Mindset is a person’s disposition which might be favorable, repudiative, or in consonance with the societal norms and God’s will for a person. We can easily look at the definition of the word as expressed in the Oxford dictionary which says; “it is the established set of attitudes held by someone. By this, it is pertinent to view the definition in terms of the good and the bad or being in the middle of the road. The word of God encourages man to be either cold or hot but definitely not lukewarm to avoid being rejected.
Further looking into what Christ meant, He was talking about the preferences of the contemporary society where party goers preferred their drinks in either hot or cold. Otherwise , such drink was out of tune in the level of acceptance. Where inappropriate drink was presented , it was expectedly spit out, like in Revelation 3 : 16 NJV. It is comparable to situation of Christians who are not in hot pursuit of God’s ideals are difficult to place. Hot or cold had a defined acceptable characteristic then.
King Saul, in II Samuel 15 : 1-28 presented a scenario of disobedience to God. He for reason best known to him refused to completely wipe out the Amalekites. He chose to spare King Agag and brought home livestocks that were supposed to have been destroyed. His rejection was the act of being spewed out and the dynasty taken away from him and family forever.
Life as a Christian or not calls for keeping ones mind in the right perspective with both God and his or her fellow humans. Developing the right mindset involves self-trust, goal-setting, patience, being courageous or having never-say-die attitude, being focused –(No divided attention), being positive and of course, ability to learn new skills or be teachable without stress.
It is an interesting exercise for people to consider why we have to trust in God and what we stand to gain therefrom. There are many definitions for the word trust. It can be defined as absolute reliance in or total dependence on God. It can be understood to mean an unyielding faith in God no matter what. The reason for trusting God is also to mean the advantages that can be derived from such action through “faith” in Jehovah.
It guarantees peace of mind as read in Isaiah 23: 3; “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, because he trusteth in thee.” (KJV 2013) There are similar connotations found in Nahum 1: 7-9 and Psalm 31:19. Goodness and provision of needs are derivable from trusting in God. It is a common sitiatuation that the arm of man may fail at the very time of need. There is also that trusting God has always been an everlasting strength to those who trust in him. Shadrach, Meshack and Abednigo are an enduring sample of those who trust in God even at the chance of being roasted in deadly fire.
However, faith without work is as “Trust” not complimented with “Obedience” which may lead to failure. God’s promise of a child to be his heir got fulfilled after a long waiting up to and including when God asked for Isaac to be sacrificed to HIM. Abraham painfully obeyed and God was delighted in him and blessed him the more.Trust and obedience are mutually exclusive or at least complimentary.
One can actually state that Trust and Obedience are mutually exclusive and are needed for the fulfilment of what we are trusting God for. llSamuel 30: 7-10 can be seen as David in the stage of trusting God ; while verses 11-15 represented David’s waiting in faith as mark of obedience to God’s message to pursue the Amalakites by which he met the abandoned Egyptian servant of an Amalakite’s master and got the right clue as to how to trace the whereabout of David’s enemies llSamuel 30: 16-18 represented.
Fulfilment came as David’s soldiers trounced the reveling Amalakites. If when it was necessary for him to pursue his enemies but failed to obey or take action, it would have been that his trusting God did not yield any positive result. In addition to annihilating his enemies he got back all that were initially lost to the invaders. Not doubting the word of God, one can conclude in the words of Psalm 125:1 that says; “They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
Help of the helpless is always available to those who trust and obey God. HIS arm is strong enough to deliver therefore trust in HIS help.
Help of the helpless is assured at both spiritual and mundane levels but it is predicated on obedience, trust and timeliness in regard to man and God as well as relationship between a person or persons and others. Here is a moral lesson to be learnt from this old school exhortation about a boy whose life was saved as a result of his absolute obedience. The kid found himself on a rail track and was frozen with fear before an on-coming train. No one dared to run to pull him out of danger. the only help that came was a shout of “Lie down”. The kid obeyed instantly without questioning. He laid there motionless because he was too afraid to move. In no time , the train rolled by and people ran to fetch him with unqualified joy. The instruction that asked him to lie down and his attendant obedience saved his life. in other words, it is help of the helpless.
In ll King 13: 1-6, (NKJV) there was another scenario of helplessness and appeal to God brought deliverance. Put in perspective, “In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria and reigned seventeen years”. He followed the evil ways of his predecessors. The acts of Jehoahaz angered God and delivered his kingdom into the hand of Hazel king of Syria. Jehoahaz’s army was reduced to rubbles and became absolutely helpless. He had to appeal to the God of Israel who was yesterday, today and will forever be. throughout the history of mankind, it has always been difficult for man to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors. One would surmise that God’s covenant with the patriarchs would have given the Israelites assurance and cogent reason never to serve any other God but Yahweh. It is believed that it was the covenant that made God to agree to save Israel according to ll King 13: 4-5. However, Jehoahaz had to appeal in obedience to God. “So Jehoahaz pleaded with the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for HE saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. Then the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before”. Help will always be made available to those who ardently seek God’s help. Mankind needs to trust and obey.
God is love and universal in scope. HE actually loves all whether Jew or gentile. The whole peoples of the world are His. God has no time for checking credentials to ascertain being Jew or Christian or any other religions of the world. In this part of the ongoing series on LOVE, God’s divine love was extended to Naaman, commander of the army of Syria. Syria at the time was enjoying victory over Israel, or seen as ‘enemy combatant’ that was not at peace with the people of God. The king of Syria, through the assurance of the captive girl from Israel sent Naaman to Prophet Elisha who only instructed thus: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.”
Naaman thought Elisha was rude for not considering his status but was persuaded to do what the man of God directed him to do. In the end, he got completely healed. Pride and anger nearly deprived him of God’s divine love which was not up for grab or to the highest bidder. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases but it behoves us to obediently tap into this fountain of God’s compassionate love that transcends color or creed. Naaman realized the greatness of the God of Israel that has no equal in all gods in the world. ll King 5: 1-27
God’s love is from generation to generation. The trio of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob demonstrated a two-way love cord that connected the three patriarchs to God’s love. It is highly significant in the life of Jacob, later called Israel. He became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. The patriarchs all loved, trusted, worshipped and obeyed God. Even while they, the Israelites were in Egypt for 450 years in bondage, God never forgot his love bond with the lineage of the patriarchs. In his divine love, God saw the afflictions of His people – the Hebrews – and orchestrated their release from bondage. He used Moses, a Hebrew child but brought up as a prince of Egypt in all their arts and culture to effect God’s will. With filial love for the Hebrews he met out instant justice to a wicked Egyptian task-master and became a fugitive in the land of Midian for 40 years.
God commissioned him to go and secure the release of the children of Israel from bondage. In love God took them to the promised land but got rid of the disobedient generation that left Egypt before settling down in the land of Canaan. Armament in war does not ensure victory, rather God’s mysterious hand upon Israel brought down the walls of Jericho – a highly dreaded and fortified city – all because of obedience to the war strategies God gave them. Divine love when sustained conquers fear, defeat and sorrow in the life of man.