What is My Responsibility?
There are many levels of responsibility but the most important is our responsibility in the sight of God. A good place to start is what are our responsibilities according the the New Covenant. Here are some more...
- Love God first
- Love people
- Do whatever is necessary to maintain a right relationship with God
- Yield to the Holy Spirit
- Be led by the Holy Spirit
- Choose the truth
- Obey all God established authority
- Trust God in everything
- Remain humble, accountable, correctable and teachable
- Hate evil
- Do not let sin reign
- Resist the devil
- Instead of "sin-confess-sin-confess..." do "sin-confess-resist"
- My own maturity and freedom in Christ
- My own character
- Not judging the character of others
- Disciplining others in my care
- Love justice and mercy
- Develop a servant's heart
- Be a giver
- Spend quality time with God and His Word
- Spend quality time with spouse, children, brothers and sisters in Christ
- Meet the needs of those God has given me to care for
- Walk as Jesus walked
- Lead by example - Christ's example
What is God's Responsibility?
- Provide acceptance and belonging
- Be a Father to us
- Relationship through fatherhood
- Make us His children
- Hear our cries for help
- Bear our burdens
- Love us
- Be a Father to us
- Provide security
- Provide for our basic needs
- Protect us from the evil one
- If we are doing our responsibilities
- Provide significance
- Give us purpose
- Provide direction
- Provide gifting
- Bring conviction of sin
- Draw men to himself
- Judge character
Resisting the devil is your responsibility based on the authority you possess in Christ.
Dr. Neil Anderson, Daily in Christ a Devotional. (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, Inc., 1993), January 25.
LIMITING ANXIOUS FEELINGS
1 Peter 5:7 NIV
Cast all your anxiety on Him [God] because He cares for you
Let's assume you have sought God's will for a certain direction, and you believe that He has led you to make specific plans. The problem is you are still worried about whether your plans will come about as you have hoped. When I'm facing such situations, I try to follow the six steps described below to limit my anxious feelings.
First, state the problem. A problem well stated is half solved. In anxious states of mind, people can't see the forest for the trees. Put the problem in perspective. Will it matter for eternity? The danger at this juncture is to seek ungodly counsel. The world is glutted with magicians and sorcerers who will promise incredible results. Their appearance may be striking. Their personality may be charming. But they are bankrupt of character. Avoid them (Psalm 1:1).
Second, separate the facts from the assumptions. Since we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, we make assumptions, and we usually assume the worst. If the assumption is accepted as truth, it will drive your mind to its anxiety limits. Therefore, you must separate assumptions from facts.
Third, determine what you have the right or ability to control . You are responsible for that which you can control, and you are not responsible for that which you can't. Don't try to cast your responsibility onto Christ; He will throw it back.
Fourth, list everything you can do which is related to the situation that is under your responsibility. When people don't assume their responsibility, they turn to temporary cures for their anxiety, like eating, TV, sex or drugs.
Fifth, once you are sure you have fulfilled your responsibility, see if there is any way you can help others. Turning your attention away from your own self-absorption and onto helping people around you is not only the loving thing to do, but it also brings a special inner peace.
Sixth, the rest is God's responsibility, except for your prayer, according to Philippians 4:6-8. So assume your responsibility, but cast your anxiety on Christ.
Prayer: Lord, help me recognize the difference between today's responsibilities and anxieties, then put them in their proper places.
Ibid, February 9
Romans 6:12 informs us that it is our responsibility not to allow sin to reign in our lives. Sin will reign if we use our bodies as instruments of unrighteousness (Romans 6:13). We must renounce every such use and submit our bodies to God as instruments of righteousness.
Ibid, February 17
The whole purpose of the Bible is to teach us how to have a relationship with God and live in harmony with one another. We do this by assuming our responsibilities for today and trusting God for tomorrow.
Ibid, March 8
Getting rid of the old self was God's responsibility, but rendering the flesh and its deeds inoperative is our responsibility (Romans 8:12). God has changed your nature, but it's your responsibility to change your behavior by "putting to death the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:13).
Ibid, April 22.
Freedom in Christ from our sinful nature and the god of this world is the inheritance of every believer. Christ has set you free through His victory over sin and death on the cross. But if you have lost a measure of your freedom because you have failed to stand firm in the faith or you have disobeyed God, it is your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to maintain a right relationship with God. Your eternal destiny is not at stake; you are secure in Christ. But your daily victory in Him will be tenuous at best if you fail to assume your responsibility to maintain your freedom in Christ.
Remember: you are not the helpless victim of a tug-of-war between two nearly equal heavenly superpowers. Compared to Satan's limited attributes, God is immeasurable in His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience--and you are united with Him!
Ibid, July 4
Persons who want to move forward in Christian maturity can certainly benefit from the discipling of others. And those who seek freedom from their past can be helped through the counseling of others. But ultimately every Christian is responsible for his or her own maturity and freedom in Christ. Nobody can make you grow. That's your decision and daily responsibility. We absolutely need God, and we also need the support of one another. Thankfully, none of us walks through the disciplines of personal maturity and freedom alone. The indwelling Christ is eagerly willing to walk with us each step of the way.
Ibid, July 6
When we assume the responsibility of another person's conscience, we misdirect that person's battle with God to ourselves, and we are insufficient for the task. We are under the commandment of God to love one another. So when a legitimate need is made known, trust God to bring the conviction that will move that person to meet the need.
Ibid, August 30
Discipline is an issue of confronting observed behavior—that which you have personally witnessed (Galatians 6:1); judgment is an issue of character. We are instructed to confront others concerning sins we have observed, but we are not allowed to judge their character (Matthew 7:1; Romans 14:13). Disciplining is our responsibility; judging character is God's responsibility.
For example, imagine that you just caught your child telling a lie. "You're a liar," you say to him. That's judgment, an attack on his character. But if you say, "Son, you just told a lie," that's discipline. You're holding him account- able based on an observed behavior.
Or let's say that a Christian friend admits to you that he cheated on his income tax return. If you confront him as a thief you are judging his character, and that's not your responsibility. You can only confront him on the basis of what you see: "By cheating on your taxes you are stealing from the government, and that's wrong."
Ibid, September 30
We must assume our responsibility for choosing the truth. We can't always tell whether the thought comes from the TV set, our memory bank, our imagination, or a deceiving spirit. Regardless of where a thought originates, examine it in the light of God's Word and choose the truth.
Lord, help me today as I assume my responsibility to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Ibid, November 2
We can't assume responsibility for someone else, but we can serve as the Lord's instrument to affect their freedom. It is every individual's responsibility to resist the devil, put on the armor of God, confess, forgive, renounce sin, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. But according to 2 Timothy 2:24-26, by the grace of God we can help them.
Ibid, November 4
RESPONSIBILITIES OVER RIGHTS
You were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another
Nothing will distort relationships faster than emphasizing our rights over our responsibilities. For example, a husband may chip at his wife because he feels he has a right to expect her to be submissive. A wife may nag her husband because she expects him to be the spiritual leader. Parents harass their children because they feel it's their right to demand obedience. Members are offended in the local church when they think their rights have been violated by pastors, boards or other members.
Any time people insist on their rights at the expense of failing to assume their responsibilities, they are going down to defeat. For example, a pregnant woman may demand her right for an abortion. She says it is her body and she can do whatever she wants with it. Then she proceeds to demonstrate her irresponsible use of her body to everyone! We don't have an abortion problem; we have an irresponsible sex problem.
In God's system, our focus is to be fulfilling our responsibilities, not insisting on our rights. Husband, having a submissive wife is not your right; but being a loving, caring husband is your responsibility. Headship is not a right to be demanded but an awesome responsibility to be fulfilled.
Similarly, wives, having a spiritual husband is not your right; but being a submissive, supportive wife is your responsibility. Parents, raising obedient children is not your right; but disciplining your children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord is your responsibility. Being a member of the Body of Christ and of a local church is an incredible privilege, not a right. This privilege comes with the awesome responsibility to behave as God's children and become a lover of people. When we stand before Christ, He will not ask us if we received everything we had coming to us. But He will reward us for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities.
Prayer: Lord, help me relinquish my rights and focus on my responsibilities in all my relationships today.
Ibid, November 30
Sin which is allowed to reign is like the dog that bits you on the leg and won't let go. Not realizing there is a dog, you beat on yourself for leaving the door open and cry out to God for forgiveness. He forgives you, but the dog is still there. Why not cry out to God and beat on the dog instead of yourself? James 4:7 tells us, "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." We are correct in confessing our sin, but we have failed to follow the complete biblical formula which breaks the cycle: sin-confess- resist . We must first assume our responsibility for opening the door, then we must resist Satan and command him to leave if we are going to experience victory over sin.
Ibid, December 8
God has known us from the foundation of the world. He has entrusted us with certain life endowments. He will certainly lead us in a way that makes use of our gifts and talents. It is our responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity as it arrives. Tragically, many people go to the grave with their music still in them, never contributing to the symphony of God's work. They never realize their potential nor taken the risks that faith requires. They hang onto the security of the tree trunk, but the fruit is always on the end of the limb.
Lord, I don't want to go to the grave without having accomplished my purpose. Use my gifts and talents to glorify You and edify others today.
Ibid, December 22
Truth is the object of our faith. If we know the truth it will set us free to grow in love with the hope of eternity before us. The church is gifted to accomplish that objective. Gifts are a means to an end, never an end in themselves. When "gifts" become an end in themselves, they fail to accomplish their purpose and become the basis for spiritual pride. Godly character is our goal, and it must take precedence over the gifts.
The overwhelming thrust of the rest of Scripture encourages us to seek God and trust Him to gift us as He sees fit for the edification of the church. "Seek not, forsake not" seems to be the balance we need. Our responsibility is to yield to the Holy Spirit. However He chooses to fill us is His responsibility.
Ibid, December 24
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.
Once when I was pastoring I got a distress call: "Pastor, you better get over here or we're liable to kill each other." When I arrived at the house I persuaded them to sit down across the table from each other to talk through their problem. They whaled away at each other for several minutes, slamming each other with accusations and insults.
Finally I interrupted. "Time out! Each of you get your Bible." I asked the husband to read Romans 14:4: "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand." "That verse is talking about judging another person's character," I said. "Before God, each of you is responsible for your own character." They nodded their agreement.
Then I asked the wife to read Philippians 2:3: "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself." "That verse is talking about needs," I continued. "Before God, each of you is responsible for meeting each other's needs." Again the couple agreed with my statement. "Do you realize what you have been doing the last two hours? Instead of assuming responsibility for your own character, you've been ripping apart your partner's character. Instead of looking out for your partner's needs, you've been selfishly absorbed with your own needs. No wonder your marriage isn't functioning" Before I left that day, they prayerfully committed to refocus their responsibilities according to the Word of God.
What kind of families and churches would we have if we all assumed responsibility for our own character and sought to meet the needs of those we live with?
Prayer: Lord, I want to be able to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
Ibid, December 28
Paul instructs us to make no provision for the flesh. What if we do? We are told to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. What if we don't? James 4:7 admonishes us to "resist the devil and he will flee from you." What if we don't resist him? Is he required to flee from us if we don't take our stand against him? No, if we don't resist him, he doesn't have to go. We have the assurance of God's protection, but we must assume our responsibility to personally resist Satan.
Choosing truth, living a righteous life, and donning the armor of God is each believer's individual responsibility. I cannot be responsible for you, and you cannot be responsible for me. I can pray for you, encourage you in the faith, and support you, but if you go into the battle without your armor on, you may get hurt. As much as that may be a matter of concern for me, I still cannot make those decisions of responsibility for you. Those choices are yours alone.
Ibid, December 29