Friday, October 2, 2015

3 Things God Doesn't Call You or I To Believe...

When we are trying to follow Jesus sometimes a person will say something that sounds good, but is not God's will for us.  We go along because we feel they are spiritually mature, or out of peer pressure, or driven by fear.  But those are not reasons to do anything.

Consider a few examples of being misled as a Christian person:

1.) The statement "I prayed about it and got a feeling to do --fill in the blank--."  

While this sounds very spiritual, you do not see a single example of someone in the Bible making any decision, let alone a major decision, based on how they felt in a prayer.  This alone ought to eliminate this as a real contender, because there is no positive foundation to use it to decide anything.  Christians ought to be very skeptical of the human heart too, for God's Word declares boldly: 'the heart is deceitful above all things, and hopelessly sick.' (Jeremiah chapter 17)  King David speaking prophetically said that he was born with a sin tendency.  And Paul a major teacher and evangelist in the early church taught often that we all fall short of the glory of God and that we do what we do not want to do.  Any person then thinking a feeling in a prayer is God's will is reading WAY too much into it.  God gave us a mind to use.  The word spiritual actually means reasonable.  We need to decide based on the Bible, not how a prayer time or two felt this week or next week.

2.) The statement "God wants me to be happy, so he wouldn't deny me --fill in the blank--."

I've actually had people use this statement to justify relationships with unbelievers, to justify bitterness towards another, and to take something that is not theirs.  It's unfortunate that people make a 'god' in their image and declare that this 'god' approves of anything that makes them "happy."  Part of the problem is what is "happiness?"  You see, happiness in life comes from God's truth as you follow (not just claim to follow) the living Jesus by faith.  Happiness is fleeting or in fact an outright lie if it is counter God's truth.  Often this statement comes from biblical disinterest (on the part of person saying), resulting in ignorance of God's will as revealed and is combined with a passing passion (after a person, a thing, a philosophy, etc).  That's a dangerous intersection.  While not a big Pastor/Teacher John Piper fan, I do appreciate much of his emphasis in saying God does want us to be happy but true happiness comes he says when we find our greatest happiness in God.  In other words, the stuff of earth isn't going to give you happiness, or that elusive perfect relationships, or some set of friends.  At the end of the day, people will let you down if you hope in them, and stuff wears out, rusts or cracks in the sun til it's gone.  What's left then?  Now you see why that statement is misleading in people's decision process.

3.) The statement "God wants me to befriend everyone."

The biggest problem here is no one did that.  Jesus had many an issue with Pharisees and Sadducees.  Few were friends.  Large majorities disliked the Jesus they heard and saw.  He didn't compromise God's truth to befriend them.  But Jesus did reach out to people genuinely seeking God's will.  Ah, a big difference.  Paul likewise warns Christ followers against Alexander the Metal Worker who did great harm to him.  John cautions a church to not follow an angry vision hijacker person trying to takeover their church who claimed to be a 'Christian.'  So while we should try to be at peace or reach out to as many as we can, we should not believe that God wants us to befriend everyone to be a good Christ follower.  Beyond just the Scriptural example, there are many who are Narcissists and Predators who creep into churches and into your life in relationships that probably should not be your friend.  So really consider yourself set free from the false gospel of we must befriend everyone.

Blessings to you.

The Lord is Mighty in Wisdom

When you think about your work, your family situation, or your relationships, it is best to remember that God's truth makes one blessed.  Sometimes we forget this and imagine our life outside of church as a big "neutral" zone where we just operate by the world's advice.  But consider this, when Solomon assumed the throne of a kingship after his father David in Israel, he asked God for wisdom to lead.  And God heard the prayer.   One of the wisest people in history, due to God's blessing, Solomon lead a large and diverse (including parts of modern Syria, Jordan, Iraq) country.

Recorded in 1st Kings the country thrived and had security due to godly wisdom in action.

And yet God's wisdom extended to the practical.  He had a wise set of friends, who were in different roles, so there was balance.  These were also advisers with different backgrounds.  We read in the Bible that he had 12 directors over national provision who operated in turn, so that no area was exhausted.  We find that he had rotation teams in building the Temple in Jerusalem as well.  So often we forget that God's wisdom gives great peace, honor, and hope.

Here's God's plan for you:  Take a moment to ask God today to give you wisdom to do His will, not the worldly thing, in your life.  Pray he gives you godly wisdom and then act on it instead of what you might initially think to do (or feel to do).