The Exceptionality of the Lord
The call to the knowledge of God is the call to a life of exceptionality. The thought of exceptionality follows upon the thoughts of exclusivity we just considered in regard to our salvation. Moses wrote: "There is no one like our God." And so the prophets and psalms echo, as does the Law. "Who is like unto Thee, O Lord among the gods?"
Becoming reconciled to God then is much more than just being made "ok" with the Lord. Becoming reconciled to God is to become reconciled to His exceptionality, and in that exceptionality, realizing that we too have been called to live a life of exception. Because God is utterly different from this world, so too we who are the called and chosen are also becoming spiritually different from and behaviorally distinguished from all that surrounds us of this unredeemed life. This life may be the ground into which we have been planted as new creations, but we are not of the ground. We are the living seed.
By this we recognize the significance of faith. Faith is not just that we walk by the unseen. It is that we walk by the exceptional. We walk by the different. We walk by the different because we are different, and we are different because we are born of the One who is Different--who is exceptional in all His ways. God does things the way nobody else does them. He is not like anyone else. He follows no crowd. But we are to follow Him.
In the world, it is a sin to be "different." The highest aspiration is to be like everyone else, or else to excel within oneself above others by comparison with others (to be different for the "sake of being different").
But our God is without comparison. That is why it says, "Who is like unto Thee?" We only aspire to be one with One with Whom there is no comparison. And therefore we are without comparison. In being exceptional, we do not compare ourselves with or against others.
But that is why we always have a different reference point for what is true and for what we do. The Lord has called us to make Him our only reference point for who we are and what we do. For He is exceptional in Who He Is and all that He does.
Where then is unity? Our unity is in our shared exceptionality in Him. Our unity is not in our likeness to one another. As an exceptional body called out unto His exceptionality, we recognize that we are each called to follow Him according to the exceptional pattern He has laid out for each one. And we respect that exceptionality in one another. We don't seek to conform our fellow worshippers to ourselves any more than we seek to be conformed to them. And in love, we work out the discernment between our valid and invalid differences.
This helps us understand the role of the true prophet. The true prophet not only understands his own exceptionality, but has been appointed of the Lord as a spokesman for goading his fellow man toward union with the Lord's exceptionality, and toward building unity on that common pursuit. He says, "Get your eyes off yourself and follow Him. Get your eyes off those around you and believe for what He has called you to believe for--do what He has called you to do." The true prophet is always calling to a life of exceptionality—to be different and to make a difference because of His Difference. He calls God's people to be distinguishable from all that is around them.
In His exceptionality, the Lord is excellent. The Lord does nothing by mediocrity, and despises mediocrity. Lukewarmness is mediocrity. Lukewarmness is the characteristic of the Laodicean church—literally, the "custom of the people" or "justice of the people" church. The Laodicean church is the democratic church. It is happy with mediocrity. It does not follow the Lord in His exceptionality. The true prophet rebukes the mediocre church for its conformity to one another's voices and its failure to pursue the Lord in His daring exceptionality. (As many as the Lord loves, He rebukes.)
The Laodicean church is afraid to be different than the world. It is filled with wimps ashamed of the Lord's exceptionality. It is afraid to take risks that expose it to ridicule and ostracism from the herd. The Laodicean church wants to find ways to dumb down the exceptionality of the Lord to make the Lord more "appealing" to the world. The world says, "God can't be that way. He is so unfair. How could a truly loving God ever...blah, blah, blah." And the Laodicean church says,
"You know, you're right, world. The Lord just can't be that way, so here, let us present Him to you in a way that will make Him more likable to you. In truth, our God really is like you and really wants you to like Him. He's really no different than you are. He wants to be reconciled to you! Here, look. We'll even adjust our doctrine for you so you will be able to 'accept' Him as your 'savior' far more easily. We'll even find ways to reinterpret the entire Bible if necessary so you will be able to accept Him." (Open your ears, church. This is happening all over.)
But God will not alter His exceptionality to appease anyone—not the world, and not any mediocre church called by His Name. He will ever continue in His exceptionality, and His call will simply continue to those who can hear it, who will dare to get up, say no to the herd, and follow Him in belief and practice, regardless of what it sounds like to anyone else.
What do you think? Are you up to being exceptional and to becoming exceptional in all that you believe and do from the way the world believes and does? And are you up to being separated out of the Laodicean church if necessary to become a "Theodicean" follower who sets an example for a mediocre believership?
The exceptionality of the Lord will take you by faith into places you never thought He would take you and you never thought you could go or would have to go. But I tell you, no matter how great the cost or pain of daring to live exceptionally, there is no more internally exhilarating, satisfying sense than to know the finding of union with Jesus in His exceptionality—in the beauty of His holiness. It is worth it, a thousand times over. There is no greater sense of fulfilled purpose than to realize your potential for sharing in the exceptionality of the Lord's holiness.
So follow on, faithful believers and servants and sons of the Lord, and all you who fear His Name alone.
"My soul followeth hard after Thee, Thy right hand upholdeth me." Ps. 63:8
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island, USA
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
BACK TO TOP
Page created January 14, 2018