Marked By God

by | Feb 11, 2010 | Purpose & Identity

Christians have been debating since the time of Jesus about
what is right living and what must be avoided. You don’t have to look farther
than the New Testament for evidence of this. In Romans 13 and 14, Paul tells us
to stop arguing about how others live out their faith. Instead he calls us to
reach out to one another in love. “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or
why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s
judgment seat” (Rom. 14:10, NIV).

Imagine a worship service. In the front row sits a straight-laced, clean-shaven
man with his hands lifted high. He sings the words with expert timing. He knows
the words by heart so he doesn’t need to look at the screen; in fact he is even
able to let his mind wander a little to the football game scheduled after the
service.

Meanwhile, a young man in the row behind has tattoos
covering his arms and peeking out of his shirt collar. He also raises his
hands. But instead of letting his mind wander, tears run down his cheeks as he
completely loses himself in God’s presence.

Which offering of worship do you think God prefers?

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man
looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam.
16:7).

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I have always felt that my decisions were
scrutinized more than the other children around me. I had the eyes of the
church watching me, wanting me to set an example for others. Knowing that my
choices influenced those around me I did not take the decision to get my first
tattoo lightly. I prayerfully searched the scriptures for direction.

In my search I came across examples where God said He was
more concerned about motivations of heart than actions. The parable of the tax
collector and the Pharisee praying in the synagogue (see Luke 18:9-14) reminds
us that when we pray it should be to communicate with God-not for the attention
of onlookers.

More than anything, Jesus is concerned with our motivation. He rebuked Peter in
Matthew 16, even calling him Satan because he disagreed with Jesus about the
suffering He had to endure. Not wanting Jesus to be killed seems like the right
thing, but Peter was putting his selfish desires in front of the will of God.
Motivation matters.

Some Christians say tattoos are a defilement of the Lord’s temple. I say
motivation matters. Paul wrote: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of
the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not
your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body”
(1 Cor. 6:19-20). I personally don’t see how a tattoo of a cross or a short
prayer like the one across my ankles (which says, “Lord Guide My Steps”) can
possibly be dishonoring God or defiling His temple. I would be more concerned
with the Christian who eats fast food five times a week. What is he doing to
his temple?

When strangers see my tattoos and ask, “What does that mean?” I tell them my
tattoos serve as a constant reminder that I have been forgiven. This reminds me
that I need to forgive others. They also remind me that a step taken without
Gods guidance isn’t one worth taking, and that I need to walk with purpose and
love during my short time here on earth.

Motivation matters. Whatever action I take, I want to have the right motives.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of
God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

I plead with those who are judging people with tattoos. Look at your heart-and
remember the words of Paul in Romans 14:13-14: “Therefore let us stop passing
judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling
block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am
fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards
something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: The Lord Says, ‘Am I Not the Mender of Broken Hearts?’

I was just praying and asking the Lord, “How can I encourage you all today?” I know there are so many challenges out there, but this is what the Lord said to me. The Lord said, “There are some...
How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]