I know you’re familiar with the Pauline passage that talks about the good we want to do, yet sometimes we don’t do it. That’s the human condition isn’t it? Every twelve-step program is based on it. But when I contemplate it I think that every individual is faced with it. Just ask anyone who has set out to get up in the morning at a certain time, but for whatever reason that didn’t happen.
My desire to write my own memoirs is a perfect example as I unpack this thought in relation to my memoirs. I realize I’m not sinning when I don’t write and publish my memoirs, but the disappointment at my “failure” inflames the depression I fight, and many times I take ten steps backward in my forward journey to heal. I suppose a conservative right-winger could argue that if I’m being called to write this memoir by God, and I don’t then it is a sin. Maybe. I don’t think anything that’s part of the secondary calling is sin if not completed. Turning ones back on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is one thing, but I think if one chooses to make a decision like Jonah when he tried to hide from God in the hull of a ship is another. God’s missions and will are not thwarted when we refuse to answer a secondary calling. Discouragement and fear are without a doubt at play, and the timing might be pushed back, but then a thousand years is a day and vice versa in the time continuum of God. We either join Him in what He is doing or we don’t. He’s still going to do it.
Actions have consequences don’t they? Every action has an equal reaction. That’s just the reality of the way life goes. If you smoke you are likely not going to live as long as someone who doesn’t smoke. Same is true for overeating or over doing anything. God made us multidimensional beings who must balance many things to be a whole person. Whenever we over or under indulge in anything our equilibrium is messed up.
I can think about this memoir too much. I can think about it not enough. Church attendance itself can become a god, but then not going to church will isolate me from the good God is trying to do in my life. That makes me think about the passage that talks about what is loosed on the earth will be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18.18). Not everyone is going to agree with me on church attendance. I think I wrote yesterday that Satan goes to church. Going to church doesn’t make you a fan of Jesus. Dying to myself, producing fruit and believing that God has declared me righteous because of my faith are things that go into being a Christian. I can do all those things without going to church, but my personal conscience does not allow me to try this following Jesus thing in isolation. The church will always be a part of my life here and now.
I think judgement belongs to God alone, and if God decides to take a coffee break on Judgement Day I’m not going to volunteer to get up on the throne. I will write that my lifestyle and teaching might come across as judgmental, but as a believer in the Bible I see stories of God followers whose lives point others to God in a similar way. I don’t know who said it, but I like the following quote.
Evangelism is one beggar showing another beggar where to get the bread.
My sin, like King David, is always before me. Like David, I am a man after God’s own heart, so I return to Him again and again even in the darkest nights of my soul. Depression is not greater than God’s power, and if God did not remove Paul’s thorn in the flesh then Paul trusted our Father to carry out His purpose. If God doesn’t take my depression away I will do the same.
The beautiful music Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith put to, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,” is beautiful artistic reality that washes over us to convince us the ugliest life can throw at us is no match for the beauty our Savior brings every morning.
We don’t have to wait for streets of gold. We can experience it on a dirty, oil filled concrete driveway as we depart for work.
Grace and peace dear ones, and always remember if God is for us who can be against us?