Some contingencies have to do with people. IF you love me, I will love you. IF you bless me, I will bless you. IF you give to me, I will give to you. IF you do good to me, I will do good to you. Then there’s the other side of the contingency. IF you use me, I won’t dare pray for you. IF you revile me, I will revile you. IF you make me suffer, I will threaten you. IF you strike me, I will strike you. IF you hurt me, I will hurt you. Countless contingencies.
Other IF’s have to do with God. IF I like what you are asking me to do, I will do it. IF I like the plan you have for my life, I will do it. IF I’m in the mood to go over there and help that person, I will. IF you bless me in this area of my life, I promise to give up that thing you told me to give up. IF I like your will for my life, I will do it. IF I’m comfortable with your purpose for me, I will do it. Endless IF’s.
Black and white.Totally contingent. The world teaches us to base our actions and reactions on other people’s actions and reactions. If you do this, I will do that. If you don’t do this, I won’t do that. Or I will do this. It’s all contingent on what others do, isn’t it? Or it’s contingent on our flesh – what we want, how we feel, what makes us comfortable, etc.
In a contingency plan, a house sells if and when the contingency goes through. The SOLD sign goes up. The Lord has convicted me that if I am truly SOLD OUT for Him, I have to get rid of my contingencies. My thoughts, words, and actions must not be conditional; they must not be contingent on the world around me. I have to do away with contingencies, and the flesh will hurt like heck in the process. Why? Because when the contingency plan is done away with, and the flesh is mortified in order for us to allow Jesus Christ to live in and through us, then we are called to do the exact opposite of what the world teaches. How? Not in our strength, for surely we cannot. But in His Strength, for in Christ we can.
The Christ-like life does not come with contingencies. To be SOLD OUT to Christ is a straight up sale. Followers of Jesus Christ are bought with a price – the price He paid on the cross. We don’t belong to ourselves anymore. We belong to the Lord. No more contingencies. As we follow His lead and example, we learn to love, and to forgive, and to serve, and to give without any contingencies. We learn to deny ourselves and to be conformed to His image. Our flesh will surely suffer as it dies away, but the rewards of living the SOLD OUT for Christ life are immeasurable. What greater reward is there, truly, than to love and serve and worship the Lord with all our hearts as He pours out His love ever abundantly on us?
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32 But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36 NKJV
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;” 1 Peter 2:19-23 NKJV
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NKJV
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 NKJV
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live .” Romans 8:13 KJV