I read on a sign somewhere, “if you feel far away from God, who moved?”
Fair point, right?
It is usually us that drifts away. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are somehow disconnected, or far away from God. Unfortunately, it seems like it takes negative moments in our lives to remember our dependence on God. At least, that’s how it seems to work for me.
In my devotions, I’ve discovered one of the reasons why I tend to drift away from God and make God a small presence in my life. It’s because I tend to live in the land of permissibility.
Paul writes, twice, in 1 Corinthians, “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Cor. 6:12 and 10:23)
Or, as my version of the Bible says: “‘I have the right to do everything’ you say, but not everything is beneficial.”
That’s the thing about freedom, we have the right to do anything and everything.
But that does not mean that everything is beneficial.
That’s the hard thing for me, to look at my life and see if it’s beneficial to me and my life.
Yes, I have the right to play video games and watch TV all day long (on my day off) but is that beneficial to me? To my relationships with God and family?
The more I progress in my faith journey, the more I realize that I need to be diligent in removing the things that hinder my journey, no matter how cool it may be. It sucks and it’s hard, but then I realize that I’m trading in the great glory of God for extra unnecessary hours of mindless TV programs.
Discipline is hard. Discipleship is difficult.
So I can’t disagree with you when you say:
“I have the right to hang out with those people.”
“I have the right to eat or drink anything I want.”
“I have the right to date whomever I want.” And so forth.
But are they beneficial?
The things you have a right to engage in, do they bring you closer to God or do they start building walls between you and God?
The things you have a right to engage in, are they bring others closer to God or are they affirming the negative images of God non-Christians have?
Bruce Lee once said, Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
For me, as I strive toward perfection in Christ, there are more and more things that I need to remove from my life than there is to add.
May we allow God to fully search our hearts, and allow God to weed out the things that lead us astray.
May we no longer live in the land of permissibility or the attitude of “I have the right to do everything.” Instead, may we exercise our freedom in Christ by engaging in things that are beneficial to our faith, giving glory to Christ in all that we do.