Solomon, said to be the wisest man who has ever lived said, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.”
Okay, cool, how do I do that?
The Apostle Paul instructed us to “work out your own salvation” in a letter he wrote to the people in Philippi.
Philippi was an important city in the country of Greece, back in the day.
Today, the small town of Filippoi has taken its place. As of 2011, there were just shy of 12,000 residents living there.
The most important cultural event of the town is its annual festival, held since 1957.
It takes place in the Ancient Theatre of Filippoi with ancient and modern performances, ballets and concerts by theatrical troupes, orchestras and bands.
This ancient Greek theatre dates to 357 B.C. It was first restored in 1957 by Dimitris Lazaridis with a view of holding the festival. (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, why did I give you that little piece of history?
It’s important we all understand these ideas from the bible or ancient teachers are not made up stories from a time that never really existed or fables made up for teaching little kids to “be good” and to be scared of “the devil” at Sunday school.
I’ve never even been to Sunday school (the religious folks say, yeah that’s obvious) and a huge part of me thanks God for that. They didn’t have the chance of messing me up.
I did do catechism on Wednesday nights though, where some hardcore, ruler-swinging Catholics got their claws in for a bit and told me I was going to hell for a certain idea I asked about… I was 13.
I thought, man, that can’t look good on your teaching record, you know, losing one to the other team 😉 I didn’t think that, actually I was really hurt by it.
Anyway, too many of those kids are messed up adults from the crazy condemnation and scare tactics used.
In Philippi, there were and in Filippoi there are, real people, like you and me, living their lives, trying to “make it to the weekend” so to speak.
They’re providing for their families, their neighbors and trying to understand how to intertwine that with their faith to live a successful life.
Back in Paul’s day, right after the happenings with Jesus on Earth, he was helping them to become equipped with the truth of what Jesus, known by many as the Nazarene, had revealed about God, Heaven and just living a successful and prosperous life.
Pharisees will tell you that your works save you or that you better not mess up because you might lose your boarding pass to Heaven’s train.
They’ll tell you how much your behavior affects your standing with God. And don’t get me wrong, our actions matter, just not the way they’ve scared you into believing.
They’ll tell you that women wearing pants or wearing a hat in church or having a drink with friends or getting a tattoo or saying fuck separates you from your Creator’s love.
The legalistic atmosphere these anti-Christ-type figures create is hurting millions of people, its ripping people away from the most important relationship they could ever have.
I say anti-Christ-type figures because I mean it. It’s exactly what they are. The message they are shoving down our throats is in direct opposition to what Jesus taught.
Jesus Himself called them “wicked and perverse”. They put heavy burdens on the people that they could not carry. The people were overwhelmed with anxiety due to the strict rules they were to abide by in order to get approval from their authority figures that represented God to them. Sound familiar?
They stood in self-righteous judgment all the while knowing that God is our only judge. That is why Jesus told them when The Day of judgment comes they will not be allowed in the presence of God because God was never the one they were serving; it was God’s Enemy that was their father.
He’s known by us as Lucifer, the once most powerful archangel turned arch enemy.
But not you and me who’ve trusted Jesus and Him alone with all our mess and dirt that we bring.
As this wraps up I want to remind you that Jesus really lived.
It’s well-documented in places other than the bible just in case you think humans have rigged it.
But even the Bible itself is more verified, backed up and documented by scientists, archaeologists and historians throughout the ages than many historical documents we currently have… look it up, it’s true. I’ll do a piece on this later.
There are many other sources attesting to Jesus, His life, His work, and even witnessing Him around town for nearly a month and a half AFTER He was killed on the cross by the religious leaders and Roman authorities.
~ My point is ~
If He really lived and He did
If He really died and He did
and most importantly, if He really rose back to life and He did …
we must understand that was for all of us
He did it for you.
If you were the only one on earth, He still came … just … for … you. End of story.
And remember, He died for you and me while we were in the middle of our mess, no matter how filthy.
That’s called unconditional love.
Now, back to the original couple thoughts.
Solomon said, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed”.
Paul said, “work out your own salvation”
Religious bible thumpers will tell you your work (your good deeds) plays a part in you getting to Heaven or not.
This is a complete pile of steamy shit and they want to control you with it.
Here’s what it really means…
God has put much more independence and autonomy in our hands than how we are typically taught in churches (there are actually great ones out there, although they are few).
Here’s a simple way to understand that – while most of us are taught to pray for a table and chairs (our basic needs), God says, “Son, daughter, bro, sis, I gave you TREES (abundance of resources)… make it happen! You are the most advanced creature on this planet. We did that on purpose. Your creative ability is only limited by your mind and willingness. We made you in OUR image not your priest’s or pastor’s or Sunday school teacher’s or parent’s. Go and LIVE YOUR LIFE!!”
Most of us are programmed to beg God for scraps when He has already won the victory and is handing you the keys to the Kingdom.
And worse, we’re non-stop asking “What is God’s will?”
Can you imagine your kids asking you if it was your will for them to be happy or successful … non-stop?
But we’re taught this crap.
We are to “work out our own salvation” though.
We must grow. How do we grow?
Well, how do you grow a child?
You feed them, care for them, nurture them when they’re sick, teach them things, laugh with them, give them good things (as long as they’ve shown the maturity or development to handle them), etc.
We are to do this for ourselves and we can grow our relationship with the One who made us, like we “made” our kids.
This is why the Spirit of God is all you must have for this to happen.
Of course, it’s awesome to have solid people around or mentors but today you receive the permission you’ve always wanted (and needed) to live in freedom in your relationship with God.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed”
Interpretation of Solomon’s instruction (and I’ve never heard it differently than this) is typically >>> Commit “the thing” you’re doing or want to do to the Lord and it will succeed.
Okay? Makes sense… on the surface.
On the surface is where they get you because very few do their own thinking and that happens beneath the surface.
Pharisees don’t like independent minds like you and me in their programming sessions aka church services.
Go just one step deeper and we have an issue that pops up.
Heads up: I love using hyperbole or extreme exaggeration to make points.
It’s very effective. So, here…
What if “the thing” I want to do is run a child-trafficking business out of my basement?
Here’s my prayer about that: Okay, Lord, I commit my new venture to you, amen.
Now, I’m going to succeed, right?
So, what does it really mean to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed”?
Think of it like this (the way I explain it in this very short video)
Think of someone, maybe yourself, who’s scared of heights but has to cross a wooden rope bridge hundreds of feet above a rock-filled raging river, straight up Indian Jones style.
“Now, whatever you do, DO NOT look down!”
Whatever you do, do this…
Whatever you do, DO NOT…
Whatever you do, you commit to the Lord, not your job, your pastor, your mom, your dad, your softball team, your drinking buddies, no… whatever you do, commit to the Lord, then start your “what should I do” decision-making process.
I’m not saying do not be committed to other things and people, of course not. Commitment is a hallmark of a successful life, especially for someone doing their best to ironically, commit to the Lord. Commitment to good things is crucial, just let it be God first and nothing else.
Make sense? I thought so.
It’s not necessarily intending to say whatever thing you’re going to do, though that can absolutely apply.
I’ve just found that people, including me, can get all bound up by “the thing” instead of realizing the first thing to commit to the Lord is our self and we forget we have autonomy, or freedom of choice with what we do and we’re still perfectly within the “will of God”.
Because of the freedom we have with Jesus, the most important thing we can do is commit ourselves, or “not look down”, it’s our intent, action, attitude, mindset, etc.
Whatever you do, do this… commit yourself to God first, then EVERYTHING you “do” after that will automatically be within His perfect will for your life and calling because if it wasn’t you’d know by Hid guidance inside your heart and soul.
In the garden, the night before Jesus was to go to the cross, He did not Want to go through the punishment that lied in store for Him.
But the records show that he said, “Not my will, Father, but your will be done.”
THAT is “whatever you do, commit to the Lord”. It didn’t matter, in this context, what the “doing” was. What mattered was that Jesus had committed Himself, so he didn’t submit to his own will but that of His Father.
That is how we succeed at what we’re doing.
For that matter, that’s how we know what the thing to do even is, in other words, that’s how you can know the will of God for your situations.
If you are truly sold out to God from the depths of the intentions of your heart (and you know this intuitively–it’s called your conscience) then you will have the confidence, not always your human preference – like Jesus in the garden, and you can execute the God-blessed thing because you’ve already committed yourself to Him.
Here’s another great quote from Paul:
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit”
When you’re walking with Him, you’ll choose what He would choose by default, because He’s working out in you.
We know this because again in that letter to the people in Philippi he said, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose”.
I’ve experienced this directly too many times to need “faith” that it’s true. I have knowledge that it’s true. That kind of certainty happens with actual experience.
So that’s it, you don’t need anyone’s permission or their list of dos and don’ts.
Commit yourself, if that’s what you choose to do, and keep growing and learning about Jesus from good people who love you for who you are and don’t judge you for decisions you’ve made – that’s the “working out your salvation” part.
If you have questions on how to begin applying this in your life so that you can shake off the anxiety, spiritual paralysis, shame, doubt, fear or whatever else, contact us, we’d be glad to help if we can.
Jesus gave all He could so you can have all you’re willing to have.
To express our gratitude, the least we can do in this one life is go after it.
Here’s to instigating spiritual freedom!
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