Blogs by Lorna Tremaine
Does It Really Matter?
1/20/2008 11:47:47 PM
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Excerpt from: This Side Of Heaven - Memoirs Of A Life Changed (Letter written around 1998)
It is amazing how God continues to use adverse situations and circumstances in my life to motivate me to action, deep contemplation or enlightenment. He can move me in ways I never thought possible, causing me to stare in awe.
About a year and a half into divorce proceedings, I read an article by a pastor I highly respect. In the article, he focused mainly on not being so rigid in our Christian lives or in our quest to discover what God’s will is for our lives. That as long as we are avoiding sin, we should just do whatever we like; with a general comment that God doesn’t care whether we buy a Ford or Chevy.
This article irritated me in such a way that I just couldn’t let it go. It bothered me for days because it challenged all that I understood God’s Word to say in regard to his place in my life and the relationship we were building. The best way I knew how to clear my head and solidify all that God had inspired me to understand about my relationship with him, was to respond.
In less than eight years of knowing Christ, I’ve never been asked any deep theological questions, asked to give my expert view of life eternal, prodded by the worldly to teach them the secret to moral success, or questioned as to why and how everything I say and do so perfectly coincides with God’s will for my life. At this point, I’m sure you’re confident as to why that is. Within those almost eight years, I, like most, have asked the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” I have often asked him that question, only to hear my own answer, and then wonder what went wrong. I’ve gone from a distant relationship with the Lord, praying only when something big went awry, to waiting on the Lord to tell me if it was okay to take a trip; him clearly answering, “Yes”, and I continued to ask him, “Are you sure?”.
There’s no doubt we have a vast array of choices and the freedom to make them, but is God in the middle of all the choices we make? God clearly gave us free will/free choice, but he went one step further. He gave us the free will and the free choice to will and to choose, with him or without him. Sure, we can choose whatever we want. God’s Word is full of examples of choices. Some Good. Some not so good. Choices made with God and choices with without him. Decisions that started out with God, only to end without him and vice versa, with only the consequence or blessing remaining. (e.g.: David and Goliath, David and Bathsheba, Joseph and Mary, Elijah, Moses, Rahab, Adam, Eve)
We choose to either allow our relationship with God to be stagnate, or alive and brimming to overflowing proportions through the blessing, joy, heartache, strength, humility, pain and healing that enters our lives with the Creator of the Universe by our side. But where do we draw the line on making choices on our own or with God? Or do we? He gives the parameters of what is righteousness and what is sin. We just need to choose righteousness instead of sin, and then sky’s the limit, right?
But can we do that without the Lord? And that Ford and Chevy thing; well, if God doesn’t care about that, then he doesn’t care that the salesman at the Ford dealership is an unbeliever whose life will be changed by the seeds left from the visit of a Christian who consulted with God as to whether or not that dealership was the place to go. (I wouldn’t want to miss out on that blessing of God using me.) And if he doesn’t care about that, then he doesn’t care that a long lost Christian who has fallen off the path will be at the Chevy dealership, and the opportunity to come alongside him or her will be another blessing lost because… since God doesn’t care about what car I buy, I choose to buy a bike instead.
If God doesn’t care what kind of car I buy, then he probably doesn’t care what house I buy, what job I get, what church I go to or whether I eat this or that. As long as I’m a good steward and am faithful, no problem. But where is God in this equation? Since when do I become a good steward and faithful without God? There’s nothing to steward if I don’t spend. I can’t be faithful if I’m the object of my faith. If I faithfully ask the Lord whether or not I should buy a car, why suggest that I stop there, saying he doesn’t care which one?
Is “rigid” the word that comes to mind when we make every decision with God at the helm? Or are we limiting the freedom that God gave us from day one? Is our goal to become in-dependent from God or to be de-pendent on God? Does God “limit” our “freedom” when we seek his guidance in every aspect of our lives? Funny, I thought he said he came to free us for the sake of freedom, not to free us from himself. Is that God’s will for our lives, to be free from him? That’s been our problem all along! Is it wise to choose righteousness as opposed to sin? Absolutely! But, can we, in our flesh, successfully choose and execute righteousness without God? Impossible!
And what about God’s Word? Vital? Full of gems to discover? Applicable to our lives? Yes! And prayer? Like God’s Word, it is vital, full of gems to be discovered, and applicable to our lives. But does prayer mean solitude, closed eyes, folded hands, kneeling by the side of the bed at the end of the day, or week, or month? Or just on Sundays when someone else is mouthing the words? No! Prayer is the intimate link of communication with our Creator. Would a marriage grow stronger if the only time left for communication was Sunday mornings or when there was a problem? Are true friendships developed by selfish, “I’m going to do it my way” and “I’ll call you when I call you” attitudes? Of course not.
What car I buy or what I eat isn’t the issue. The issue is the relationship I have with God, and leaving my life in his hands to carry me through each moment of my life.
God went to the extreme of: knitting me together, knowing the number of hairs on my head, knowing when I sit and when I rise, being mocked, denied, tempted, betrayed, flogged, spit on, beaten beyond recognition, nailed to hang on a cross and forsaken. So, do I dare go as far to say that God’s will for my life is to not only ask him what make of car I should buy, but whether I should I eat this or that? I boldly say, “Yes”. Crazy, you say? Legalistic? Rigid? Unrealistic? Not so.
Open your Bible to Genesis, Chapter 3:6. Then continue through to verse 24. Eve was deceived about what to eat. Adam made a choice about what to eat. Both without God. Did it really make that much of a difference?
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