Some Things Just Aren't Negotiable
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You know, you and I are living in a, well, a pretty adjustable world. I mean, we have adjustable rate mortgages. I have an adjustable wrench that changes sizes for different jobs. We have adjustable clothes, and that's a good thing because we seem to have adjustable bodies these days. We even have one size that fits all. And we have negotiations going on between nations, who are constantly adjusting their views, and their policies, and their public statements that things they said would never change. As the situation changes, we all seem willing to change almost everything with it—sometimes including the truth.
Now, our word for today from the Word of God is found in Luke 5:5. And we find out that Simon Peter, for all of his weaknesses, had one thing that gave him the heart of a disciple. There was one bottom line in his life that simply was not negotiable. And I think this is what Jesus loved about him. Maybe you remember the incident where he had just been out all night fishing, and he came in and Jesus said, "Now, I'd like you to go out again." Okay, it was already the heat of the day, and Simon Peter could think of all kinds of reasons to do something else. It's going to be inconvenient, we're going to get the nets dirty again, we just finished cleaning them. I'm going to look foolish to the other fishermen, because "Hello! Nobody goes out in the middle of the day." It's not going to work because you don't catch fish in the heat of the day. And he'd already tried and he failed.
A lot of reasons; a lot of things that told him not to do it. But listen to what he says, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. Which sounds like that's going to be the reason he won't do what Jesus said. But listen to the next sentence, "...but because You say so, I will let down the nets."
See, the heart of a disciple of Jesus says what Peter did. "If you say so, I'll do it." That's the bottom line no matter what anyone else says. Now, today there's a dangerous drift from that kind of spirit-filled, scripture-anchored stability. "Thus saith the Lord." Well, that's often compromised by "thus saith society" or "thus saith the Gallup Survey" or "72% of Americans say..." or it's compromised by the latest best seller or what somebody said on a talk show.
Sometimes I think we have a tendency to follow sociology more than theology. For example, you could take the issue of divorce. In the Christian world, divorce became accepted pretty quickly. Now, society says it's okay, but, well, has God changed His mind? In Malachi 3, God says, "I hate divorce." Not "I hate divorced people," but "I hate divorce." See, the problem is we tend to have an adjustable truth if it's out of step with what's culturally cool or personally convenient.
God's truth has always been out-of-step with the culture. Like Peter, we must go to the Bible alone for our view, not to what makes sense to us or to say, "Well, now this is affecting someone I know, so maybe I could change my view." I always say, "When the verse gets a face, the verse is going out the window." See, the Bible clearly tells us what fulfilling womanhood is, no matter what sociology says. It tells us what manhood is; that marriage is forever. It talks about sex that is meant to be between a man and a woman within a lifetime, permanent commitment. Anything else is outside of God's boundaries. It certainly shows us that politics are not the focus of a Christian's energies, but the Kingdom of God.
It's time that we returned with humility to an open Bible and say, "God, how do You feel about it? And whatever You say, that's it! I'll do it." Now, we have to always speak with love and humility, but always with His authority. We, who love the Bible, are the only ones with the whole story; we've got God's truth. And those things? They just aren't negotiable.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.