Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eyes to See (January 10, 2012)

I wish I could say that seeing God at work was always pleasant and painless.  But the work is always beautiful.  There were two moments that stood out to me, and both shared a similar element.

For some time now, I have been growing increasingly disturbed by much of the online conversations taking place within the Body of Christ.  The tone of the theological fights is getting darker.  For a time, I found myself putting on the gloved and getting into the thick of things.  I realized that was wrong, so I stepped out of the fights, but I followed them and I poked my head in from time to time if someone attacked a position I held to and I saw a glaring hole in their argument.  Again, I was convicted.  Then, I merely followed the fights but stayed out of them.  I only thought that was better - it wasn't.  Today, God powerfully convicted me to have the heart of men like Leonard Ravenhill, Eric Ludy, and others.  These men, while standing firm on the Gospel and the core truths of the Christian faith, have not thrown their hats into the petty divisions that are so rampant among Christians.  The thought came to me that if I am locked in prison with another Christian because of our faith in Christ, the only issues I am willing to fight over would be the issues that I would care about in that prison cell.  If it wouldn't matter to me then, it shouldn't matter to me now.  Our a better example would be - if I won't care about it when we worship at the feet of Jesus in heaven, I won't care about it now.  So, I guess I am officially resigning from all debates pertaining to hymns vs. choruses / KJV vs. ESV vs. NASB / pre-trib vs. post-trib / speaking in tongues / Calvinism vs. Arminianism and on and on.  Are these important issues to study and work through.  Absolutely.  When we are together at the feet of Jesus, will I care where you stood on these?  Nope.  So, as for the debates, I want out.  How was that a painful lesson?  The humility of conviction and also the pain of seeing what these debates are doing.

The second issue came in a special moment in a special place.  Just about 15 months ago to the day, my Mom went home to be with Jesus.  While my entire Christian life has been about striving to pursue Jesus daily, something happened in my heart after my Mother's death.  I remember where I was when it happened.  God used that deep pain to draw me to a deeper place in my walk with Him.  At first, I feared it would be a season that would fade after my grief settled down.  But being back in that same spot 15 months later gave me an opportunity to look back at what God has done in those 15 months and how that work continues to increase.  Thanking Him for the Philippians 1:6 was definitely in order!  I felt like I was in the book of Genesis, going back to where I had built an altar in a previous encounter with God.

As a side note, I almost posted a picture of my Mom here.  She hated having her picture taken, so I will honor her by not doing so.  Instead, her memorial at the Cleveland Zoo...

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