13 February, 2012

Avoid the Cop-Out

Forgive me for my absence. I have recently been convicted by the Lord for ignoring this. I have struggled to stay engaged with this project, becoming bored and uninterested with it. I have felt the Word stagnate over the past few months - often a result of not giving the Lord the time necessary to reveal things to me in the Scripture. That has changed. I need to get back to what the Lord has instructed me to do. Starting with this one...

"Sometimes God does, sometimes He doesn't" What?! Somebody has been reading Hezekiah again... Hezekiah is the "Book" of the Bible that Christians have been writing for 2000 years. It is full of all of our religious, experiential assumptions concerning the plans and purposes of God. It is based upon our opinions, our experiences and whatever our mama said to growing up. It contains phrases like "sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn't." It's book full of "cop-outs."

What we must come to understand is that God never lies. Any Christian reading this should have automatically thought,"well, duh!" But you would be surprised how often we have unintentionally called our God a liar. We call Him a liar when we make religious excuses for why the Word doesn't work in our lives. We call Him a liar when we say things like, "You never know what He's going to do." We call Him a liar when you use the phrase "God is Sovereign" to explain away a tragedy in the world. We don't mean to do it. We do not actually believe. But, ladies and gentlemen, we are presenting our God to be a liar to the outside world around us.

Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" In other words, God will always do what He says He will do. Through this verse, we can no longer make assumptions like "sometimes He does, and sometimes He doesn't." This verse refutes that notion. So we must make another step: why do things happen in this world that run contrary to God's plans and purposes?

We must stop going to Scripture looking for the excuse, and engage Scripture to find the answer. That means we must make changes in our lives in order to bring about the will of God in our midst. "God is Sovereign" has become our religious excuse for mess this world is in. It is the excuse we use when people do not get healed. It is the excuse we use to explain away poverty in the lives of those around (sometimes including ourselves). It is the excuse we use when loved ones do not get saved. We have written doctrines and catechisms and other funny religious documents that explain human suffering as a form of godliness, all based upon a misunderstanding of the Scriptures.

There are spiritual laws governing the world around us. Violation of those laws leads to a violation of our Covenant rights with God. Jesus told us that we would have whatever we say (Mark 11:22). If we actually believed that verse, we would all run out right this moment and buy a dictionary to see to it that we would never say another stupid thing again. What is your confession? We learn that everything is accomplished through faith (Matthew 17:20). And that faith operates by love (Galatians 5:6). How's your love life working? Where is your faith placed?do you trust the Bible, or do you trust experience? (I'm talking to myself here, too, so don't too cranky with me)

Believe the Word, and use it as a tool to change your life. Stay away from the cop-outs that religion affords us. Jesus taught us to pray that the Lord's will be done on earth just as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). In other words, your life should match heaven right here and now. You are currently, right now, a citizen of heaven (Colossians 1:13). You are currently, right now, seated next to Jesus in the heavens (Ephesians 2:6). In the eyes of God, we are on the same level as Jesus (John 17:23, Romans 8:17). Your life should match heaven. If it doesn't, go find out why. That could be a very long search (I am not done searching, myself). There are so many factors involved in living out the full will of God on the earth. Those who have figured it out tend to be the most persecuted by the Church (I know, TBN is not helping them. But you can't argue with testimony and results). 

God's will isn't tragedy. There is no biblical backing for for that line of thinking. God's will is escape (1Corinthians 10:13). God's will is victory (Romans 8:37). God's will is healing (1Peter 2:24). God's will is prosperity (Proverbs 10:22; Gal 3:13,29). God's will is a very long life (Genesis 6:3). God's will is too accomplished in all people (Isaiah 55:11; 1John 5:15). Believe it. Learn it. Accomplish it.