Saturday, June 14, 2014

More Golf Cart Thoughts . . .

In my last post (Food for Thought . . . ) I used the example of a child driving a golf cart ten feet when told not to as a way to illustrate to ourselves our own heart toward God. I'm not going to repeat it here, but I'll assume you've read it (or you can read it by clicking on its link above).

I had another thought about it that was helpful to me. In that thought I could picture the same kid who disobeyed. But this time, instead of just being told not to drive the cart, he is told something like, "Don't drive the cart because it is out of oil and the engine will burn up (if it was a gas engine)." Or, "Don't move the cart because I discovered a sink hole under the dirt in front of it."

In any of these type of examples, what if the child, who would have otherwise driven the cart when told not to, now says, "Oh! OK," and doesn't drive the cart because they now understand the reason why not to (and, implicit in this, they agree with the reason why not to)? This further reinforces the pride and arrogance and rebellion of the child, even though they obeyed! Why? Because they obeyed because THEY understood and agreed. If they hadn't, they wouldn't have.

In the golf cart example I gave in the previous post it was clear to me that a reaction of, "Wow! He punished you like that for only driving it ten feet! That's harsh!" was a reaction that puts the person being given instruction in the place of "god" and judge. The true heart that understands authority would say, "Wow! I can't believe you drove the cart when he told you not to!"

In this example of obedience because of agreement there is nothing different. If we say, "Good boy. He didn't drive the cart," we are again focusing on the action and not the heart because he would have if he didn't agree with the reasons! He is still rebellious and proud and arrogant!

Again taking this back to us and God, it is a fair question to ask, "Do I obey when I understand why God is telling/asking something, but I don't if it doesn't make sense to me?" This is something we actually often cultivate when we say things like, "God says not to XX, and it makes sense because if we do there is a risk of YY or ZZ." This isn't to say that it is bad to explain how wise God is as a witness to His greatness, but it is dangerous if understanding is made a portion of obedience.

God is holy. He is set apart. He is the Creator. Far be it from the Creation to have the arrogance and pride and foolishness and rebelliousness to demand more before we obey than to simply know God said it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Food for Thought . . .

In my last post (Just a Bunch of Sticks?) I shared some thoughts I'd had about an Old Testament account of a man being killed for collecting wood on the Sabbath. I shared how my first reaction had been to assess the severity of the crime in terms of the action of the man, and not the heart. I first thought of it as a severe punishment for simply collecting sticks, until I believe God showed me that the true sin wasn't picking up sticks, it was the rebellion against God that was at the heart of the man who would pick up sticks when God expressly told them in the Ten Commandments not to work on the Sabbath, on the day He'd set apart as holy.

Last night at Men's Group we were talking about this and how casual we can become with God and our understanding of His holiness, and I felt like God gave me an example that spoke to all of our hearts there, and helped a lot. I wanted to share it in case it helps you as well:
Some people we know have a golf cart that grandchildren and visiting kids are taught safety points about and how to drive. They are then given a driving test for it, and if they pass they are approved to drive around the property. It is pretty slow and safe, but the people take it seriously and the kids are taught to as well. The example that I felt God gave me was of the man telling a child not to drive the golf cart. The child goes out and drives it ten feet. The man then punishes the child in some hypothetical way—say takes his license for a month and maybe something else.
In this situation someone might easily say, "He did all that to you for driving the cart ten feet?!" The proper answer is, "No, he did all that because I disobeyed." That is the heart of it. Five feet. Ten feet. A mile. The distance doesn't matter. What matters is that he was told not to do something and he did it anyway. It is revealing of a much deeper sin than driving ten feet. It is revealing of a heart of pride and rebellion and self-focus.

We can learn a lot about ourselves by putting ourselves in the position of someone the child comes and complains to. Would we feel like, "That is harsh! I can't believe he did that to you for driving it ten feet!"? Or, would we feel like, "I can't believe you went out and drove it when he told you not to!"?

Once we answer which one of those responses would be ours we then can ask ourselves if we are consistent in that application. When God says something, do we weigh the action (putting ourselves in the place of god and judge), or do we say, "My God said it and that is enough for me."

The question is not if the action seems big or small to us. The true measure of our heart is whether the fact that God said it is big or small to us. That reveals it all.

Collecting wood. Eating fruit. Driving a cart ten slow feet. Murdering someone. Adultery. In our minds, when we look at them, we can easily rate them as small or big. But rebelling against God? That should always be huge to us, and if it isn't I think it should be a warning sign. And that is truly what is at the core of it all.


Another Morsel: Tonight we wanted to surprise our girls and borrow a DVD from someone that they'd been wanting to watch, but after some emails and phone calls it didn't work out and we didn't tell them. I wonder how many times in our life it seems to us like God isn't moving, but in reality He is doing all sorts of things on our behalf. Can we trust His love and heart for us when we can't see His hand at work?


Related Posts with Thumbnails