Isaiah 59:9,10 (NLT)
9No wonder we are in darkness when we expected light. No wonder we are walking in the gloom. 10No wonder we grope like blind people and stumble along. Even at brightest noontime, we fall down as though it were dark. No wonder we are like corpses when compared to vigorous young men!
2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT)
17I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing. 18But grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
These passages made me think of others more than myself. I know, I know, this Life journaling exercise is supposed to all ow me to get inside my heart and let God show me who I am — but today I was thinking more about the world around me.
In this dynamic, postmodern culture, we are supposed to learn to be tolerant and accepting of others and their individual beliefs. It is supposedly not right to impose our beliefs on others. This attitude has extended and is now a part of church culture. While for the most part this is good — I definitely could be more accepting of others — there are parts of this worldview that have reached too far.
For instance, while I need to accept people from all cultures, ethnic groups, classes, and educational levels, does this mean I need to let all spiritual beliefs and practices invade what I understand as biblical truth? This is a hard one for me and I don’t quite know how to address it. I’ve been wrestling with this issue for several years now.
My basic understanding is that I need to meet people where they are and accept them as they progress along their spiritual journey. For the most part I do pretty well at this. However, once people come under the umbrella of the church, it is harder for me to embrace them as they continue to pursue less than perfect, self-motivated activities.
I know this is my problem, but it is one I am trying to resolve.
Today’s readings tell me there are standards and God is looking for us to remain firmly grounded — not losing our “secure footing.” Of course, my first task is to stay on the path myself.
We cannot just say we are disciples, we must also act like disciples. It isn’t enough to pray, fast, and worship — these acts must lead to life-changing transformation in our lives and should produce visible fruit that shows how God’s power affects us.
Dear Jesus, transform me. Mold me. Make me into your likeness. Reveal your character through me. Let me not just have the form of Godliness (2 Timothy 3:5), but let me have the power too. I can’t look to others, I can only look to you. Let me be an example of what your Spirit can do in one person’s life. Thanks God!
PS: This text (Isaiah 59:9-10) illustrates the need for direction in life and why we’ve chosen a compass as our logo.