WHEN THERE’S A RUB
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 cohabit. It is at the end that the dross is isolated and then removed.
Though I am called to mingle with others for a time, and though we often appear to be made of the same substance, it's not always true. Eventually, we will be examined and separated. God will discard the wicked (those who reject Him) like dross. As God's child, I feel the pain of this kind of cohabitation. It can happen in a subtle and not-so-subtle form.
SUBTLE: 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 certain people. They bend the values of the kingdom to their advantage by propagating unconditional love, acceptance, and tolerance. Scriptural concepts, wrongly interpreted, are held over the heads of God's children who are not prayerfully discerning. 'Discerning' is labeled 'judgmental' and then false guilt begins to plague the one who should have listened to the Spirit instead of people.
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 instrument to 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.
NOT SO SUBTLE: 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 if I am willing to walk humbly and prayerfully. Without it, I will not lead well. I succumb to the influence and company of imposters. I will lose my spiritual edge and discernment will suffer.
The wicked of the earth will one day be judged. Those are God's words, not mine. Until then, you and I are called to pray for them but we can not afford to be fooled by them. Godly strength and wisdom must ever be part of our mantle.
Make each one of us wise as serpents even though harmless as doves. Amen