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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mor than just a merry band of men

For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

Allegiance is more than being bound by a pledge or feeling a sense of "duty" toward something. It is the action behind that pledge - the heart that drives one into action to do as one commits to doing. There are far too many people who do little more than give lip service to whatever it is they are pledging themselves to. Their heart is in it at first, but eventually the heart's enthusiasm begin to wane a little. Don't believe me? You only need look as far as those garage sales in your neighborhood to see the treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight benches, all gathering dust, but barely used for more than catchalls! Lip service is easy - but actually doing what we say we will do requires a measure of determination we often don't possess on our own.

Allegiance begins first of all with an adherence to some form of "rule" or "standard" one believes will produce an end result. Robin Hood attracted his band of men because they were willing to adhere to the standard he proclaimed of "robbing from the rich to give to the poor". Not every standard is a good one, as some can be a little misleading - good in "philosophy", but not as good in execution! Allegiance also carries the idea of being faithful to someone or something - you have no other focus or determination in life. We can be faithful to the stuff we think will produce the results we desire, only to find it didn't work! If you have ever tried one of those "lose weight fast" drinks or pills, you know what I mean here. The idea is that you can eat whatever you want, take the pill, and still lose weight. Sure - but it is water weight, not fat!

The most significant part of allegiance is the commitment one makes - often with the heart first, followed by the mind's determination, and then with the spirit's will. This isn't easy, nor is it for the half-hearted! The commitment I am referring to is one that requires consistency - something we don't always exhibit very well in our walk with Jesus. It is a good thing none of us is measured by our commitment, because most of us would be found lacking since our commitment is often based upon what is the easiest or provides the least amount of resistance! All Jesus asks of us is devotion - to keep him central in our lives - then he assists us with the rest! The will to live as we should isn't about rule-keeping, but about "focus-keeping"! The more Christ is at the center of our thoughts, our actions are going to be more Christ-like. The more he is at the center of our imagination, we will be creative with a power not our own.

Allegiance is best when it is alignment with the right person - not just any leader will produce the same results as Christ will in our lives. We don't align with a pastor, a guru, or even a priest. We align with Jesus and he helps us live out the walk of faithfulness and commitment we are called to live. Just sayin!