An Aspect of Jesus' Character: Stability
Since stability is a character trait that is very important to God and absolutely vital to a peace-filled, joyous, free, productive, destiny-fulfilling life—then let’s find out what it looks like. By noting some of the signs of instability, we can catch a vision for the life of stability God is building into each of us. Will you talk to God about each of these, asking Him to make clear to you why it is you’re alive? What it is that you have to live for?
Characteristics of Instability:
1. Inactivity. If you are an unstable person, you will find yourself inactive from time to time. This is partly because your inactivity or activity is driven more by emotion than obedience. If it seems that things aren’t “clicking,” you will stop, perhaps claiming, “I guess God’s not in this any more.”
2. Moodiness. A compliment can and should have no more effect on you than a correction or criticism. Either way, to foster stability, offer it to God. Don’t let it get you up or get you down. Offer it to God!
3. Overly sensitive. One sure sign of instability is that you hear and see everything as to how it relates to you. Know that God cannot build on sensitivity and restlessness. God can build ONLY on people who know where they came from and where they are going—NOT people who have to “scramble” through life, trying to protect their interests, their life, their involvement, etc.
4. Bitterness (internalizing). Paul described the stronghold of satan as imaginations. When you are stable, you find 100% of your identity in Jesus. Paul said that if I get my identity from men and what they think of me, I cease to be a servant of God. (Gal. 1:10). The JESUS LIFE, which is the bedrock of who we are as followers of Jesus equals giving up, LAYING DOWN our lives (not just in theory, but really!) for others while they are still sinners.
5. Discouragement. Since an unstable person lives for foolish pleasure and delight, they will be discouraged if the pleasure and entertainment are not there. This applies even to so-called “spiritual” things. For example, because a “great prayer time” seems spiritual to an unstable person, a “prayer time” that’s not accompanied by goose bumps will be discouraging. An unstable person looks to and measures by externals, rather than the Truth of God. Therefore, when the externals add up, they are encouraged. When the externals don’t add up, they become discouraged. Remember, TRUTH and not performance is the foundation of stability!
6. Impulsive. The unstable person is moved by sentiment and sympathy and therefore responds to need and not to God’s supply. I must realize that it is NOT my job to meet needs. My job is to look for God’s supply. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Father was Glorified rather than Jesus. Why? Because Jesus waited for God’s supply rather than responding to the need. Jesus never panicked at all of the unfinished work all around Him. To panic is to be faithless. If you believe that God is ruler of Heaven and earth, then you must believe that you can be a true vessel of Heaven rather than a “fireman of heaven.” Be AVAILABLE, be a WITNESS, LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE, but don’t panic just because Lazarus is sick. It is NOT your responsibility. You are NOT God’s fireman.
7. Wrong Motives. If you are unstable, you will act out of your own need for approval and acceptance. That’s something Jesus (in John 13) didn’t have any problem with. Because He knew where He came from and was going, He had no identity at stake in what any of the twelve thought of Him for stooping to wash their feet. The same is true with us, if it is clear in our hearts why we are alive, who we are, where we have come from and are going. If it is clear to us that our identity and worth are found ONLY in the love of the Father. If those things are clear, there is no longer a need to strive for, look for, cry for acceptance, approval, inclusion. Rejoice that your name is written in the book of Life. Act, speak, serve, love—all out of love for your Master, Lord, and Friend. “The Love of Christ compels us.”
8. Lust of the Eyes. If you are an unstable person, your eyes are gratified by looking at your possessions and the things you have done. You find pleasure by glorying in your accomplishments.
9. Fickle. An unstable person says: “If it’s my idea or it meets my expectations, THEN I’ll do it!” That person does and says things because there is glory in it for them. It has nothing to do with the authority and direction of God.
10. Possessive. An unstable person holds others with a death grip. If so-and-so’s view of me changes, am I devastated? I’ve got to know that I came from and am returning to the Father. If that is clear, I will lay my life down for them even if their view of me changes... without missing a beat!
One final reminder: Jesus IS the author and perfecter and He WILL present us perfect before the Father!! Believe it, count on it and move on, leaving behind all instability—looking Jesus and His Promises fully in the face so you can embrace, explore, and enjoy all of the wonders of the Life He has prepared for us even now!