26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:26 (NIV)
You have become a Christian, you have surrendered your entire life to God to use you as he wants, no addendums, no codicils, a simple contract. The profundity of this contract is the simplicity.
Skirting around the contract, just signing up to part of it, forgive my sins because I’ll feel a whole lot better after that but I am not stopping this activity or I hear you Lord, calling me to do this one thing but I won’t or can’t do that. Skirting around the contract will never work, you might feel better in a warm fuzzy kind of way but warm fuzzies don’t last. At first you’ll thirst for more warm-fuzzies by attending service regularly, meeting with other Christians, making your own rituals but eventually you’ll feel luke-warm fuzzies, and then cool fuzzies and like a leak in the kettle you’ll just leak away. On the way to drifting away you might bring others with you.
I have a friend who is teetering on the brink of doing this and I don’t know what is the right approach. I’ve covered the basics, I have prayed and asked for guidance, I have prayed for the friend, that they may see with their heart the truth of it. I feel very sad to see them drifting away. Am I judging them? No, I have watched the process from the sidelines, in a disconnected way because we are all on our own walk. In the last couple of weeks the distractions of a heart hardening have caused them to hurt people around them.
That’s what we do. When we are not on the solid ground with deep roots and something happens we lash out, we defend our position, we make ourselves feel we are right, we are the on the moral high ground. That’s when we need to get down on our knees and tell God what is in our heart, ask God for forgiveness for all the things that are hardening our hearts, Lord soften my heart, open the eyes of my heart so I can see you more, I can see the change that can be made.
For a sect that was disbanded centuries ago,there’s a lot of Pharisees in churches. It is difficult when you come up against the legalese because when you have been changed by the grace and mercy and love of God there are no rules, it is a freedom, a freely given freedom which means there’s now stuff you do and conversely stuff you don’t do not because there is a rule but because to do otherwise would be against every fibre,every molecule, every atom of our body and soul. You can’t drift way if you have truly signed the contract. Sometimes the people who are only signed up to a partial contract are the Pharisees, waiting to be offended, waiting to be hurt so they can justify their position.
So I have a friend who is drifting away and I see the Pharisees hovering and I see a bunch of other people who see this playing out and I do nothing, why? Because that is what I feel the Lord wants me to do in this one situation, because I am not conceited in thinking I can change either group. I pray often but I don’t worry. I keep healthy in this unhealthy environment, I keep praying
The profundity of the contract we have with God is it’s simplicity, don’t over-complicate it. You want warm fuzzies – buy a hot water bottle cover (and a hot water bottle!)