“8 CHOICES” Spring-Summer Study- Chapter 5 “The Morality Trap”

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God.” ( 2 Peter 1:3 The Message)

Hello sweet friends –

John and I have been traveling a lot the past week and are currently on the road to Colorado as I finish up this blog that I began last week!!!  Agggghhhh!  I can’t wait to get to the cooler Colorado climate and BE STILL for a few weeks!!  OK, without further adieu…

Living the Christian life is really not difficult- it’s impossible.  That’s because the Christian life is a supernatural life lived under the influence and in the power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself.  And the truth is that there is absolutely no other way to live the Christian life except this way.  Supernaturally.  His way.  However, as His followers He gives us the right of “free choice”.  To quote my husband,

The Christian life is: The life of Christ, reproduced in the believer, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in obedient response to the Word of God… invading every area of human experience!

Freedom in Christ is freedom from sin AND the freedom to choose to respond in obedience to the Word of God.  In other words- choosing wisely, choosing God’s way, in every aspect of our lives.

I’m reading another challenging book that has had me thinking hard over the past week about my life, my faith, my commitment and the choices I have made and am making as a follower of Jesus.  I must tell you that I am coming up short in terms of being “sold out” to Him.  Sadly, I have settled for a “comfortable” relationship with Jesus rather than the fully abandoned, high-risk relationship He calls His true disciples to.   The older I get the more I realize the many ways I have conformed more to the image of contemporary Christianity than to the image of the true Christ.  And this makes me very sad and frustrated.

What to do?

Go back, begin again… look at Him; look closely at Him, at His life, listen to His Words, accept them, believe them, embrace them, and teach them as unadulterated Truth sans the acceptable sugar-coating that would make them more palatable, less threatening and demanding to those who want only to follow along at a safe and comfortable distance rather than get covered in the dust from His sandals.

My take away from “The Morality Trap” is a fresh reminder of the choice I have in choosing to inquire of the Lord in all things.  After all, He has plans that He has made for me- plans specifically detailed for my life and time on this planet; plans that are unfolded as I continually seek to know Him (Jeremiah 29:11-13) and follow Him.  And glory to God, He does not just throw us out there and say, “OK, now that you’ve accepted me as your Savior and Lord, figure the rest out for yourself!” No!  He exhorts us to stay attached to Him because, “…apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).   We can accomplish absolutely nothing of lasting, Kingdom impact apart from Him.  NOTHING.  And that makes making wise choices all the more critical because we will be held accountable (not judged, but accountable) for how we invested the life we’ve been given in Him.

So – look at your life… your one and only life, and ask yourself this: “Am I making the most of my time and my life, am I seeking God’s help in making wise choices about how to live, how to invest the time He’s given me… or am I choosing things that pull my focus away from Him and distract me from my real purpose on this terrestrial ball.  Consider Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 6 and 10-

“Everything is permissible for me- but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible for me- but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

“Everything is permissible- but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible- but not everything is constructive.  Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

Twice he uses the same statement, “Everything is permissible… but not beneficial… but not constructive…” which makes me wonder if choosing wisely wasn’t one of Paul’s personal struggles as well.  I think so, because the #1 way the enemy gets us all wigged out, off track and off purpose is by distracting us, which leads to defeat, discouragement and will eventually render us ineffective for God.

Paul goes on to write,

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Yes – the Christian life is not difficult.  It’s impossible.  Impossible because we are called to live it out in a culture and on a planet that is pulling us in every opposing direction from Christ.

So, taking the Apostle’s lead, we’ve got ask ourselves if what we’re doing, what we’re talking about, what we’re thinking about, what we’re watching, reading, eating, drinking… our lifestyle, our habits, our pastimes…

  1. Are they beneficial to me, my family, my friends, and the kingdom?
  2. Are they constructive; do they build up or tear down?
  3. Are they glorifying God in my life; is He well pleased with the effect of these things in my life?

Pressing on in the power of His grace!

xo – P