THE RUB OF COHABITATION
All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. Psalm 119:118
In the process of refining silver, the dross and the pure silver must co-habitate. It is at the end that the dross is isolated and removed. Though I am called to mingle with others for a time, and though we appear to be made of the same substance, eventually the two of us will be separated.
As God’s child, I feel the pain of this kind of cohabitation. It happens in a subtle and not-so-subtle form.
1.) Everyone in church looks the same. They carry similar bibles; even tote the latest bible study workbook. It is hard to tell silver from dross. Only Jesus really knows who is His and who is not. Yet, I can feel the spiritual rub when I pray or attempt to fellowship with someone. The values of the kingdom are bent to their advantage and the smell of idolatry is faintly evident if I am prayerfully discerning. To have to co-exist is uncomfortable and often confusing as I try to fellowship with those who privately reject Christ and use the church as an institution to fool themselves and gain a platform. The kingdom clash is not perfectly clear as pretenses veil the state of their heart. What I have often chalked up to a personality clash can be far more serious. Dross and silver are in the same pot but not yet separated.
2.) Many openly reject Christ and do so without apology. The spiritual clash of kingdoms when spending time with them is evident but at least it’s out in the open. Put two kingdoms in one household and the conflict is painful. The Christ one holds most dear, the Christ who defines one’s very life, is spurned, and then rejected. What’s hardest to remember is that this rejection is far more than something personal. It is spiritual. If Christ is large in me, then someone who pushes Christ away will also push me away. I must run to Jesus for comfort and companionship because we are in the same boat. His reaction to this rejection has always been sinless and if for no other reason than that, I need to be close to Him to pattern my response.
The tone of this devotional is not arrogance. I am sad, even when an enemy rejects Christ. The consequences for them are so severe. The intent of this writing is to call us to be street smart. Jesus calls a spade ~ a spade. He is willing to impart razor sharp discernment to me if I am willing to walk humbly and prayerfully. Without it, I will not lead well. I will follow imposters. I will not pray strategically. I will walk without discernment and lose my spiritual edge.
The wicked of the earth will one day be judged. Those are God’s words, not mine. Until then, I pray for them but I can not afford to be fooled by them. Godly strength and wisdom must ever be part of my mantle.
Whatever I failed to say, I ask you to teach to each person reading this. Make each one of us wise as serpents, even though harmless as doves. In Jesus’ name, Amen