Most people are aware that at a certain time of each year, salmon swim upstream. Can you imagine spending all that effort to fight against the current? What if I told you, many people are doing just that with God?
During Jesus’ earthly ministry many people came up to Him. They asked Him many questions and many asked Jesus to do something for them. While it seemed that Jesus was very popular in His day, the problem was many of those coming up to Him were not coming out of love or curiosity but rather to find fault with Him. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were not tolerant of Jesus. In fact, they tried to trap Him so they could kill Him. In Matthew 12 we see Jesus do something that absolutely enraged the religious leaders, He healed a man on the Sabbath. I won’t go into Sabbath-day laws here, but suffice to say the religious leaders were dead set against doing anything on the Sabbath (even though themselves violated their own traditions). The religious leaders were all about following the law, but many times they missed the aspect of loving people. I saw a quote late last night that said, “too many people love the way they do church more than the people God wants in their church.” I want you to take a moment and let that sink in. If we are more concerned about keeping things as status quo in church than reaching out for those God desires to save, we have a major problem. (It would be at this point if I was preaching this I would ask the church to say “Christians have a major problem.”) Continuing in Matthew 12 the Pharisees then accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan (Beelzebub). Then we come to the verse that caught my attention. Matthew 12:30 says, “He that is not with Me is against me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.” This goes to our works. More than us saying “I love Jesus”, what does our life show? Are we working in harmony with God’s plan or are we working against it? This isn’t just talking about the atheist who wants Christ removed from the public square. This is talking about those who come into God’s house with their own agenda or like the Pharisees they desire traditions over genuine love for God and others. I pray we will all take a long look inside of ourselves and ask God to examine us to make sure that our hearts, motives, and actions are right.
Don’t be that salmon fighting the current. The power will either be in you and working through you or working around you, but God will always be working!
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him!