I almost always grin when I hear this word because I have lived on both sides of this fence. I’ve been left outstanding in the dark with nonbelievers, and today I’m outstanding with God’s saints celebrating His love. The word itself never changes but its usage can give it a new perception. Satan expounds on perception as he has the powers of manipulation to confuse the interpretation. Most of the English language has words that can easily be used in multiple ways giving a word different meanings. This is also true of people; many have the ability to mutate their attitude when out of view from prying eyes. Unfortunately, the same is true for their belief system and just as a word can have a double usage so can a lot of spiritual people. There are those that will read scripture and misuse it, because of interpretation. Is it not true that spirituality is more or less set at a young age through family ties and is seldom strayed from? The home church is usually a denominational church, filled with loyal families, some of whose ancestors built the building. These churches have for centuries handed down hollow words, and empty jesters because the church culture has slowly changed over time. Paul writes in Colossians 2:8 (NLT), Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. To some, it is the spiritual way and to others, it is simply the way.
Use this train of thought for a minute or two, you have two friends both of whom are outstanding in their own ways. One friend is a non-believer, but he is true to his word and always available when you need someone. This guy has impeccable integrity despite the fact he doesn’t believe in God. On the other hand, your second friend is outstanding in his own right, He is a Christian Sunday school teacher but in life, he isn’t that dependable in his commitments and is not too reliable in what he says. As well he is not one to go to for advice. Which would you prefer to pal around with? In case you caught it I did not mention the integrity of friend #2 simply because it is nonvisible. Our lifestyle is outstanding at showing who we are and what we really believe. My late Pastor always said, “It is impossible for one to consistently live contrary to that which one actually believes to be true.” An example, if someone is handing you a naked wire and you believe it to have power on it you will not take the wire barehanded for fear of being shocked. 2 Corinthians 5:7-17 (NLT), For we live by believing and not by seeing. Although there are those who can’t help but touch the paint of anything with a “do not touch wet paint” sign on it, their curiosity rules over their perception.
As for those that touch the paint, life in their world is dazed and drifting in clouds of confusion distorting their judgment. They mentally drift from ditch to ditch, dragging their physical body along until they have an encounter with the one Jesus has for them. But this only works if one accepts and believes God can do it. Fact is “broken people are slow to realize they are broken!” The truth I discovered is Jesus found me as I was the one who was lost (not the other way around) and He gave me a mentor that showed me how my selfish thinking and stupid decisions were behind my problems and hoping God would fix all the hurt feelings just wasn’t going to happen. I was a victim of a catch-22, I had done nothing that God couldn’t help me fix, but I had to do it myself. My comfort zone was no longer a recliner, it just turned into a treadmill. God through my mentor showed me how to become outstanding in grace by making mends with everyone who would let me. I soon found that I was a survivor of the lie that was hopelessly destroying any joy, peace and hope in this life. This epiphany was outstanding at the time I received it and it grew more and more as I spent time with Jesus. I found myself with no desire to be outstanding with the undesirables; as I become more outstanding with the saints of God. I still get in God’s way from time to time but He is the ultimate overcomer to lead me back to the vertical. Pay attention to what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NLT), 16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! The flesh may be expiring, but through the renewing of my faith, the spirit of God is alive, well, and growing inside me!
Abba Father, I asked that we not fall prey to petty little unimportant things that others believe to be so. May we find the love and compassion you instilled within us and pour it out on others that they be drawn to seek you and gain what is promised in Colossians 2:9-10 (NLT), 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Lord teach us how to live spiritually outstanding lives for your pleasure. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!