am in chains.
So, is it extreme to acknowledge and attempt to obey every Word that God speaks to me? Certainly not. Committed, determined, over zealous, or faithful? Definitely; isn’t that what God expects? Matthew 5:10-12 says “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.
I continually thank God for confirming His Word to me and entrusting me with the same Ministry that He gave our Lord and Savior. Think about it; what parent has ever disciplined their child for being “too extreme” when it came to listening to, and doing what they were told to do? Wouldn’t such discipline be reserved for the child that failed to listen, and refused do what they were told?
Remember, the truth only hurts for a little while, but condemnation is forever. Be Extreme!