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Devo: Criminal Minded (Edward Welch)

Published on May 24, 2010

What’s a criminal?  A criminal is someone who breaks the law of the land.  I can’t help but be slightly intrigued about the mind of a criminal.  A criminal sees the world differently than the rest of us.  How?  Well, we all know that stealing is against the law.  The normal person would say I don’t want to break that law for whatever motive.  The motive could be an inward conviction to do what’s right.  Another motive could be a fear of getting caught.  This rationale can easily be accepted with the thought to work hard and pay for what we want like everybody else.  In fact, robbing a store to fulfill a desire probably doesn’t run across your mind.  A criminal’s mind has the same “I want it” thought that everyone else has, minus the strong conviction of doing what is right and/or an overriding fear of getting caught.  The mind of a criminal sees certain things like robbing a liquor store as an option, where the rest of us don’t consider that at all, just because it’s wrong.  The interesting point I want to make is that criminals don’t even do everything they see as an option, but the fact that crime is an option in the mind of a criminal is the actual problem.  We’re not tempted by things that we don’t see as an option.

Ok, so why did I say all of that?  God showed me that a lot of us Christians have the mentality of criminals in the kingdom of God .  We see certain things as options that really shouldn’t be options at all.  The kingdom of God is just like a country.  It has laws.  These laws can, but shouldn’t, be broken.  Of course, I’m talking about sin, but I’m not just talking about the “big sins” that we always preach about.  I also mean disobedience in even the smallest of issues.  How many times have we heard the Word of God and instead of accepting it as law, we view God’s truth as an option?  Since when did a king’s decree in any land or at any time become optional?  Most decrees from kings came with communication that prescribed death to all who did not carry out the king’s wishes.  Is not God the King of kings?  That’s what we call Him in our songs anyway.  Do we really believe it?  Do you treat God as king or as a holy advisor?

When Jesus walked the earth, He taught about the kingdom of God and shared many visuals and analogies to make sure that we understood the importance of this kingdom.  I think we’ve lost sight of God as Lord and King.  He’s more like a Savior/genie in a bottle/hookup.  My pastor was just teaching about a scripture that we use a lot in the church…at least partially.  God uses all things to work to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Sometimes we forget that we are called to fit within His purposes.  This is why life gets so frustrating when things don’t go our way.  We begin to think that everything God does is supposed to fit within our purpose and desire.

Let’s not forget whose kingdom we have residence in.  We are governed by the rules of God’s kingdom and we are supposed to be submitted to His will and purpose.  The Bible (and God’s specific instructions to you personally) is not “good advice.”  It is the law.  If we don’t accept this as truth, we’re living with a criminal’s mind instead of the mind of a law abiding citizen.  When God tells you to witness, do you do it?  Do you consider it an option to do it when you feel like it?  When God tells you not to eat something or not to say something, do you receive it as law to be carried out or advice that you can turn from if your emotions are taking you in a different direction?  God’s not just our best friend.  He is the King.  It’s about time we treated Him like it.

Edward Welch

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