Pinterest: where different ideas, methods, recipes, and perspectives are shared! My goodness is it addicting. I am starting to think that this is one of most common/justifiable traps in spiritual world: power to choose an option.
When God called me to fast, one of loudest oppositions was “then I can’t choose what to eat, when to eat, with whom I eat, etc? Where am I going to get my fun in life?” Sounds like a classic case of yea-you-should-probably-fast, right? Our lives, especially in this affluent western half of the world, are full of choices. We get bored without them.
We choose to use this brand of clothes (from many). We choose to use elliptical (from many machines). We choose to binge on chocolate (instead of other junk foods). We choose to curse. We choose the channels (from 2039482039). We choose to be Christians (from various religions). We choose to follow Christ…
I never realized this until midway in the fast but I had no problem following Christ as long as I had my power to choose in other not-God-related stuff. It was as if I wanted to have few small wills… hoping that it won’t interfere with un/godly stuff…
God, I am all for you as long as I get to choose at where I am missionary… God, I am all for you as long as you let me get my weekly froyo binge… God, I am all for you as long as you let me get mad at my husband for all the things he’s not doing from time to time (not all the time!) God, I am all for you as long as you forgive me for all the things I am doing on my own when I want to…
It summarized into this: I was following Christ in areas which my flesh permitted conditionally.
Simple concept! But it never hit me this real. When you commit your life to Christ, there is no alternative than God’s way. He has a system going. He has commandments and values which we need to sacrifice our flesh for. He is a zealous God who will not have competitions on who gets to lead my life at this given moment! He has an exact detailed plan for your life, TODAY! God told me: I am not an opt in and opt out policy. It is “Follow me. NO. MATTER. WHAT. But I will supply you with everything you need to do that.”
Think about it. If God told you to eat the same stuff, wear same style of clothes, hang out with same people, and have a mundane life… Would you follow Him? What if all the “fun” was taken away to taste HIS joy? Is doing His will NO MATTER WHAT your main goal in life? Our hope is in His power that enables us to do His will and be like Jesus Christ… NOT to lead our version of godliness-as-of-now.
Man, so humbling. I hope it challenges you guys as it challenged me. He has something for you to do right now, this moment, in that place. Seek Him and His will (btw: His will is in the Bible, too. Whatayaknow.)
— Steve Fuller
— John Piper (Devotion from week of 12/31)
This is a great illustration I heard from my church:
Imagine you and I run into each other and find out we might have a mutual friend. It might go something like this:
“So you know my friend, John Smith?”
“Yea, what a great guy. He lost a lot of weight in last few months though.”
“Oh yea? I guess it has been awhile. He has blonde hair, right?”
“No, He has brown hair… ever since I’ve met him. He got engaged to Sarah last year.”
“No, my John Smith is still single ready to mingle…”
You start to realize that your John Smith is not their John Smith. This is how we know that gods are not the same: by character. Sure, a lot of them might overlap because most of us will agree on definitions of good and that god is suppose to be good (unlike examples of very human-like Greek gods)… but dig deeper. Find the differences for yourself!
What is this big hype about the tree of knowledge of good and evil? From what did God want to protect us (Did He want to protect us? Read more here). I really had to pray when I was asking, “so what about this tree?” I understand that there are many theological interpretations on this but this is what I got. I just wanted to share my humble note.
First, let’s look at what the tree was able to do.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; (v7)
They were naked this whole time but was never ashamed of it until now. I mean, we get naked, too, to take showers or roam around freely in our home. So I am thinking this doesn’t mean just physical nakedness. So I looked up the word, “nakedness.” I found the same word, וּבְעֵירֹ֖ם, in Deuteronomy 28:48.
Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything…
So, nakedness can be synonymous has “a state of lack.” You can see that God was dismayed that we found out that we lack something. He asks earnestly, “Who told you that you were naked” as if He really didn’t want us to know that we lacked something. What did we lack anyways? In Genesis 2:25, Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. They were only ashamed and afraid after the knowledge of good & evil opened their eyes. This might be interpreted as that this state lack was something to be ashamed of. Another way of seeing is that, if knowledge of good and evil taught us that we lack something, it could mean that we lacked inherent goodness and deserve something else than God’s company. Another tangent is that we realize that we are not God and worthy of being in His presence (I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid. v10).
I read over and over in the New Testament how we should remember that we lack a lot of things so we can depend on Christ. Isn’t this “self-awareness” what God intended? Why did God want to protect us from believing/seeing that we are in lack? We can study this by listing the things that this awareness of lacking state brought: shame, fear, guilt, distrust, and discomfort around God. God could have designed us to be in this awareness, to set the righteousness hierarchy upright, and to make us see ourselves for who we are. But he wanted something more than these.
God wanted us to be shameless, fearless, guilt less, trusting, comfortable around Him. He wanted us to roam around naked (and needy) around Him, not knowing that we do not deserve to be like this. Why? He wanted us to be free. This was His design. This was His will. This was His original plan.
So our good-ol’ Adam and Eve screwed it for us. Heck, we screw it for ourselves and constantly see that we lack [a lot of] things. We are constantly aware that we do not deserve to be called righteous or even remotely associated with God. But our God didn’t stop there. He wanted His original plan, shameless bond with us, to prevail regardless of our conspicuous nakedness… that He found a way to redeem it by His new covenant. He killed himself in our form so that the consequence of our nakedness (that will bring shame, fear, guilt, distrust, and discomfort in His presence) is wiped away. This is His “plan B” to save His “plan A.” Do you see how bad He wants His “plan A” to work?
If something resonates inside you, that’s the Holy Spirit… using my humble Bible study… telling you “Dude! This is real. This is true.” I know you might be thinking, “Could this be? No way.” Believe it, friend. He loves you. Let Him change your life.