Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bad Ideas Lead Us Into Faulty Thinking That Can Distort Truth And Leave Us Living A Life Of Darkness When We Could Be Living A Life Of Light

When I began associating with Christians on a regular basis, attending meetings and learning about what was written in the Bible, one of the most dangerous ideas I began to believe was that God had our lives mapped out and from now on, as born again believers, we had no need to do anything, for He would do it all. Having a lazy tendency, I began to think I did not need to make my own decisions. Life was just a matter of believing God to do it all. This is what happens when a person lives in a First World country and access to necessities is easy. This did not mean that I ceased from earning money. I believed in working. But then when my spiritual walk took on new dimensions, I sold what I owned and ceased being self-employed, eventually to be living from whatever came my way.

Appearance of Mysterious Writing
One of the problems that affected my thinking was the concept of having been chosen before the foundation of the world. This was an idea I should have rejected because God did show me quite clearly what the ideal was in writing. This occurred when some writing mysteriously appeared in the middle of my lounge room and clearly stated that we were given the “option of perfection or imperfection in order that those who are His would come to the knowledge of the truth in Christ Jesus”.

For some reason I did not think options continued during our walk as a Christian.  I began to believe following in the footsteps of Jesus is all that is required for everything had already been mapped out for me.

Baptist and Wesleyan
The two preachers where I was fellowshipping at the time came from different backgrounds. One was Baptist and the other was Wesleyan. The Wesleyan was a powerful preacher of the gospel. The Baptist did the teaching. Both these men were moving in the Spirit of God.

However, the idea that God is in control is something that we as Christians tend to take further than we should and absolve our personal responsibilities at times. Getting the balance right is where I made an error in my thinking. I began to think God would do it all. When in reality we are in a partnership and have responsibilities each to the other.

Individuality in Oneness
The writing that appeared in front of me also included the idea of “individuality in oneness” as being the reason for our creation. True individuality as a person only comes about if choices are made. We might say that individual ants are part of an ant colony but they do not make choices, they just do what comes naturally. Likewise, so do the cells in our body for that matter. Individual cells are killed off by the millions everyday and we do not know anything about it. Decision-making is another matter altogether.

Let’s be serious here. No ant suddenly decides to become a flea and jump on a dog rather than work for the colony. Humans, on the other hand will bark like dogs, squeal like pigs and bleat like sheep. Some people will get sick of playing Simon Says (Yes sir, three bags full, sir), buck the system and become revolutionaries. For them, baaing like sheep is for donkeys.

We are individuals who make decisions. We are not preprogrammed like ants or cells in our body to perform predetermined functions without the option of changing what we will do. We are preprogrammed to think and exercise our freewill, and this is the defining difference between humans and creatures of instinct.

We Have the Power
We have the power to change things. Other creatures do not possess this power. They might be able to make adaptations in small ways, but not like us human beings who are capable of coming up with major changes to the environment because we have the ability to make decisions, analyze situations and predict outcomes. Possessing a creative mind capable of understanding and experiencing our interactions with other entities and objects within our environment from an objective and subjective perspective distinguishes us from the other creatures on the planet being automatons.  

The reality is God is at work in us and we have to work out our own salvation. This is what the World English Bible states: 
“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
Even though I am a saved man, I still have to work out where I stand in relation to God and men within this world. I did not think that I did. This became a major trap for me and instead of letting my light shine before men, for much of my time I have been hiding.  I often think, how much more I could have done that would have brought glory to God. Working out our salvation extends beyond choosing Heaven rather than Hell and includes our eternal standing once saved; an outcome dependent upon the amount of light that shines in our lives when on Earth.

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