DON’T DRIVE IN THE DITCH

One of my friends had parents who were legalistic in their thinking, it was trendy to call unwise behavior, “sin.”

The problem was that not everything they chose to label as sin was sin.

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The Road Less Traveled

The possibility of two roads demanding our choice of one is an old concept.
M. Scott Peck (1936-2005) wrote “The Road Less Traveled” using Frost’s theme for his title.
Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” contains the line “Yes, there are two paths you can go by…”
Jesus also said there are two paths from which we may choose. One is broad and leads to destruction; the other is narrow and             leads to life. (Matt. 7:13-14)
The Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu scriptures written at least two centuries before Christ, describes two paths to gain emancipation.   (One is better than the other.)
Jesus also said, “I am the way…” (John 14:6)

While all Christians acknowledge that Jesus is the way, most stop at a point in time–the time they “got saved,” not realizing that   He said He was the ‘Way’–not just a point at the crossroads.
Sincere Christians then begin to walk one of two paths, neither of which is the way to complete salvation/emancipation.

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This is That!

Jesus never did the same thing in exactly the same way twice. When He healed blind Bartimaeus He merely spoke the word, “Go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole,” and he received his sight. But when He healed the two blind men in the house He touched their eyes in addition to speaking a word. And when He healed the man born blind from birth He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and commanded him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. So what is the best way, the right way, the sonship way to heal a blind man? No one can tell you! What is the best way to preach the Gospel? No one can tell you, although the seminaries think they can! What is the best way to hold a meeting? Again no one can tell you. Jesus never had a song leader or worship director, never by singing, clapping, or worshipping “created an environment” for the Father to manifest Himself in their midst. Yet, if you were to ask me what the right way is, I would have to say that I do not know. I really do not know what is the right way to do anything. I do not know the right way to meet humanity’s needs, or solve the saint’s problems, or bring people into the present truth. In the Bible you cannot find THE RIGHT WAY to minister or to do the work of the Kingdom. This is because the Kingdom of God comes by the dispensation of the Spirit. It does not come by outward observation — by forms, methods, or techniques. What ever you do in the Kingdom, what ever way you use, wherever you go, it must be by the Spirit. The Spirit is never traditional, predictable, or static — He is always original, always fresh, new, and transcendental. He may never repeat what He did yesterday, or the way He did it. In these last years, wherever I have gone, I have never paid any attention to the way. Regardless of the way people meet, or don’t meet, or minister, or serve the Lord, or walk with God, it does not mean anything. The real question is: Are they led by the Spirit? Is there the flow of His Life? Is there the manifestation and quickening of Himself? What is GOD doing? And HOW is HE doing it? I look to see what God IS DOING, rather than trying to introduce some “order” for God to move in.

The above quote was lifted from a forum I participate in which is sponsored by our home church in Missouri. The subject was around differing types of evangelism and what ‘works’ or doesn’t–what is of God or what is not.

This brother’s response has been churning within my being for a couple of weeks now as God uses it to change some things within me.

The first thing, and perhaps most importantly, is that it no longer matters to me HOW church is done. That was a big deal to me for a long time. I’ve studied the Bible and read the books and gone to the seminars. Because I’ve never been one to feed myself only on what I already know, I’ve been exposed to the wild, the woolly, the wacky, and the wonderful–all in the name of ‘getting it right.’

How did I become such a legalist in the things of God?  Oh, I have an answer to that, but it is quite vapid now upon the reflection caused by this brother’s insight. (Those who know me would not apply the term legalist to my approach; but I now see how easily I could have simply stepped over the line into that realm.)

Another area that has changed for me is that I am no longer asking God to bless my efforts to serve Him. (If I had known this one a year ago, I might still be in SW Missouri.) Now, all I want to know, all that I ask, is “What are You doing?” and, “Can I tag along?”

I need to become more like Peter on the day of Pentecost rather than like the pharisees in their day of visitation. The pharisees had it all figured out how it was supposed to happen. So they completely missed the Lord’s visitation, because His style was not in accord with their handbook on how it was done.

Peter, on the other hand, was familiar enough with the prophet Joel that he was able to say, “This is that!” He hadn’t tried to work out every little detail about what it was supposed to look like. He just knew it when it happened.

I want to be so familiar with what it feels like to be in the presence of God, that I can say, “This is that!” no matter where I find it. I do not want my preconceived notions about what God will or will not do prevent me from being a part of His outpouring of blessing. His presence and His blessing is the first thing I look for, and once I find that there is nothing else to look for or at.

What freedom.

Constantly Consistent

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Heb 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.    NKJV

This is an anchor for our soul in the midst of the turmoil of our current situation.

The world changes. Economies collapse. Families fall apart. Wars ignite. Churches split. Jobs are lost. Lives are taken. Sickness occurs. Death happens. Doubts assault our mind. Faith is tenuous. God is constant.

I was reading an excellent blog about legalism and it reminded me of how easy it is to forget the simple truth of Heb. 13:8–Jesus changes not.

Notice that it is a statement that is seemingly unconnected from its context. The words seem to be stuck out there for us to grasp in their entirety without concern for anything else.

But, that is not totally true. Look closely at the context.

First, The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (v.6)

Constancy, consistency is a strength that we need. It is something that is sadly lacking in the Body of Christ. Jesus is a constant that we need to make sure is our life.

Secondly, consider the conduct of those to whom we submit ourselves. Is their faith constant and their walk consistent? These are the ones to whom we are to submit.

Thirdly, the writer asks for constancy in doctrine. It is all too fashionable today to just grab hold of most anything that comes along without giving careful consideration to the content of the message. This has been my particular failure in my walk with the Lord, and it cost me dearly. (Thanks in no small way to Emerson)

But, thanks be to God, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.