The Habit of Enjoying the Disagreeable

by Mike Ratliff

While Christians must pursue peace and unity with all whenever possible, that does not mean that they should ever be at peace with false teaching, false teachers, false preachers, or false leaders. The conflict that arises when we obediently confront error, as Jesus did and as Paul did, is most disagreeable. I, for one, do not like it. I have a deep desire to be at peace with everyone, but when those who disagree with the truth from God’s Word descend upon me simply for stating it, refusing to be sucked into unfruitful debate about it, or for rebuking those who refuse to repent then I must remain obedient and ready to continue in that obedience. The cost has been counted. Even though it hurts some when being called all sorts of names or reading things about myself that these people write, I have learned a very huge truth. When we do this and do not fall away from it, our Lord is right there with us manifesting Himself through us. Our human side may want to avoid the conflict, but if we are genuine disciples called to this ministry of restoration and reform then we will experience a closeness with our Lord that few have. That closeness is also accompanied by a deep Joy that comes to those who are obedient no matter how hot the fire. I am posting another devotional by Oswald Chambers on obedience. Enjoy and be blessed.

by Oswald Chambers

“That life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:10)

We have to form habits to express what God’s grace has done in us. It is not a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the life of the Son of God in our mortal flesh, and it is the disagreeable things which make us exhibit whether or not we are manifesting His life. Do I manifest the essential sweetness of the Son of God, or the essential irritation of “myself” apart from Him? The only thing that will enable me to enjoy the disagreeable is the keen enthusiasm of letting the life of the Son of God manifest itself in me. No matter how disagreeable a thing may be, say–“Lord, I am delighted to obey Thee in this matter,” and instantly the Son of God will press to the front, and there will be manifested in my human life that which glorifies Jesus.

There must be no debate. The moment you obey the light, the Son of God presses through you in that particular, but if you debate you grieve the Spirit of God. You must keep yourself fit to let the life of the Son of God be manifested, and you cannot keep yourself fit if you give way to self-pity. Our circumstances are the means of manifesting how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure the Son of God is. The thing that ought to make the heart beat is a new way of manifesting the Son of God. It is one thing to choose the disagreeable and another thing to go into the disagreeable by God’s engineering. If God puts you there, He is amply sufficient.

Keep your soul fit to manifest the life of the Son of God. Never live on memories; let the word of God be always living and active in you.

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18 thoughts on “The Habit of Enjoying the Disagreeable

  1. “Even though it hurts some when being called all sorts of names or reading things about myself that these people write,”

    Spurgeon once said, “They called Him “Beelzebub” and must you be called “Reverand Sir”? They called Him “that fellow” and must you be praised?

    The last time we checked, Mike, our hands did not have nails through them. Whatever the cost we endure it cannot be said in the same breath, the same lifetime, of what the Sinless Lamb endured for us. I love Oswald Chambers.

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  2. Thanks for that Rick! I am not complaining. I am also not kidding that the joy from partaking a little of His cup in this battle is very real and quite enjoyable. To be on the cliff edge while trusting the Lord through it is the best place to be.

    Oswald Chamber’s insight is truly amazing. God used My Utmost for His Highest in my revival and I highly recommend that those whom God is calling into the light to find a copy. It’s online as well.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  3. Dear Mike,

    On these lines, I have come to find both power and peace in this verse; the power came in the application, and then the peace came. The overwhelming peace of God is very powerful, and in His overwhelming power there is overwhelming peace. The verse:

    For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
    (1Pe 2:20)

    -David

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  4. Mike,

    “While Christians must pursue peace and unity with all whenever possible, that does not mean that they should ever be at peace with false teaching, false teachers, false preachers, or false leaders. “….

    AMEN!!!

    Sherry

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  5. Sherry,

    This is the bone of contention between those who demand that we remian in fellowship with those who refuse to submit to our Lord in all things and obey HIs commands. If they refuse to repent of this then we must move on.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  6. how do you know that something is disagreeable? in my case I have been having a deep desire for something for more than a year now. Yet there are a lot of hindrances to it, but these hindrances were expected, but yet I don’t feel that I have had a no from God and so I still have not taken a no from God, but God seems to be silent for too long and it makes me really sad. So how do I know whether God agrees or disagrees with it? and besides thats the one thing which really keeps me sad at times. How do I know what God wants?

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  7. Hi Mike,

    Heb 13:13 “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp bearing his reproach”.

    It is all worth it.

    Cristina

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  8. Paul,

    Don’t try to make what you want to happen, simply go where God leads providentially. Never stop praying for wisdom and discernment and direction. You have to learn to listen. I call this active listening. During a day I pay attention to all of my circumstances, the scripture that is brought to bear and opprotunities to do good works. That is really all I do except when it’s time to write. Then I take all of that that came before and seek my Lord’s will through prayer and reading my Bible. God isn’t hiding his will from us, but if we don’t seek it then we can’t know it.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  9. Hi Mike, I was out full day on Sunday and so though I read what you replied I could not reply because I did not get enough time. Well, I cannot make what I wish happen at all, and that is why I feel terribly helpless, in fact things are much out of control for me, but its something takes up all my thoughts and prayers. And I have been praying so hard to God to give me an answer, in fact, I can easily say that I have never prayed hard for anything so much. And all I want is an answer, whether it be a yes or no. I have been seeking an answer from God and I am sure that I have not even closed my ears to a “no” even though its a “yes” which I wish for. Well, this is something which could change the course of my whole life, so thats why it consumes most of my thoughts and prayers. But sometimes I wonder whether its the wrong in me which keeps God from answering my prayers, but I wonder a lot about this.. Thats why I thought I’d ask you what you think about this. Thank you for your reply,

    In Jesus,

    Paul

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  10. Hi Mike,

    I have emailed you about the thing I have been praying for. Its a very long mail because the whole situation is very complicated. Hope that you will not misunderstand my feelings. And thanks again for taking the time to listen.

    In Jesus,

    Paul

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  11. thanks for your reply and your prayers yet again. In case you feel you need to tell me anything I am all ears and in case something happens from my side or I think of doing something I would like to definitely know your opinion as well 🙂 thanks for listening yet again.

    God bless,

    Paul

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