Have you ever experienced those times in your life when you have absolutely made up your mind about something and you will not change it? Not one of those when you’re just being stubborn or digging your heels in, but those profound moments in life when you have reached a point of no return. Those moments when something was so powerful, or transformative or so moving or painful in your life that you made a decision in that moment that would forever change your life going forward? Those moments when – even if the whole world were against you – you know that the decision was so permanent that nothing could ever change your mind. Have you ever had those moments in your life?
“But as for me…” This phrase points to those same pivotal moments in the lives of the people of God in the Bible as well, people who made up their minds and would not be swayed to change their minds about it ever again. The matter was closed. One of those people was Joshua. When he took over the leadership of the nation of Israel after Moses had died, the pressure was turned way up. The Israelites were a fickle and weak-minded people who constantly strayed from the Lord to serve idols and false gods and Joshua was well aware of that- but it did not change who he was. “If it is displeasing to you to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve, if it should be the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites’ land where you are now living. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” he said. (Joshua 24:15)
You must learn how to love another person in the way they receive love, not in the way you want to give it.
The prophet Micah, who was given a difficult message from the Lord about the destruction of the nation of Israel for their betrayal and idolatry, said this: “Woe is me! … The godly has perished from the earth, and no one is upright among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; each hunts his brother with a net. Both hands are upon evil, to do it well… But as for me, I watch for the Lord; I await the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7) There are those times in life when every person must decide who they will follow – Christ, themselves, or other people.
Many may think they’re following Christ, or they want to in their hearts, but they allow themselves to be held back from expressing that love for Him or they get backed into a corner by the opinions of others. Remember, love isn’t love without an expression of that love. If you felt loved when someone hugged you, you’d have a hard time in a relationship with someone who wants to show you love by cooking you a nice dinner. The thing about love is this: You must learn how to love another person in the way they receive love, not in the way you want to give it. Many who say they love the Lord would obey Christ wholeheartedly and would praise Him in the way He has asked for and would forsake everything else to follow Him, but when push comes to shove, they feel the cost is simply to high. Is that true love, in reality? Then, there are those who look around at their lives and at the people they interact with and realize that nothing and no one could ever do for them what Christ has done so they turn away from the the mockers, the rejection, the sideways glances, the gossip and worse and they set their minds on the Lord and in their hearts they make a decision that becomes a point of no return: “But as for me…”
Thought for today
Jesus Christ did the same during His time on earth. He understands what it feels like to be laughed at. He understands what it’s like to be misunderstood. When you feel your love for the Lord well up inside of you and you are so thankful to Him for what He has done – let it out! Sing! Dance! Clap! Shout hallelujah! Will people turn at look? Probably. Will it be out of character for you? Maybe. Will it make people uncomfortable? Will they talk about your behind your back? Most likely, yes. But did they die on the cross for you? Can they perform the miracles you need in your life? Do they hold the words to eternal life? Do they answer your prayers? No!
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would experience all the same things – and He did! But that didn’t change anything. In fact, Jesus had His own “But as for me…” moment as well, where He made a point-of-no-return decision that had a profound affect on His life (and ours!) Here it is from Isaiah 50:6-8, “I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who plucked out my beard; I did not cover my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore, I shall not be disgraced; therefore, I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He who vindicates me is near…”
Praise isn’t about us – it’s about Him! Forget what’s around you. Let everyone else make their own choices for themselves — “But as for me…”