Christianity 201

November 8, 2012

Some Categorical Statements are Safe Bets

Revelation 2:4b Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first…

Revelation 3: 12 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent…

Revelation 3: 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

Hosea 6: 1“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence.”

 

Today’s thoughts are constructed a little differently, I hope you’ll follow the thread of this discussion. You are presented with a number of statements and are being asked to be a little bit analytical of what you’re reading.

There’s someone reading this and you’ve got a pain in your neck and shoulders.

As I type those words, I don’t actually know them to be true. Given the number of readers of this blog, and given that they are all “computer people” who are given to the strains of sitting at a computer for all or part of the day, it’s a safe bet.

There’s some reading this and you’ve got pain in your neck and shoulders and Jesus wants to heal you.

The first part of the sentence is covered by the law of averages, the second part is a categorical statement based on my belief that healing is the “normal,” but we’re prevented from seeing it frequently because of lack of faith or sin or because it isn’t yet God’s time or because we haven’t asked. In other words, Jesus is still positively disposed and favorably inclined to heal, but because of a variety of factors, we don’t see healing at a rate the first century Christ followers experienced it.

Jesus is healing someone right now of pain in the neck and shoulders.

That statement would be a word of knowledge; were it not a word which I wrote in my own flesh. (Though granted, there may be someone with such a pain for whom my choosing their condition as my “for example,” provides the faith-lift they need to see God really do something special.)

My point is that we can sometimes make categorical statements knowing that they are by no means false.

There’s a man here in church this morning and you’re struggling with an online addiction to pornography.

If the church is bigger than 20 people, I’m betting that it’s not rocket science to safely make that statement.

We know that peoples’ lives are constantly in flux and change when it comes to the things of the Holy Spirit. So it was that I once heard someone say this:

There are two kinds of people here today; you’re either moving toward the cross or moving away from the cross.

Again, not rocket science. Hearts burning ever brighter towards God versus hearts growing cold. It happens. People chomping at the bit for the next steps God has for them, versus people who are a heartbeat away from walking out the church, putting the Bible on the shelf at home, not soon to return to either. It happens.

thecrossThe line is also used in marriage counseling. The pastor will take the husband and wife into the sanctuary and put them on opposite sides of the auditorium facing the platform; then tell them to start walking towards the cross. Then he’ll tell them, “When you’re moving towards the cross, you can’t help but be drawn closer to each other.”

Someone else put it:

There are two kinds of people here, those whose best days spiritual are ahead of them, and those whose best days spiritually are already behind them.

Sadly, some of us know people in the latter situation. Of course, there are no limits on what God can do down the road, and no limits on how he can use even our hardened hearts or closed minds to speak to us.

This is both personal and corporate: We are encouraged to look out for each other. Love and encourage those whose faith is weak; who are in a spiritual valley. Love and celebrate with those who are experiencing mountain top experiences. You don’t need a word of knowledge to know this; the law of averages says there are people around you in both categories. You don’t need to know whether someone falls into one category or the other; you simply reach out to people where you find them, and God will show you what to do next.

I am responsible for my own spiritual health, but I also need to be aware that there are people around me who are writing their own story. I need to support those structures that give them — and give all of us — context to help move towards the cross; to see the best days in our walk with God ahead.

But let’s end by taking it from corporate to personal. So how about you? Best days yet to come, or coasting on some experience that took place years ago? Start moving towards the cross!

Paul Wilkinson (Feb, 2009)

1 Comment »

  1. Best days yet to come spiritually?
    The days (decades) I’ve spent in ministry have been abundantly blessed and when I look back on them, I find it hard to believe that many of them actually happened – but they did – and that is ONLY because the LORD did them. I praise Him that He chose to enable and use me.

    When I had to retire from that ministry, I really believed the ‘best days’ were past. Thankfully, my God doesn’t think the way I do and I found He had new and exciting plans for me. I am now forced to accept that I am growing old and I can no longer do the things I used to do, but that doesn’t mean I am on the scrap heap. God still has work for me . . . and when I am unable, if I still have a mind, I will still be able to pray. Best days to come? What could surpass spending time with Him?

    I know Wesley was talking about life after death when he said “The best is yet to be” but I think it applies to here and now as well as to then.

    (I love that God’s statements are categorical. They give complete security. I am His and He is mine for ever and for ever)

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — November 9, 2012 @ 4:18 am | Reply


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