Those who fall into a pattern of hearing the truth without obeying the truth are in a dangerous position. The more light we have, the more accountable we are for how we live. To whom much is given, much will be required.John Piper
So I see a few people announcing that they are joining in “Offline October”, and in spite of the humor I find in needing to announce one’s departure from the inter webs, I say yes and amen.
Our everyday consumption of news, events, and opinions could probably stand to be taken down a notch or twelve. It’s really more than we were created for I believe, all the incessant scrolling and checking.
We have instant access to perfect truth and perfect lies. From the comfort of my couch I can look up fifty versions of my favorite Bible verse or Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s like a giant buffet has been set before us, and it contains everything from health food to pure poison.
As a mom of teen boys, not a day goes by that I’m not thinking about that great buffet. I receive cleverly placed ads on my phone wanting to sell me the latest security app so I can track their every move. It’s not my job anymore to micromanage them entirely, but it is my duty to be diligent about training them up to be men who walk with Jesus. The only way I know how to do that is to just be intentional. Not perfect, but intentional. Like someone who gets up and works out every day, slowly the body comes into agreement with where the mind is taking it.
It’s a slow grind, but a purposeful kind of rebellion against a world that wants to chip away at our beliefs and get us to go along with the crowd.
A big part of being intentional includes simply being obedient to the truth we’ve been given. There’s a lot of confusing things out there, but I don’t think things are always as grey or as difficult as we make them out to be. We may be in limbo about certain things in our lives, what direction to take next, but God has blessed us with a pretty clear message. He sets before us life and death, blessing and cursing. Sometimes, it just comes down to making one Godly choice after another. Slowly. Steadily. Until the fog clears.
And let’s be real here, it isn’t that Christians don’t know the truth, it’s just that sometimes we don’t particularly like it. So books are written, sermons are crafted, and ministries are founded on more edgy themes of the day instead of the Gospel. We fight over big doctrines and little ones. We think we’re pretty smart, discovering what’s been buried all these years, what God really meant when He said such and such. It’s so good to be relevant! It’s so good to be enlightened! It’s so good to be a cutting-edge Christian who can finally explain the nuances of God to the masses!
But good and Godly are not the same thing. And so it’s back to the Garden of Eden we go, questioning what was clear, hearing truth but tossing it away for something totally fleeting.
The Gospel is our ticket to freedom, but when we persistently and willfully choose other things we do ourselves a great disservice. Worse, we grieve the heart of God when we hide or ignore the truth we claim to have accepted.
I read yesterday that a British court has ruled the Bible to be “incompatible with human dignity” and “does not satisfy the requirement of being worthy of respect in a democratic society.” You can read the rest of the details here if you like. What a time to be alive.
Is God’s word incompatible with your life? From the looks of things, many believers think it is.
Is it worthy of respect? If we say yes, then our lives need to come into alignment with it. What will we do with the truth? As the little kids Sunday school song says, “Hide it under a bushel? NO!”
I have this picture taped on the inside cover of my Bible. It’s a snapshot I took of a long jetway that was for some reason, covered in these signs as we got off a plane. No company was advertised, just blessing and curse, over and over a few dozen times. We were returning home from a retreat in which the theme was… God’s covenant.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8
In a culture gone totally bonkers, we can choose to be steady and consistent. WhE everyone embraces death, we can choose life. When they complicate the Gospel, we will speak clearly. No need for phony good deeds, just Jesus and holy, imperfect, intentional living.