This is one of those posts that i almost want to avoid writing because of the ‘tough love’ and serious nature of the content, but then again, not everything in the Bible is easy to read either, right? And this blog has always been about sharing what I am learning and what God is doing in my life, heart and mind so here it goes! This is what kept me awake at 4am this morning … tough love from God, because He knows that’s how I like it 🙂
The truth is, the more I read the Bible, the deeper I go into the gospel and the more I learn about the life of Christ I start getting really concerned about calling myself a Christian. It’s a title I almost feel unworthy of because I don’t feel like I’m a very good example.
There are so many excuses we make for acting the way we do, saying what we do, practicing what we do. We just want to justify getting away with stuff that CLEARLY isn’t what the Bible is teaching. I use excuses all the time: ‘I know I shouldn’t do this but …’ and I hear excuses all the time: ‘I probably shouldn’t watch this but…’ we’re just looking for excuses to sin.
I’ve also used the ‘I haven’t felt convicted of it’ excuse. But it doesn’t matter if we ‘feel’ convicted in our sins or not. At the end of the day we shouldn’t be waiting for God to convict us of something that the Bible clearly speaks against! It should be a no-brainer! Did Jesus do it? No! Do you see it modeled anywhere in the scriptures? No! Did He say ‘Don’t do it’? Yes? Well then leave it alone! But instead we just want to live by our feelings and actually do whatever we want because we don’t ‘feel’ convicted then it should be ok, right?
Satan isn’t going to get the Christian away from God by offering the opportunity to commit murder or steal someone’s household belongings. That’s too obvious! He’s going to do it by convincing us that some stuff is not a big deal; that there’s ‘no harm’ in practicing this or saying that or doing that if we only do it this way or say it in that context or watch it and forward over the ‘hectic parts’.
I believe that this is how our hearts and ears and minds start becoming numb to the word of God.
Many excuses also have to do with our culture, or the times we live in or the way things are ‘these days’. We just want to stay ‘in the loop’ or ‘fit in’. But there’s a huge danger in allowing our culture to determine our theology instead of letting our theology determin our culture!
Since we believe in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation (don’t we?) we believe in everything the Bible tells us about God! That truth should cause us to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ Phil 2:12 (read this article for more on what that means http://www.gotquestions.org/fear-and-trembling.html) and we should be taking stuff far more seriously!
I think to myself: if Jesus gave His life for me, who deserves nothing, how much more then should I live my life for Him who deserves the highest praise, glory and honour?
This is too serious and precious and wonderful and important a message, for us to go through life ruled by our feelings and living out the lies that things and words and actions don’t matter THAT much; waiting for convictions and making excuses.
We need to start using our brains! We need to fill our minds with the word of God no matter how hard it is to hear, and speak the truth no matter how hard it is to say! That is what will help us spot the subtle distractions and temptations of the devil! I don’t think it benefits us to accept or reject things based on the decisions of others. We need to seek truth and understanding in order to make well informed decisions and live our lives with wisdom. That’s how we grow.
The word of God has confused me, offended me, challenged me and got me to ask many, many questions. But I have found that in learning the answers, in wrestling with the difficult parts and seeking to understand it, it has brought me to my knees in tears of joy, repentance and gratitude. I am more and more convinced of the goodness, greatness and faithfulness of the loving God we serve, and confident that nothing matters more than living my life for Christ who gave His life for me.
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.””
1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV