Author: Dr. Marc A. Arellanes
When faced with terrifying and equally crucial decisions, there have been many times in my life when running seemed so much easier. I dare to believe that it is too often the very path most, like myself, have taken.
“If the spirit of the ruler riseth up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offenses.” (Eccl. ch.10 v.4)
We are not naive, none lacking the understanding of what the Christian life is entailed by. It is about overcoming obstacles, rising above opposition, and definitely never allowing anything to strip us from the righteousness we have in God. We walk with confidence. Each stumbling block made into a stepping stone; heightening our discernment. Yet I still marvel at our continued defiance to this very principle:
IF WE BAIL OUT ON OUR CALLING – WE WILL SEE GREAT OFFENSES.
The world is equipped by every disillusion that nurtures the destruction of the destiny we are called to fulfill. A very simple tactic taken to accomplish this is a false mind-set that causes less involvement in ministry.This has proven to be spiritual suicide. We must aggressively move forward. Staying in one place, not moving forward toward our destiny is regressive to our purpose. There is no need to list the excuses we make in order to justify the decision of becoming less involved. Excuses are tailored to fit the person wearing them. Thus, taking a short break can be equivalent to bailing out on our calling.
Our mind is the determining factor of the results we see in our lives. Paul understood this. He writes to the church of Philippi and constructs for us a bridge or projection of the very characteristics we must exhibit in order to achieve the mindset necessary. We are given careful instruction of our relationship with others and the like-mindedness with our co-laborers in the church. Then in the fifth verse of chapter four (Phil ch.4 v.5) we are given a higher standard to uphold. To think like Christ. In this mindset He (Christ) emptied himself, and by doing so, became a man in order to do the will of His Father. In this mindset he humbled himself stood obedient to what He had sought out to do.
There are times when doing all we are to do can become overwhelming. I can remember when I was faced with the biggest and most terrifying trial of my life. Not a person on earth could have told you what I was feeling and how I was handling all that was transpiring. Not even the very closest to me. I continued on in this way; not letting anyone know how I was aching inside with fear. I listened to everyone tell me that it would “all be okay.” That “God had it under control.” That I just needed to “keep trusting God.” But those words didn’t calm the storm I felt inside. It seemed like the more I continued to be obedient, the more I continued to teach, the more I continued to be and example, the more that I continued to be faithful to God, the worse it became. I sat alone. I sat afraid. I sat broken. I cried out to God and I remember telling Him “I have emotions too. I hurt too. I am hurting and Afraid God!” I cried and sat and a song that my sister would sing came to mind.
“When I needed love. When I needed peace. When I needed someone to care. Lord I found you there..Lord you made me laugh even when I felt like crying. Lord you made me sing even when my heart was aching. Lord you let me hide in you when the sky is raging. I know the SON always shines after the rain…” (The Kry)
God began to speak to me. He reminded that it was not easy even for Jesus to embrace every area in fulfilling what He was sent to do. (Matt ch.26 v.38, 39) We can hear the agony and feel the distress of Jesus when He cries out.
“…if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:…”
Our emotions possess the ability to trigger our thoughts. But our thoughts hold the power to control our emotions. It is the mindset that will determine the outcome. Jesus perceived the situation to be a fruitful outcome. He did not waiver. He did not abandon.
As I sat there, I began to understand the importance of perceiving the outcome of yielding vs. abandoning my post. Paul understood this mindset. In the brute of persecution he encourages the body of Christ. There were even some that while he was in prison they used the opportunity to do more than Paul had done. They were using Paul’s misfortune to benefit themselves. Paul was persecuted for doing what he was called to do. Every part of his ministry guaranteed persecution. Paul could have easily abandoned his calling. It would have been easy to do so. He had political ties prior to his ministry. He could have abandoned his post. It would have all been over. He could have been released. No more persecution. After all, he had done so much already. Yet he did not waiver.
To escape from our post could destroy the very platform for which God was going to bring out a blessing. The very design God already willed to accomplish in our life can be demolished by one self-willed decision. Our situations are the stage for God to work out His plan and will for our lives. Acting Impulsively is not logical to Spiritual-soundness. We become moved in the moment and remain crippled eternally.
So what is the mindset that Christ had? It was in His mindset that He emptied Himself. It was also the very same mindset, that in every adverse situation, He remained all-true to His Father’s will. His mindset is found in the most common verse known to Christians. John ch.3 v.16 “For God so LOVED the world.” It was His love that motivated Him to empty Himself in order that we might be saved. Romans ch.13 v.8-10, tells us that LOVE fulfills all of God’s requirements (NLT paraphrased)
We cannot escape or abandon our calling. God has given us the gifts to function and the Armor of Light to conquer. We must always understand and keep the mindset of Christ which is Love. Love will achieve His will.
We cannot abandon our post.
We cannot waiver lest we see great offenses.
About the Author
Dr. Marc A. Arellanes is a seasoned counselor who specializes in the area of Biblical Counseling. He holds a Master of Divinity in Biblical Counseling and Doctorate of Theology.
Early in his career he found himself working in the secular field counseling court adjudicated youth suffering from drug-addiction. He then went on to develop and coordinate a residential drug treatment program for youth and adults in his local church.
Dr. Arellanes most recent endeavour was the founding of a veterans treatment center, Operation Restore and Recover. The program was designed to treat the men and women of our military who suffer from co-occuring disorders. The program specializes in Addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.
Despite his love for counseling, his true passion is in teaching and preaching the uncompromised truth and power of God’s Word.
“The Word of God is the only source of therapy that can heal the mind and soul of an individual.” -Dr. M. Arellanes-