Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin.
(Jeremiah 25:9 (NIV))
If you know anything about history, you know that Nebuchadnezzar was not a man after God’s own heart. In fact, the passage from Jeremiah describes someone who was probably not what we would consider a nice person. He had a past, and he continued to do things that would make most of us alive today recoil in horror. Even with this type of a background, God called Nebuchadnezzar His servant!
To most of us, that goes against everything that we believe a servant of God is supposed to be. We hold fast to the concept that in order to serve the Lord, we must possess characteristics that go hand in hand with the Fruit of the Spirit. We have a tendency to judge those who do not fit into our ideal image of a servant of the Lord. Think about that for a moment. If Nebuchadnezzar had been a different type of person, he would not have been who God needed to carry out His will for the rebellious people of Jerusalem.
Doing the Lord’s Will does not always mean that the person is perfect. Are any of us perfect? If we were, then why did God need to send His only Son to die on the cross for our sins?
Why are we so judgmental? Why do we hold others to a higher standard than we hold ourselves? We overlook our own sins while loudly proclaiming that others are not worthy because of their sins. This, by the very nature of the act, is exactly what we think of when we hear the word hypocrite. We put on a false appearance of virtue when we are just as sinful if not more so. When this happens, we must remember what Jesus told those who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery.
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
(John 8:7b (NIV))
Will we, like those who were there, learn our lesson?
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
(John 8:9 (NIV))
If God calls someone to be His servant, we must not judge based on their past, for we all have a past. I am a good example of this. If everyone judged me and these devotionals based on my past, would you still read them? If you judged your preacher on his past, would you still listen to him? If you judged your spouse on the things that they did before they met you, would you still be together?
We all have a past. Hopefully we have all repented and learned from our past. We desire forgiveness and trust, yet we are not willing to give others what we seek.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
(Matthew 7:15-19 (NIV))
Do you see anyone who is a servant of God for such a time as this? Is there someone that you know who is bearing good fruit according to what God calls good?
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
(Matthew 7:20 (NIV))
We must learn to pray outside our box of self-righteousness!