Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Devil Cannot Steal you From God; Go Help Those Over Whom the Devil Actually has a Grip.

It has been a while since I have posted anything with me just talking and sharing my heart with y'all. A lot has been going on lately and I feel like there are some things I need to say.

First of all I must confess that my prayer life is anything but stellar and I feel distant from God at the moment. Formerly I would have interpreted this lost kind of feeling as me being altogether separated from God; Apart from His Grace and unworthy of His Forgiveness. It is a blessing for me to KNOW without a doubt that will never happen. When God brings you into His family there is no way you can ever fall away. There may be times when I feel alone or sometimes when I actually put up a barrier between myself and my Father but just because I have thrown up a short little wall doesn't mean that God can’t see down in and isn't watching over me and protecting me. I need His love more than anything.

Despite my weariness there has been some things my Father has been teaching me lately and I'd like to share that with you. Actually I think it is because of my weariness that I have been able to hear what He has to say. It's about forgiveness and grace.

We need a whole lot of it.

We need to give others even more of it.

It makes me so sad when I see Christians who won't associate with their brothers and sisters in Christ just because they don't have the exact same interpretation of God's Word as they do. It breaks my heart when they won't associate with 'pagans' because they don't know God at all.

Our Lord has forgiven us of so much! He has redeemed us from death and Hell. He has snatched us away from the hand of the Devil and said, "She is mine!"

And we have the audacity to turn our backs on those who we once were?!

If we are unwilling to even see the portrayal of sin in movies or books etc. how in the world are we ever going to help anyone? Real people sin for real. If you can't even look at pretend sin because you are afraid to be tainted with the stink of it, what hope is there for actual flesh and bones? If someone is afraid to share with you their struggles because they fear you are going to turn away in disgust, who is going to explain to them that God can make them clean again? Don't abandon someone. It is damn hard to figure it out yourself and it is scary as heck.

I don't know what your experience has been. For me I grew up knowing the Lord. There has never been a day that I wasn't His child but there were times when I went through so much pain and I doubted my salvation. I wish someone could have been there to reassure me. For some however, they found God later in life. Maybe they did come to faith by seeing the example of someone else. But I am almost certain it didn't stop there. At some point someone talked with them. Someone became their friend and shared the Gospel with them.

If we look at someone’s life and see the ugly stink of sin completely engulfing them it is not the time to flee. It is the time to charge in and show them their sin, show them forgiveness and point them to Christ. You can't do that from a distance. You're going to get dirty. God got dirty for us. We most certainly are not any better than Him.

We are told in Mathew that what comes into a man does not defile him but what comes from the heart is what matters. (15:1-20) Just because you see sin does not mean you condone it or are sinning yourself.

Maybe it sounds like I am looking at this very one sided. I am. Because I am tired of hearing only the other side of the story. Yes we are to cut away the bad leaven. Yes, we shouldn't be "unequally yoked". I understand all of that. But I also understand that Jesus came for the sinners. Not the saints. The Gospel is a message for the broken and ugly.

Sin is putrid. It poisons one’s life. Sin needs to be washed out. People need forgiveness.

God tells us:

"Judge not others for by the measure with which you judge so shall ye also be judged." That is self-explanatory.

"To whom much is given much is required." That saying comes from Luke 12:42-48. I hope I am not taking liberty with this but I think I have heard wiser people than me apply it in this way. We should forgive others just as much as we've been forgiven. (And of course the less abstract meaning of responsibility shown us directly in the text.)

And what about when Jesus told someone that he should forgive their brother seventy times seventy times?

So I have been thinking about all of that a lot lately and how am I going to apply that in my life. For one I am not going to be afraid to meet new people. I am not going to look at someone with a wary eye and try to figure out if they are redeemed or not. I am not going to base my opinion of someone’s salvation based on how high or low their hem line is, or on whether or not someone curses. When I go to college I am going to make friends, regardless of their current relationship with God. Obviously an unbeliever won't be who I turn to when I need spiritual guidance or help with life decisions but I am sure we can have a good time going skating or climbing wall-ing together.

Now, I know I can too easily be "enticed by the world" so that's why I am thankful to have such a strong community who I know will look after me. My parents are watching me, my pastors are watching me, and my Christians friends are watching me. My Father is protective of His children and he won't let anything happen to me. I don't want to be naive and think I can take on anything, but honestly I think it will be kind of hard for me to develop a deep emotional connection with someone who is not a Christian. I think often Christians are too afraid of sin and fear that at any moment they could go astray and never find their way back to God. I think God cares too much to let that happen to us. At least not forever.

Light actually pierces the darkness and salt is actually thrown in the pot.

I am not afraid to jump in the pot.

"All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

How can we go if we stay trapped in our sanitized little Christian bubble? Just because you step out of the bubble doesn’t mean you've left God. God has the power and He is always with you.

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