A Little Understanding – The Entryway
The size of the entryway in the grandest of structures is small in comparison to the rest of the building. It serves one purpose, a place to come in out of the weather. It is not intended as a destination but rather a part of the journey. Once you are in the entryway, you are no longer outside. Once you close the door, you are not intending to go outside. It’s very black and white. If the world outside of the entryway is bad, then the world inside is good. If you live in the entryway, you are no longer in the bad, you are now in the good.
There is only one problem…
…if you stay in the entryway, you end the journey there. Your floor plan is no more than one room and your life as you see it is complete. You’ve found the more of God you were looking for. Now all that is left is to go to church, stay out of trouble and do good things until you die. Foundational and structural requirements are minimal because it doesn’t take much to support one room. Loving upwards, outwards and inwards is relatively easy because you never venture beyond the entryway. Prayer is the pre-meal and pre-sleep requirement along with the emergency backup plan if things don’t work out the way you think they should.
Childish faith never steps out beyond the entryway.
Childish faith never steps out beyond the entryway so it is never tested. Over time it becomes a mixture of faith and arrogance, trusting God for salvation but trusting in our own abilities to be a Christ follower.
It is like the teenager who thinks they can make it on their own but when the laundry needs doing or the rent needs paying, they come back to the parents for help. They understand that they exist because approximately nine months before they were born, two people got together…
Teens know that this needs to happen to be born and that they need protection and provision to survive childhood, but they believe they can handle the rest on their own. Over time doing life without guidance creates situations that are too hard for both the teenager and the childish Christ follower to solve and the parent/Heavenly Father becomes important once again.
In the child – parent relationship, becoming mature means…
…setting your own direction and accepting your responsibility to address life’s complexities instead of relying on your parents when your simplistic black and white solutions don’t work. Like the parent – child relationship, the Christ follower – Heavenly Father relationship requires complex solutions to complex situations, not simplistic black and white reactions. Unlike maturing as a son or daughter of an earthly parent, the Christ follower matures when they follow the Heavenly Father’s leading and address complexities that arise from God’s leading with more of God.
The floor plan of the Christ follower should be full of spaces in which we can discover more about God therefore filling our need for more of God. Once we go beyond the entryway of salvation we can truly live out our lives in a way that honours God.
The Entryway isn’t enough.
Childlike faith is the key to the entire floor plan starting with the entryway but going far beyond. We must believe that there is more, laying out our lives in such a way that we can discover it.
Childish faith is just happy where it is, in the entryway. When the entryway dweller does become a little restless, their options are limited by their one room floor plan. They can look all over the space they have and discover there is no more to discover! The only way to improve the entryway is to give it a facelift. Make things look better.
Continuing with the entryway metaphor…
…a coat of paint, a new closet organizer, updated tiles, add a table for cell phones and keys and new door mats should do it. It may be the same room but it looks so much better! The problem is, it’s the same room. Nothing more has been gained. You are still next to the door that leads to the world outside, so who influences the way the entryway is renovated? The world outside!
It is the only influence, there’s nowhere else to go to be inspired in a one room floor plan. It works the same way for the immature Christ follower. There is only one influence outside of the entryway. There are no other rooms to visit so there is no more to God than what is already known. Doing a makeover on your dos and don’ts list is the only option and the world outside is the only place to find input.
The world tells us that if we work hard and we use our talents, we will accomplish great things.
Everyone, Christ follower or not, has talents and can work hard because God gave everyone talents and the ability to work hard! With a sales pitch from the snake oil salesman, it is easy to come to the conclusion that this is what is missing from the dos list. Childish or immature faith sets out to please God by working hard and maximizing talents.
Using your talents for Godly purposes is a good thing and hard work can be a sign of commitment to God’s plan, but only under the direct call of God. Faith that is immature uses worldly standards to devise a plan to please God who in no way is worldly. We want to use our talents and we know there is nothing like putting in extra work but this will not satisfy our need for more of God. It’s just a facelift.
Stay tuned, part 4 of “A Little Understanding – The Floor Plan” will be posted next month
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.
For more posts from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”