Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I don't believe in the magical hedge

The Bible study material this week bothered me. On one hand, I could see if someone feels called by God to stay / go and is protected by God, who is all-present, all-powerful, and all-knowing. And I understand not living in fear and worry. I just as strongly believe that we are to think, not put ourselves knowingly in harm's way, and be responsible. (Didn't Jesus tell the disciples if they were not well received in a town to shake the dust of their feet as they left?!)

First of all, I believe that people's actions have consequences while here on earth. Sometimes God does intervene, but that's up to His choosing. He doesn't change everything like we've never sinned. Sometimes we still hurt people, and that hurt doesn't magically go away. Do I believe He can and does redeem all things? Yes. But, in His time, not mine. The temptation here: To think that just because we get hurt, God isn't protecting us.

Secondly, I do not believe that every person who gets sick, is involved in an accident, is abused, is hurt by another person - I don't believe that these people are guilty and being punished! People get sick, hurt, abused, neglected, and are experiencing the consequences of the sins of others all the time, or just this fallen world. The temptation here: To think that just because we get hurt, we aren't walking with God.

I know from experience, you can be walking with God, but the people around you may be as far from Him as possible. As Charlie Boyd says, God's greatest purpose for us isn't to make us happy, it's to make us holy; we can't understand everything that takes. When we look on this life, maybe we'll understand, after it's finished. But we are limited here. The tempation here: To think that just because we don't want something to happen, it won't happen; to think that we understand and can predict what God will and will not allow into our lives.

Do I trust God enough to let Him decide what He protects us from, and what He allows into our lives?

Romans 8 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose...
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?....

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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