A few recent incidents have got me thinking a LOT – nothing new I guess as I’m always reflecting and trying to learn from each situation that life presents.. Learn from the bad, appreciate the blessings and go forward being a changed person.. to be more and more restored in the image of God.. And this takes much renewing of the mind, which requires NOT CONFORMING to the ways of the world.
Reality is that we do more often than not whether in the family decisions, or career or even ministry follow the trends of the world… Ways of God are foolishness to man and that is the very thing God uses to shame the wisdom of the wise as our earthly wisdom brings us pride.. and we can also be sure to expect a fall then as pride brings a fall..
But all that aside, I have been reflecting on this concept of age. There are certain cultural and world trends that drills into our heads that maturity comes with age and that we need to respect our elders. I guess that’s why even in marriages the norm is for the man to be older, to be the leader.
Yet, just in the way God operates, I see HIM work outside the box tearing down our mindset about this concept. Even the biological clock ticking isn’t beyond HIM – He has opened aged wombs and blessed them with the fruit of the womb.
Yet Tamar waited for her late husband’s youngest brother to grow up to marry him and continue on the family line. It was the cultural trend and without knowing the death of his sons were caused by their evil deceit, Judah tried to block Tamar from marrying his youngest now grown up son – He thought she was the cause of the deaths. Tamar then takes matters in her own hands, tricks her father in law and carries on the family line. If I was there in that environment, I agree I would been the first to judge in my (former) holier than thou attitude. Yet I see God responding quite differently. Not once was Tamar condemned by God! The child that Tamar bore was to be the heritage of Jesus… and the disobedience (which caused them negative consequences and blocked the blessing) of the sons shifted the heritage as it was preordained to come through that particular family.
When God sent Samuel to anoint the future king, Samuel saw the oldest son and thought it was him. The Lord made it clear not to judge by the outside but by the heart. Jesse then called his next son.. and then the next.. and made it through seven sons and stopped. It didn’t even cross his mind that it would be the youngest who was out shepherding. Samuel heard God and had the young boy brought in. This was in a culture where the first born had much respect and emphasis. Yet God chose one that was beyond the cultural norms.
We see in the Old Testament kings being chosen at a very young age – at least in our eyes that was at a ‘immature’ age, No matter how old or young, we do respect our leaders (which is not the same as unquestioned obedience and especially to what they are doing or saying that contradicts God’s Word and what leads you to disobeying God).
Jeremiah responded to God’s call saying, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young” and God replied, “Do not say I am too young, you must go… “. The dialog continues and the fearful Jeremiah decides to surrender to God’s Will instead of being crippled by the ways of the world!
Paul told Timothy,
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers
in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity – 1 Timothy 4:12
Paul went a step further and made it clear to Timothy that he was to set the example, to play the role model through His walk with God.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong – 1 Corinthians 1:27
In everything we do, in everything we believe in – whether it’s age or career or retirement plans or insurances or what not, let’s keep bringing EVERY part of our lives and our thoughts to HIM and surrender to let Him RENEW our minds and help us NOT CONFORM to the ways of the world. Then we can tell what God’s perfect and pleasing will is?
We all have authority when we are led by the Holy Spirit.. and it isn’t dependent on our achievements, on our personalities, on our assets or our age or what not.
Are you ready to step up to the plate when HE calls?
Are you ready to submit to one another and not look down on another because of our narrow mindsets but instead see each one according to how God sees them and their callings!
Gosh this is all easier said than done! It takes humility to submit but we are called to submit to one another regardless of age or gender or position or status!!
Yup we are EQUAL.. EQUAL.. EQUAL