Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We Must Occupy

We Must Occupy

By Craig M. Szwed 

I recently heard a sermon about the life of Joseph and all the troubles that he faced, from his youth until he became general manager, as it were, over the land of Egypt. Those events are recorded in the Bible (Genesis).

Several fascinating things about Joseph's recorded life are that he always kept moving forward and doing right, in spite of adversity and accusations against him, he was always busy doing the best he could despite circumstances,
and he was not one to pick fights and get scrappy, even though great evils were thrown at him, including things that temporarily set back his worldly progress and marred his reputation. Joseph's strength was that he patiently kept his eyes on God and the promises that God made to him. He accepted God's promises and appropriated them for himself, then kept going by occupying himself and the circumstances around him with righteous works of which God approved. Joseph did so because he knew God by faith.

It is one thing for us to say that we are political or religious, or to think that we are, but it is quite another to be actively and directly involved in the work that our conservative political candidates or Jesus Christ would have us to do. How can we claim to think or say that we know what we are supposed to be doing, if we do not read our Bible, talk with God in Christ, talk with our candidates, or put into practice sound conservative or biblical principles as they have been laid out for us? How can we say that we desire to be politically free when we will not read our Constitution, or put that into practice, including the citizens' responsibilities that are stated and implied therein? Bible or Constitution, God or our favorite conservative candidate, it makes no difference what we claim to believe, if WE do not occupy ourselves, our space, our beliefs, and our responsibilities. We must be filled with the purpose that we claim. We must fill our space and lives with those things that we profess to believe, for living things, people, and ideas do not remain dormant throughout their existence, but in their various stages, they must, by nature, seek, feed, grow, and multiply.

Jesus clearly taught His followers that we need to, "occupy til I come", which means to be doing the work that He set out for us to do. Christ expects every believer to be doing what He wants every day. Likewise, those of us who claim to want to see constitutional government restored to our Nation must also be about the constitutional work that needs to be done every day.

The Apostle Paul charged the followers of Christ to press on with the work at hand that they might be found, in truth, to be doers of the will of God: 1 Corinthians 15:58: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." Likewise, our Constitution tells us to assume and shoulder our responsibilities that secure our freedoms and establish our mechanism of proper government. Our Constitution tells us to be about the work that needs to be done in order to preserve our freedoms. Whenever we fail to occupy our lives properly, in either the biblical or constitutional realm, we end up strengthening evil, as we weaken ourselves and everyone else who is intent on doing biblical or constitutional good.

Regarding the present political and spiritual warfare that is going on in our Nation and world today, any souls among us, with godly discernment, can draw their own comparisons and lessons from what God assures us in Psalm 37:7-15: "Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not beBut the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken."

Therefore, IF we believe God and His promises, we will wait on the LORD to effect His destruction of evildoers, and His uplifting of those who have trusted in Him and His Christ. These two actions of God complement each other. May they also encourage us. We must remember that resting in the LORD doesn't mean being idle, for we have already been commanded to do right, to expose and resist evil. Also, being meek means to be one who is not riveted on one's own self, as in humility, as Christ was humble. It does NOT mean to be wimpy or a coward, for He was the bravest of all, challenging religious institutions and hypocrites, and yet laying down His life for us because of his great love for us. Do we have the humility and boldness of Joseph or Jesus? Do we have the courage to press on when the way is agonizing and everyone abandons us? Do we cringe from, or do we shoulder, our responsibilities?

Let us, who believe in and trust God's Christ, occupy our lives, our homes, our towns, states, and Nation, with daily works of godly purpose in His will, to which He tunes our individual lives. Let us, also, remember to be doers of daily works befitting the Constitution that Christ has granted to us. Each day in which we so occupy our lives and our living space is a day occupied by good things we do to resist and displace what miserable works evil might have done in place of the good. We can trust, as Joseph, Paul, and other believers, that God's promises are not vain. And, we can act, as they did, with the assurance that no matter how life looks or feels, our biblical or constitutional deeds that are done the right way for the right reason will not be done in vain.

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