A Little Understanding – The Flip-Flop
Why is it that we tend to flip-flop on who makes the plans we follow; God’s plans or my plans, done God’s way or my way? Why don’t we see this as an issue in the way we live our lives as Christ followers or leaders in the collective of Christ followers?…
The first [reason] is, we have already become followers of Christ…
…which is the determining factor for eternal life. Not following God’s way in every part of our life is not an eternity defining choice so we don’t pay as much attention to it as we should. There are always consequences to choosing my way over God’s way. However, when we choose wrong we still grow because of God’s willingness to allow us to make mistakes, experience the results and gain from His discipline.
Our failure to allow God to guide us through all that we face makes life uncertain but eternal life still belongs to those who, when it comes to their hopeless state of sinfulness, admit they can do nothing. We trust that Christ has completed God’s plan, God’s way to address our sin even if we don’t always follow God’s plan, God’s way.
The second [reason] is, we have downplayed the role of Satan in our world
I’m not sure why exactly but somehow Ephesians 6:12 (NIV), “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” in the minds of many North American Christ followers and church leaders no longer applies. Maybe it’s seen as a “non-Christian country” problem – a third world, cult practicing problem, but there is nothing in the Bible that says we are immune to the attacks of the evil one.
Paul’s letter to the collective of Christ followers in Ephesus says that we are in a struggle with darkness, but we view Satan as the head of a competing religion that we aren’t interested in joining. We see him as trying to convince people to identify themselves as Satan followers just as Christians identify themselves as Christ followers. This view of Satan allows him to carry out his attacks on the work of Christ followers and the collective of Christ followers.
You do not have to choose to identify as a Satan follower…
…or choose immoral, illegal, or un-Christ like behaviour to serve the plan of the evil one. The non-Christ follower chooses not to trust God’s plan for eternal life which is a choice to follow Satan. The Christ follower has chosen God’s plan for eternal life but can still choose not to consult God, to act on God’s behalf without His direction. This is a choice not to follow God’s way, His plan for their everyday life. This is a choice not to “seek His face.”
If you are not seeking His face then you are not turning from your wicked ways and Satan is influencing your thinking. Satan has either convinced you that you know better than God or at the very least you know what God wants. If Satan disrupts God’s plan he can send the Christ follower and the collective of Christ followers off in a direction God never intended.
The third [reason] is the most sacred word in western culture, democracy.
There has been a connection made between Christianity and democracy that over the years, has made the two inseparable. Bringing democracy to a country in the minds of many is bringing Christian values and therefore Christianity, to the country. The connections we make between belief and politics are a little more complicated but there definitely is a strong leaning toward God being a supporter of democracy, after all, countries that are labeled Christian countries are usually democracies.
With this way of thinking it isn’t hard to see why we may adopt the point of view that God is a God of consensus. Not only is He looking for your input, He is offering you the freedom to say and do as you please. Our churches often vote on their leadership, vote on who will be their pastor, vote on a budget or a building plan. This would be fine if humble praying people used their vote and input as a way to voice God’s revelation to them of His plans, His timing and the workers He has chosen.
More often than not, church meetings have become an opportunity to exercise my right to vote under the constitution of the church, a chance to take control of my church life. God is not running for the position of God. God is not trying to convince you to agree with Him. God hasn’t assembled His followers so they can come up with a plan. God is perfect and holy, therefore there is no need for anyone’s opinion or vote to be considered in His plan. Christ followers are not part of a democratic system but rather slaves to a loving dictator, for lack of a better metaphor…
There is only one way to bear the load of life as a Christ follower.
There is only one way to support the weight of responsibility placed on the leadership of the local church. Humbly pray and seek God’s plan. When building a structure there are requirements for supporting the load placed on the building; maybe it’s laminated beams of a certain thickness or double top plates supported by studs 16” on centre… Each design requires a different solution.
We may not know the solution but we understand one thing, if I mix high quality materials with weak or damaged materials, the structural supports will not hold. When building a Christ following life and a Christ following church, a mixture of God’s way and my way cannot support everyday stresses…
From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.