Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Own Way

"This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:5-10 ESV)

Whose standard, of life and living, do you live by? Is it "your" own standard? Is it someone else's standard? I know some who say they simply cannot trust a God whom they cannot see; who won't manifest Himself, physically, to them. I know those who will not trust a God who allows man to make his own choices (this usually refers to the bad choices. We're ok on our own for the rest.). In one form or another this usually equates to "....I'll follow my own path, my own standard, and way of living."

Everyone serves someone. None of us are an island unto ourselves. All of us follow someone's teaching or someone's standard. When we go to work, or school, each day ...we follow another's teaching, another's standard, and those standards, directly or indirectly, influence our lives. We follow them, humbly, because "we gotta' do what we gotta' do." The question of "who's teaching" we follow is probably more in relation to our own personal needs, at a given time in our lives, than it is relative to what we believe.

There was a time, even as a "stated" follower of Christ, that I really followed what suited me, and my present situation at that time. My decisions felt "right" to me. They even felt justified. Yet, I could not align those decisions with God's word ...which I claimed to believe. I had a decision to make ....which I would follow; my will (which is influenced by the world's will) or His will as, made clear in His word (..and after regaining clarity..) in my own heart.

Though I consider myself a slave to Christ, a bond-servant as the Apostle Paul put it, my choice to follow Christ was left completely at my doing. Joshua 24:15 says it best..... "And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Yet I could not choose Him merely because I wanted to ...but because He first presented Himself to me. "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."(John 6:44 ESV)

Finding one's way "in this life-time" is one thing. Most of us have a cafeteria-plan of choices in front of us; even the most resource-poor among us. We can argue that we pulled ourselves up by our own boot-straps, but few would argue..... life-influences played a role.

Finding one's way "beyond this life" is a matter of faith and humility. We don't make up the rules. We either adhere to them ...or we do not. Truth is... the way beyond this life greatly influences our lives now. It has, apparently, been given to us to "choose" our own way.

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