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?

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