Who’s calling the shots?

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We use the phrase ‘call the shots’ about the person in charge, the one with authority. Supposedly it comes from the military, from artillery batteries. The officer who decided where and when to fire the powerful weapons was the said to be ‘calling the shots.’ That person’s authority was unquestioned. So, let me ask you, Christian, to put it the context of your life. Who is calling the shots?  Who determines what you do?  We speak of Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord, rightfully so.  However, is that just rhetoric or is it truth?

Jesus told a story about two sons who were given a directive by their father.  One said, “OK, Dad. I’m on it.” But then, he went off and did what he wanted to do. The other said, “No, that’s not for me.” Later, he reconsidered and did what the father asked of him. He then made the point that it is not words but actions that matter.

Do you sing of your devotion in church, hands raised, eyes closed as if in adoration, only to walk out the door and do your own thing? Do you know what God desires, but choose your own way, justifying your choices as ‘necessary?’ I know how that goes, too! There are too many chapters in my life where I chose what seemed to be expedient over what was right. Those of us who find ourselves afraid of the will of God because of the cost, or because of some imagined consequence, walk a road with many companions.

Abraham, the father of the faithful, in one of the more strange episodes of his life, allowed fear to ‘call the shots,’ and made a foolish choice. His wife was so beautiful that when he moved into the Negev, he became convinced that the king would kill him to take her for his harem! So, Abraham chose to lie and broke faith with his wife and his God. The mercies of the Lord were abundant and He spoke the pagan king in a dream and the story closes with Sarah restored to Abraham, but I can only imagine the damage done to that man’s credibility.

The open secret of obedient devotion is not more rigid self-discipline. It is deeper trust, which rests on intimacy with our Father, which is only possible when we accept His promise of grace and the complete salvation, by faith. We cannot give ourselves wholly to a Father we see as cruel, capricious, or unloving. The big lie of the Enemy of our soul is as old as Eden – “God is not good, He withholds good things from you.” He whispered it to Eve and when she believed it, disobedience followed. Do not focus on your failure, but on His grace. Do not look at the temptation, but on His ever-present help in time of testing. Do not rehearse your desire, but rather confess the abundance that is found in Christ alone.  Ah, yes, friend, these are not easy choices, but they are possible.

I close this thought today with a lengthy passage. As you read the word from the Word, see that the truth always points to Him, that we yield and rest on His ability to save.

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (Romans 8:5-14, NLT)

Tell Him that He calls the shots!  Then, let the peace of Christ rule your heart and mind, trusting the outcomes to Him.

_______________

Good, Good Father  (listen, learn, and worship at this link)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett© 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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