I was at Metro Calvary tonight. On Monday nights they have worship, fellowship and dinner, teaching brought forth straight from the Word, more worship and more fellowship (coffee included, of course). I started going to Metro about three weeks ago out of a combination of excitement and conviction. Excitement because I had heard great things about the church from people I respect and they also have some outreach programs that I’ll be able to latch onto in the future…conviction because I know myself well enough to be able to see when I’m getting too comfortable in one set community. It was time to branch out more.
Richard, the pastor at Metro, has been preaching out of Proverbs lately for Monday nights. Tonight we explored Proverbs 18:10-14. Verse 10 specifically states, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
There were many thoughts to be had about what a righteous man looks like, who he is, how he lives life, etc. But the one thought that stuck with me was this:
“The righteous man does not separate faith and every day life.”
Richard talked about how some people play it up on Sundays, as if church is the epitome of their saving faith, then walk away not reflecting the gospel in which they claim their salvation.
Okay, that’s kind of a complex thoughts. And on top of that, many of us would be respond with the thoughts or words of, “Oh dear me…yeah, no that’s definitely not me”.
Hypocrite. We all are in some way or another.
The visual that came to me through this was oil and vinegar, spurred by the term “separate”. That quote did not come straight out of Proverbs, but it does resound with the characteristic of a righteous individual.
But what is righteous anyway? Personally, the word righteous runs parallel to the word “perfect” in my mind…by default. And I know I cannot be perfect, therefore there is no way I will ever be righteous. Right? Even Romans 3:10 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one”. So why then would this pertain to us?
The reason God sent Jesus to earth in the first place was to be the ultimate sacrifice so God could see us as made righteous through Jesus, that way He could look upon us as spotless and sinless and not condemn us to hell. However, that is all through Jesus. On our own, by way of our own nature, righteousness is nothing attainable.
But let’s go back to what this “righteous man” does. Separating faith and every day life. They are one in the same…they should be, at least.
Think of yourself as fluid captured in a jar. You, as a fluid, are composed of two ingredients: oil and vinegar. The oil is you before Jesus, your fleshly self, just living life on earth without knowing the truth, without knowing real purpose. The vinegar is the faith you made personal and your own when you found truth in Jesus and decided that His sacrifice was more than enough to cover all your past, present and future mess-ups and because of that, He deserves your every effort and attention in life. Can these two substances making up the fluid of you be one in the same? Of course not. They cannot mingle; it’s impossible. Why is that? Well, the oil of your life simply does not align with the vinegar because oil is not knowing truth and vinegar is knowing truth.
The oil of your life should change when you find vinegar. Can you completely live with just vinegar and ignore the second substance? No. Why not? Because we’re not living in eternity with Jesus yet. Right now, we are still fleshly, still material, still on living on earth. So these two substances have to combine somehow. So turn the oil, the fleshly self that doesn’t know truth in Jesus, into water, the fleshly self that does know Jesus. We are humans and we fail and we cannot be righteous by our own doing. But while being human, we know truth and our everyday life that we were assigned is a water that can absolutely 100% combine with vinegar, our faith in Jesus Christ.
There was one last quote that really sums this up in a neat way. Metro’s worship leader said it in prayer:
“May our lives be a habit of putting you on display, Lord.”
In order to put Jesus on display at all times, our faith and every day life absolutely must be one in the same. We cannot live two-faced and we cannot be like Jesus to one person and our old, oily self to another. To live consistently is to live honestly and to live honestly is to reflect Jesus in all that we do do and say.
Show Jesus to others before you even claim His name; live in a way that people don’t have to wonder if you’re different, they just know.