Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cookie Cutter Christianity

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
(2 Timothy 2:21 – ESV)

Too often people only want an answer, a solution, a key, a method, a formula, steps for success, or whatever, because they just want to be done with a situation, not to actually learn from it. They would just be done and never let God mold their heart.

The truth is that many have placed God in a compartment of their lives, within their comfort zone. Oh, they will be stretched once in a while but always on their own terms. They seem willing to conform themselves to a standard, but it is really all about doing only what is necessary to achieve some sort of blessing they are after or to avoid some punishment they think they’ll get if they don’t fly right.

However, the answer to this isn’t to just fill up the other boxes we have made, putting God in all our compartments. He could be in every part of your life and still not have your heart. That is why we see people whose lives are nothing but ministry still fall all the way down, because they thought that the only way to avoid themselves or to avoid actually submitting to Jesus was to fill all their time doing things for God. Friend it isn’t about doing things for God. Doing things for God is great, but that isn’t what gets you further on the highway to holiness.

Complete Christianity starts with the bedrock of trusting God despite any requirement of sacrifice or any outcome. If you look at what the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 3, you will notice his recipe for resurrection power, if you will. Now this is the big picture, the aerial view of the highway to holiness. It is the big picture of the process but it is not the details because what God uses in your life is your own experience. It is the same Jesus, but a different journey, the same principles, but with different people, the same narrow path, but with different perspectives.

This isn’t cookie cutter Christianity; just because we are all in the same process doesn’t mean we all go through the same experiences. It isn’t just “do this and this” and then “poof” like magic you get it all and you’re done with it. It is a continual process with, hopefully, continual progress. God always knows how to find our weak spots, and He always seems to hit us where it hurts. That is why what “works” for someone else may not work exactly the same way for you. It is also why it always seems like we have to “go through more” than the other guy. Stop worrying about that, he is probably thinking the same thing about you anyway.

Our problem is that we just don’t want to be vulnerable; we cover it all up. All this does is delay the divine directive. Instead, the more we submit to it the more we will see it work. Stop trying to fit yourself into the mold you think Jesus will be pleased with, and start letting it happen for real.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

8 comments:

MrsEvenSo... said...

Amen!

Unknown said...

Straight and to the point thats what I like about you, JD.


"because they just want to be done with a situation, not to actually learn from it."

I can see this in my own life, but sometimes when you have had "things" so long all you can see is the cure or the solution, some sort of tunnel vision that won't let you see reasons or growth. You have been looking for the end result so long you are blinded by the white light without seeing that God is in fact the light itself.

Marcian said...

This makes the left-brained individual a peculiar oddity. We like the product rather than the process. The only reason to go from Point A to Point B is to arrive at B, or we wouldn't have left A to begin with.

The process of sanctification is so confusing sometimes. I resemble your post today.

Even So... said...

Where God places you He graces you...not always to "overcome" in the natural sense, but to see Him as enough despite what happens, a supernatural sense, as it were...it is seeing Him as having already finshed the race, the product, the every event we encounter in life, and we just walk it out...sanctification is belief that God is righteous no matter what He might allow us to go through, and living that way, like we believe it...then we won't try and hide when He is trying to expose, and we will experientially know His power and "see results"...this perpsective has helped me to see the more "whole" big picture...

Even So... said...

Marcia, it can be a more tangible, place to place progress thing than you might realize, hang in there...

Even So... said...

If you have my book, refer to the posts, "Do You Have To Keep Sinning", and "Achilles Watch Your Heel"...if not, you can find them both on this site...God bless...

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, Even So. I think you're saying something so very important here. Good for pondering. Thanks.

Even So... said...

Thanks to you also Ted...