Sunday, 5 June 2011

Grace for Grey Areas

We human’s cannot live without God’s grace – literally. We need it for everything, the very least being existence in itself. But, I think, God ESPECIALLY intended it for life’s grey areas. Because God understands that life isn’t simple.
To approach life as completely clear cut, black and white is to have your vision more tainted than anyone who can see the grey areas in almost every situation and decision. But, of course, it’s not all grey – I’m not trying to say there are no black and white issues at all, just that not all issues are black and white.

God knows us. Let’s face it, if there’s anyone who’s going to comprehend the complexity of humanity it’s gonna be Him. He knows life’s not easy. Jesus is so much more than an empathetic bystander – he experienced difficulties on our level. God doesn’t expect us to cope with life perfectly, so don’t expect that of yourself.

Sometimes being a Christian makes decisions harder instead of easier. We have the regular pressures of life plus the daily fight to glorify God.
Ideally we should be able to take an issue, look it up in our Bibles and know definitively what God’s opinion on the matter is and therefore know EXACTLY what we should do. This, of course, is what we CAN do with some things but on other things the Bible really isn’t too specific. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising God’s word, if it’s not specific on something then the chances are that God intended some ambiguity for a good reason - God knows best and he chose each word very carefully to say exactly what he wanted to get across. We’re not supposed to know or understand everything.

Now, this acceptance that there are indeed grey areas doesn’t mean we can justify our sinful actions by saying “Oh, well, I don’t think it’s sinful. It’s really a grey area” – as I said, there still are some black and white areas. If you knowingly and purposefully commit sin, God isn’t going to be interested in your excuses. On the other hand, if you have searched your heart, searched scripture and prayed both by yourself and with others over a situation and still can’t chose a path, I believe God will honour your sincerity and his Grace will cover whichever decision you make.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Not Enough Faith for Testing

I subscribe to the ‘Word for Today’ and this morning I was 20 days behind. So I tried to catch up and read 20 days’ worth of booklet in one sitting. And I’m not proud of this, but this happens regularly and the reason I’m telling you this is to make a point (and hopefully, to make you think)…

So the first section I turned to talks about those seasons in life where you’re really seeking God but, no matter what you do, you can’t find his presence. Of course he hasn’t left you (for he promised he wouldn’t - Deuteronomy 31 verse 6/Hebrews 13 verse 5) this is just a trust exercise you make you spiritually stronger. It’s perfectly normal and it in no way means that you’ve done something wrong and God’s given up on you.

That was the point of the segment, to reassure Christians currently experiencing this season and to confirm that God is still with them. Except, this message wasn’t really relevant to me, not in that way at least. You see, I’ve never really had a time in my life where I’ve chased God and got no response - any time I feel distant from God it’s because I am distant, because I’ve distanced myself and am not seeking or chasing after him.
It’s really sad to admit, and I do know better.
The thing is, if you’re REALLY seeking God and getting nothing it’s a good thing (in a sense – as long as you’re not seeking him in the wrong place). It means your faith is strong enough for God to give you this faith exercise. Because, God only gives us challenges we can actually do (1st Corinthians 10:13). The fact that I’ve never had that challenge means I’m not ready, that I haven’t got enough faith yet to deal with such a challenge.
And that, in itself, challenges me to grow my faith enough to face the greater challenges God has put in place to grow me further again.

To put it another way: I feel challenged to seek God more, to become more faithful so that God can give me greater challenges and grow me more, spiritually.
But I must bear in mind that it’s not really about me and my growth, it’s about God and Him being glorified through my growth. It’s like a Glory Cycle and if you don’t know what that is, it’s explained [HERE].

Please let me know if that made sense to anyone other than myself :)

P.S. I’m aware of God’s great timing in the fact that He spoke to me about the distance between Him and I being self-imposed, at a time when I had neglected to read his word for 20 days.