I hope today’s show causes each of us to take a step back and take a deep look at our relationship with God. Unfortunately as human beings, the more we hear or read about any subject, the easier it is to become rote or “same old same old”. While God never changes, he does call upon us as Christians to change—to seek holiness and turn our backs on our sinful nature.
When we seek to learn about something, our predetermined views have a huge impact on what we learn. We automatically tend to view any new teaching through the prism of our experiences and deeply held beliefs—right or wrong. This can easily happen to any one of us as Christians. If you tend to believe God is a God of mercy, you will discount scripture where God says he demands obedience and justice. Contrastingly, if you believe God is a god of anger just waiting to hammer you when you make a mistake, you will tend to overlook scripture that talks about his great mercy.
I remember when I was 11 years old and in the Catholic Church. We were told to abstain from meat on Fridays during lent. Well one Friday morning getting ready for school, I was running late. I grabbed a piece of leftover pizza out of the refrigerator and began eating it. Suddenly I realized it was sausage pizza. I spent the next 10 minutes brushing my teeth and gargling to get any shred of that meat out of my mouth. I was truly fearful God would condemn me for eating meat on a Friday during Lent.
And some Christians today walk around feeling God is just waiting to hammer them for any mistake they make. Obviously they have not come to know of his great mercy, forgiveness and grace. But on the other side of the coin, some Christians behave no differently than the unsaved world. They live lives of anger, fear or unforgiveness. They think that just because they said a certain prayer, they are good to go—that no change in their lives or behavior is required. They have not come to know that while God is merciful and forgiving, he does demand a change in our hearts and behavior when we become his children through Jesus Christ.
At times we all want to pick and choose what we can or cannot do as Christians. Our human nature is to try to skate by with as little personal investment as possible. In some ways we may act no differently than universalists—people who define God in their terms, rather than on His terms.
But just how do we find and stay on that narrow path that Jesus talked about? We commit our lives fully to God, setting aside our human understanding and desires. We stop trying to define God on our terms—and accept Him on his terms. We spend time in His Word and in meaningful prayer seeking the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We commit to dying daily to our flesh, picking up our cross. While we pray for the best, we accept whatever circumstances God allows in our lives.
Sounds simple, right? It may be simple, but it sure isn’t easy. We have to want it; seek it diligently; and then stay on it. We have to hold every thought captive; we have to love God more than anything; and we have to love others as we love ourselves.
No, it is not easy to stay on that path. I guess that’s why Jesus warned us that very few ever find it.
- What Is A “Christian Universalist?” (standupforthetruth.com)
- Teaching a Cheap Salvation? (standupforthetruth.com)
- Examine Yourself (girdedwithtruth.org)
- Basic Apologetics: “I think all paths lead to God.” (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Buddhism in the Church (standupforthetruth.com)