Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunset or Dawn.....Perspective or Predestination

Daily I wonder; is this the end of all that has been, or is this the beginning of something new? Time will tell and in the meantime, patience will have to be my staple diet. What at one moment seems to be clear, oft fades into a measure of obscurity as whether this is the conclusion or the opening of a new opportunity. On one hand, it is very clear that much has ended; relationships, opportunities that involved or grew out of those relationships and time to input into people's lives with the Word of God. What was planted must now stand alone in the power of God's Word alone, with only the watering and fertilizing of the Holy Spirit or other's whom may now have opportunities that we no longer will. And in this there is a clear understanding that this has always been the way. Someone planted, someone else watered, but ultimately and perfectly only God will bring an increase. So perhaps these "endings" are merely so by perspective and not at all by the measure of what God's predetermined result will be or has been. What may appear to be a trial today, may actually serve not only that purpose but it may also be the determined path of what God is intending to accomplish also.  Even though at times it is difficult to hang on during this swerves of direction, it is still possible for unless God has suddenly decided to "cast" us out, we are right where He desires. His glory will erupt, not from our efforts but from His plan, which INCLUDES our efforts. Obedience is hard from the perspective of knowing exactly what we are being obedient in; not the issues and guidelines of Scripture, but those relationships and crossroads that seem to not be on the map of God's written direction. For instance, love (God's Love) is mandatory for believers (not an option), encouragement and fellowship; but in the same vein Scripture is definitive about how relationships are to be handled when their is rebellion, division or like situations. The clear direction is "have nothing to do with such a person, not even eat with them", couched by "but treat him as a brother, not enemy (paraphrased loosely). Okay, kind of limits a fellow to prayer for one and an open heart to restore the relationship according to God's direction; but not much else! And yet, in our "let's just get along culture" this is the very source of hypocrisy, envy, bitterness among the church according to James: " Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? So no wonder that we find ourselves in this place; uncorrected, undisciplined misapplied Love creates every single earthly based wisdom fueled problem in the church body today. An undisciplined body can hardly be called the body of Christ, for every single step He took was disciplined to the exact footstep and heart attitude that the Father predetermined (predestined) for Him. Any wavering to His own emotion-driven desires (in us we would call this lust) would have revealed that He could not have been who He claimed He was...AND MOST CERTAINLY IS!! So in His example we see the pattern for us...we need the correction of God in HIS LOVE more than we need the companionship of fellow church goers; because, and without fail, His correction, discipline and instruction will produce it's perfect result in us and then we will have  true fellowship with the Body of Christ and Him. The greatest dilemma remains in HOW to implement this pattern and  direction for the church as mere undershepherds. And therein lies the need for patience every day. A sunset here may be the dawn elsewhere or it may just be the beginning of something new here too.

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