Posts Tagged Moses
Using the example of Abraham, who listened to God’s call to ditch his comfort zone, Oswald Chambers provides a lesson in self-denial and obedience:
As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and luxurious prospects will open up before you, and these things are yours by right; but if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your rights, and let God choose for you. God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if you were not living a life of faith; but if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and leave God to choose for you. This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.
Whenever right is made the guidance in the life, it will blunt the spiritual insight. The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. It would seem the wisest thing in the world for Abraham to choose, it was his right, and the people around would consider him a fool for not choosing. Many of us do not go on spiritually because we prefer to choose what is right instead of relying on God to choose for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eye on God. “Walk before Me.”
Such an insight is crucial if we are to successfully execute God’s plan for our lives. As it did for Abraham, such an approach will transcend our earthly concerns, impacting all of our decision making, whether economic, familial, personal/vocational, political, etc.
Without fundamental and intentional alignment to God—through his Word, prayer, the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, etc.—we are left to our own devices and our own short-sighted notions of the “good.” In our profit-making, we will tend toward rationalizing and justifying actions that are in our perceived self-interest. In our sacrifice, we will tend toward emotionalization—allowing humanistic impulses to guide and direct our giving, which will, in turn, lend toward constructing golden calves.
To serve God, then, we must first deny ourselves, and to deny ourselves in any truly worshipful or productive way, we must live with “the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.”
If we do not aim to achieve the right—i.e. the will of God, or what Chambers also calls the “best”—all of our petty, humanistic intellectualizing, emotionalizing, and excuse-making will lead to petty, humanistic outcomes. Surprise, surprise.
In times of uncertainty, we tend to look for the quickest path to security. We want solutions that are neat and tidy, direction that is clear and comfortable, and a future that is pretty and predictable. No one wants to be unsure about tomorrow, and no one likes to be exposed.
When it comes to looking for security in God, we are no different. Not only do we want a tangible sign that God is real, but we want a flashy display of his guidance, outlining exactly what to do and how to do it. We want to know which job will be profitable, which relationship will endure, and which parenting strategy will empower our children to the fullest.
In many ways, God has already given us the answers to these questions, and he has done so in a direct and persuasive way — through his Word. Not only does the Word take the form of written guidance for our daily lives, but it also became flesh in order to deliver us from sin and send us the Holy Spirit (aka “the helper”). In this sense, the answers are largely available. What more could we want?
The problem is that God does not answer such questions on our terms. If you’re anything like me, you’ve asked the following question at least once in your life:
If God is real, why doesn’t he just come down from heaven, tell me the Bible is true, and give me his phone number in case I have any questions?
The answer lies in the reality that God created us to be agents of faith, which is necessary for us to be agents of love. God yearns for relationship with us, and real relationship requires faith in the sense that real relationship requires trust.
The struggle of faith — of believing in God and doing what he says— is part of Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t heard yet, Republican candidate Rand Paul made some controversial remarks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul’s basic argument was that we should prohibit racial discrimination by the government, but we should not intrude on the right of private businesses to practice bigotry.
The media firestorm over Paul’s comments seems to have subsided (for now), but the massive reaction affirms how many people believe it is the role of the State to be the sin police.
Pastor and theologian Douglas Wilson was recently asked to comment on the controversy, and his response brings up many issues worth thinking about.
Watch the video of his response here:
Wilson begins by saying the reaction and hype was spawned by a root problem in our society:
The problem that plagues us in our political discourse is that we don’t understand the difference between sins and crimes.
What Wilson means is that we always rush to pass laws to prohibit things we don’t approve of. For Wilson, this common perspective comes from a misplaced worship Read the rest of this entry »
As we approach Passover in 2010, many people are unemployed. But in a free society, government does not create jobs.
Pharoah created jobs for us. Moses led us away from those jobs. Even though those jobs helped to complete public infrastructure. Even though they were green jobs, where we used our muscles and our backs instead of fossil fuels.
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