Christians, Discernment, and the Hill to Die ON

Come’on, Barb!  What are Christians supposed to do, just lie down and take it?
Yes and no.
What does it mean to submit to leaders whom God has given for His purposes
when we look at Scripture
and don’t believe that those leaders stand for the same things God stands for? 
I hear you.

This truly calls for discernment and it’s hard, I know. 
I can sum it up with this, “Discernment is knowing which are hills to die on, and which are hills we die to.”

We need more men of Issachar who understand the times.  If you go back to 1 Chronicles 10 to 13, there are some stories, each interesting on its own, but worth connecting to understand and apply to our world. 

David had been promised (by none other than God Himself) that he was to be king.  In 1 Chronicles 10, King Saul falls on his own sword and the Lord fulfills His will (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).  David had been chased throughout the wilderness and had assembled a group of like-minded individuals who sought David’s rule and reign throughout Israel.  But some conquering would still have to happen.  So, David assembles this army of “mighty men” and the Scriptures point to swords and spears, “every weapon” at their disposal and “ready for battle” as their disposition.  They were ready to fight, ready to make David king, and they were warriors!

Huh. The men of Issachar in that list of mighty men don’t have weapons for their names (1 Chronicles 12:32).  Theirs was a different weapon altogether: discernment.  They understood the times. 

Scripture continues and David says, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our people throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us. Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.” (1 Chronicles 13:2-3). 

Time out.  Hill to die ON: Free worship of God. 
Inquiring of Him in the way God Almighty commanded.

Of course, a good intention (done man’s way) becomes a problem as the story continues.  A hill to die TO.  Their way instead of God’s way.  They chose man’s way, and Uzzah paid with his life (1 Chronicles 13:7-10). God is not to be trifled with, disrespected, or mocked.  There’s a holiness that God demands from those who worship Him. 

After Uzzah is struck dead, David’s reaction is much like that of many Christians post-election in the United States whose passion for God surpassed their submission to Him.  David was clearly shocked, sad, confused, etc. because he had all the best intentions.  He was angry with God and afraid of Him because Uzzah’s death didn’t seem right.  After all, he was just protecting the Ark… to keep it from falling off the cart… (SPOILER ALERT: the cart was the problem)  

Let’s apply these Scriptures to what has happened with so many Christians feeling like God didn’t come through for them or answer their prayers.  Among those who voted for Joe Biden, we can surmise some of you are still very happy, but there is increasing evidence some have regrets and feel played.  At the very least we can—irrespective our votes—recognize our brothers and sisters in Christ are trying to understand, perhaps like David feeling angry, doubting, or betrayed.  They, like David, had the best of intentions whether with a D or an R next to their vote.

A hill to die ON is something so foundational and fundamental
that were it to be lost, the Gospel is compromised.

King David hadn’t stopped believing God was real or deserved to be worshiped.  But he had to abandon doing things man’s way.  A hill to die TO is the one we bring to the altar and sacrifice it to God, asking Him to make things right, inquiring His way forward, and accepting that His ways are not our own. After all, Saul was king for a good 40 years before David succeeded him.

So, let’s bring it home:

Taxation: a hill to die TO
COVID response and mask mandates: a hill to die TO
Social justice as federal mandates: a hill to die TO
Minimum wage: a hill to die TO
Federal debt: a hill to die TO
Prescription drug costs: a hill to die TO

Freedom of religion: a hill to die ON
Freedom of speech: a hill to die ON
Representation meaning something important: a hill to die ON

The lists go on, but the more things I list, the more people will tune me out.  Seriously though, do you see how the Gospel can thrive with a mask mandate, high taxes, high debt, etc.?  But in cases of our freedoms, the Gospel is forced underground when those freedoms are taken away.  It doesn’t mean the persecuted Church can’t grow because it will…when God is in charge.  But in the triage of concerns, the Gospel thrives best when we’re free to share it. Therefore, let’s make our proclamation of the Gospel be our top priority…the hill to die ON.  And let’s take the rest and make every thought captive to Christ who represented us on the Cross and represents us now before God.

Let’s pray 2 Corinthians 10:3-7.  Lord, though we live in the world, we [accept that we] do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, [Your truth as our weapon, has] divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience [in our churches to hold Christians accountable], once [our] obedience is complete [and in order.  Please, Lord, do not let us judge] by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, [we] should consider again that [every Christian belongs] to Christ just as much as they do.”  Grant us discernment for which are hills to die on and which are hills to die to.  Keep our doctrine pure and help us to watch our lives and doctrine closely as evil has its moment. We lay it all before Your throne, Lord Jesus, and offer ourselves to You as living sacrifices, ready to do Your will, Your way.  For Your glory. Amen.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on January 27, 2021

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