CALL TO OBEDIENCE #235
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Grandfather to Grandson"
By Pastor Reimar Schultze
This is the charge that Pastor Schultze gave to his grandson
Jordan Litchfield, as you enter manhood on this 31st day of August, Anno Domino 1999, I first of all admonish you to begin to become a great Man of God, of whom it can be said 1000 years from now, that his life really mattered, that his character was impeccable, that his manners were lovely, that his heart was pure, and that his soul was ablaze with the fire of God. May it be said 1000 years from now that this man, Jordan Christopher Litchfield, as Job of old, loved good and shunned evil.
For you to become such a man, I encourage you to think small. That is to say, you must think of yourself as being nothing, not worthy of praise or applause. I want you to think so small of yourself that you will consider it no effort to take the lowest seat at a feast or at the dinner table, or to choose the hardest chair, or perhaps the only one without a back to it, that you habitually choose the dirtiest job on a job-site, that you gladly forfeit a dessert or even a meal that others may eat, that you help your father and mother, your brother and sisters, placing their needs ahead of your own. If you want to be great, be small; for the Bible says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6).
This is the only sure way to be elevated to greatness in the kingdom, to the point where perhaps one day, with a single breath of prayer, you will bring down fire from heaven to consume a sacrifice or the fortresses of Hinduism or Islam. The way to come to such greatness in prayer to God is by letting him fill you with his Holy Spirit, which most certainly cannot occur as long as you have selfish motives or ambitions crowding him out. The very reason the fullness of God dwelt in Christ bodily, is that there was not a speck of dust of the self-life within Jesus, and because he humbled himself to be a servant to all.
To be considered great 1,000 years from now, you must also become a man of tolerance. You must have tolerance for the weaknesses of others, ever remembering that you also are weak; and if there is any strength in you, it is only because of Jesus. So be tolerant of people, being mindful of the testimony of the great Isaiah who knew when he came into the glory of God that he was a sinful man, dwelling amongst a sinful people; (see Isa. 6:5). Never lord it over other people spiritually, for were it not for the grace of God, you could fall before the sun kisses the day goodnight.
Yet, tolerance toward others with their sins and weaknesses does not mean tolerance toward their sins. You must turn a cold shoulder to sin at all times, regardless of whether it is in others, or in yourself.
Then, to become great, you must also be realistic. As history tells us, the prospect of your failing and falling into sin, may it even be into a slight sin, is very great. If you want to be a man of greatness, you will likewise need to be tolerant of yourself as well as intolerant of your sin. That is to say, you will quickly confess that sin and forsake it. But you will not condemn yourself into helpless despair, lying on the floor, rolling in dust and ashes improperly or in any unnecessary protracted way, as to die and to rot, causing a great stink for all those who pass by. You want to, as Joshua was admonished, confess your sin, repent of it, and get up quickly, knowing that every moment of rolling in self pity on the ground is a moment lost in the battle for the Lord. So as you are patient with others and long-suffering, as the Lord Jesus is toward all of us, you must do as Jesus said, “In your patience, possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19). As the Amplified Bible puts it, “By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls.”
When it comes to blessings, I challenge you to experience the eight blessings of the Beatitudes. Know this, that each blessing is different from any other. The blessing of the merciful has a different flavor, a different fragrance, a different power and exuberance of joy than the blessing bestowed upon the pure heart. It is also true of the blessing on those mourning for the lost, as it is also of those persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Become a walking, living, dynamic library, a treasury, a store house, a resource of all eight blessings, that others may see the greatness of God in you and become envious to seek like intimacy with God.
Remember that the most powerful sermon you ever preach is your life. When those eight blessings of the Beatitudes abide in you, they shall prevent you from complaining or criticizing, and they will go far to keep you out of discouragement or despair.
As you enter manhood, I also challenge you to discipline yourself so as not to get trapped in sexual lusts. Refrain from looking at a girl’s body and from gazing from the neck down with any interest or meditation. Get to know the power of the blood of Jesus, and use that power of the blood whenever temptations come to you. Remember, temptations are not sins. Jesus was tempted in all things, yet without sin. Know that Jesus was tempted with everything with which you are tempted, but he never let a temptation become a sin.
Know, Jordan Litchfield, when resentment or jealousy begins to rise in your soul that it must be confessed; but be careful not to confess the resentment toward the person you resent. Normally, secret sins are to be kept secret, and confessed secretly to our Father which is in heaven. If you confess that you had resentment toward a person who thought well of you, he may thereafter be in a constant state of turmoil, wondering when you will have such resentment toward him again. Or if you confess lust toward a girl, she will be uncomfortable with you, wondering when you will lust after her again. Secret sins must be confessed secretly. Public sins must be confessed publicly.
I challenge you as a young man, to ask often for wisdom, for it is the only gift of the nine mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 that can be received for the asking. Therefore, James admonishes us, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally…” (James 1:5). Choose wisdom over knowledge. Yea, even the Apostle Paul in commenting on spiritual gifts puts wisdom above knowledge. Of course, this is the wisdom of God. Knowledge gives information, but wisdom tells you how to use it. Wisdom is safer and sounder than knowledge. It is better to have much wisdom and little knowledge, than to have much knowledge and little wisdom.
Watch your manners how you talk, how you eat, how you conduct yourself in public. Look at the best mannerisms in others around you, and emulate them. Never speak before you think, and know that you learn more by listening than by talking. As an old German proverb goes, “To speak is silver, but to listen is gold.”
Finally, Jordan Christopher Litchfield, I encourage you to develop disciplines: in prayer, in Bible reading, and in faithful church attendance. Do not adhere to these disciplines in a legalistic manner as the Pharisees did, but adhere to them with all your might, yet remaining flexible to any prompting of the Holy Spirit to temporally leave a discipline to attend to someone’s need. Otherwise, you become rigid, unbending, harsh, and hard in your character, making you useless for walking in the Spirit who is much like the wind which today is and tomorrow is gone.
Set a goal for prayer by the week, for a day has too many variables. Plan to be alone with God two, three, five, or ten hours each week. Select a fixed weekly time, and do all to keep it. Spread the time out over 7 days, and if you miss a little one day, catch up on the next. Do not live without goals, do not live without purpose, do not live without prayer.
Job said, “…he that hath clean hands [the pure] shall be stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9). Beginning at the threshold of manhood where you are living today, let every page of your life be pure and white, and heaven will smile upon you, God’s grace will envelope you, and the world will be seasoned by you, so that at the end of your life it can be said as of Enoch, “Jordan walked with God, and God took him.”