Welcome to Blogapalooza.
I want you to meet some new people. I asked various friends and bloggers to share with you this month on my blog. So, all through the month of June I will feature different voices from around the world. Today I would like to introduce you to...Stanley is a fellow Pastor here in the Bulkley Valley where I live. More than that he has become a brother and a friend. Stanley and his wife are very friendly, caring and unassuming. You can;t help but smile when you talk with them. Stanley started blogging awhile back and his blog is now one of my destination reads. Read this piece Stanley sent and then check out his blog!
There comes a time when you’ve got to admit to yourself, to God, and to others who you are and in whom you ultimately find your identity. While you can think of this simply as a requirement, it’s also a natural progression of growth: It’s just gonna happen.
For example, consider Obadiah (the man in charge of evil King Ahab’s palace, not the prophet who wrote a book in the Old Testament). Until his encounter with Elijah, he’s able to live a double life. On the outside, he is loyal to Baal-worshipping, believer-killing King Ahab; but on the inside, he is “a devout believer in the LORD.” So thoroughly is he committed to the true God of Israel that he is willing to risk his career, his prominence, even his life to hide faithful Israelites whose heads Queen Jezebel is collecting, it seems, not unlike how people collect coins or stamps. But through this all, Obadiah’s true allegiance remains a big secret. No one knows.
And the day comes when God asks Obadiah to finally reveal who (and whose) He really is. Elijah, God’s prophet, asks Obadiah to let King Ahab know that he’s back in town after a bone-dry, 3-year hiatus that has made Ahab & Jezebel’s god Baal – a.k.a. lord of the rain – look like a nincompoop.
Obadiah responds to Elijah’s request by saying, “What have I done wrong that you are handing your servant over to Ahab to be put to death?” In other words, “Let me tell you what’s going to happen when I tell old Ahab that I saw you: He’ll demand to know why I didn’t kill you, Elijah, or at least drag you in the dust to his feet. Ahab’s red-hot mad that God is humiliating his precious Baal. When he realizes that the two of us are in cahoots, that your God is also my God, my head’s going to be added to Jezebel’s collection!”
Elijah encourages frightened Obadiah to trust him. But this is a huge step for Obadiah. Until now, things have been comfortable – everything okay on the outside while secretly knowing the truth on the inside. But now that truth is getting out. It’s time for the outside to more closely match the inside, and that spells trouble.
This is the natural progression for everyone who is led by the Holy Spirit. You may have asked Jesus into your heart, but He’s not content to just quietly sit there. He wants to transform your heart, yes, but also your mind, your words, your feelings, your actions. As we grow in faith, the way we live, act and behave must and will increasingly look more Christlike until we cannot help but go public and say, “Well, yes, I do in fact love and follow Jesus!”
Is that a frightening prospect? Quite likely. It will cost you. Yet in this life and the next, you’ll gain far, far more than anything you lose. The presence of your faithful God and knowing you’re His beloved child cannot compare to anything else.
It turns out that Obadiah trusts Elijah. He goes public. As we are led by Jesus’ Holy Spirit, may we find more and more ways to do the same.
The Bible doesn’t say what happens next to Obadiah, but I think it’s safe to say that things get less boring and real interesting.
You can count on that particular blessing happening to you, too.