Tough Choice!

We hear the squeaky sounds of the tennis shoes and we watch carefully, hoping that our team will come up with the ball, then there is a short blast on the whistle and the ref declares that the person with the ball is out of bounds. This is a very familiar scene, especially at the basketball tournaments before and during March Madness.

I have a question for you. In your eyes is God a referee? Do you see Him enforcing a book of rules. Are you expecting that one day the whistles will blow and you will be thrown out of the game? Is life a game and you must follow the rules or suffer the consequences?

The institutional “churches” think so. They introduce you to their group by saying how they believe in the grace of God, but if you keep your eyes open and listen to what they are saying they will lay down the rules. If it is not the Ten Commandments it will be something else of their own making. Oh, and lately they have gotten cagey about it, saying that perhaps this rule isn’t really necessary for salvation, but they will imply heavily that you really ought to do it, and really to be thought normal and in communion with their group you must do it. They will lean on you to follow their rules. And some of them will send somebody to tell you that you are not up to snuff. When you hear your doorbell ring and brother so and so is at the door, you will know that the whistle has been blown, and you are about to hear the penalty.

Again, let me ask you, was Jesus like this? Did he kick disciples out for not tithing? Did he rail against the poor people who were following Him around for not doing something or for not acting in a certain manner? No, He didn’t, in all of the Gospels, Jesus was kind and gentle to people who came to Him seeking healing or seeking to learn from Him. He was however harsh with the religious leaders of His day. He was scathing and insulting to the ones who acted like referees, the ones who were trying to enforce laws and who were making up new ones all of the time. Why did Jesus act like that? Now days if He showed up and harshly criticized what we think “God’s work” is we would have Him arrested, especially if He, His disciples and the people crowding around Him were blocking traffic.
You know it’s true, just try protesting something that your local “church” is doing, block an exit and act petulant. The staff will have the cops there to deal with you so fast it will make your head swim.

Why would they do this? If you consider that a person who might do such a thing might be hurting inside and in need of help, it is even more bewildering. The reason they would do this is that to them it is a game, really more than that, a business, sort of like a floating craps game which has found a permanent base. If you interfere with the take you will feel the wrath of the leaders.

Now, if Jesus started all of this stuff, why is it that He didn’t act like that? The reason is simple. For Him this not a game, and it is not a business. Jesus came to bring us into relationship with Him and the Father. Yes, it is as simple as that. He came to restore us to the life Adam and Eve had in the garden of Eden. You remember in Genesis when God would come and walk and talk with them in the cool of the evening? Yeah, that’s the relationship, but when you go to the “churches” what do you get? Rules and whistle blowing, and in some cases a preacher with funny hair telling you how to live your life, maybe even how to vote. Wouldn’t you just rather just go to the Source?

If you want to know Him better, go to a quiet place sit down, get comfortable and pour out your heart to Him, then listen, just humbly listen to Him and you will hear Him, some people find it helpful to write out what they are saying and then listen and write His reply as they hear it (two way journaling). Do not worry about finding fellowship at first, have your fellowship with Him, and He will lead you to the folks He has for you to befriend. It is all a matter of trusting Him.

So as with many things in life, you have a choice, you can choose to go with the rules and the rigged games, or you can fellowship with the Lord Himself. Tough choice!

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7 Comments on “Tough Choice!”

  1. cindyinsd Says:

    He has done exactly this with us–just as you’re describing it. It’s so much better here with Him. Learning how to function together as a body is a big challenge, but absolutely worth it.

    • Nathan Says:

      Wow, That’s great cindyinsd,
      At this point He is calling whoever might be willing to follow.
      Choosing to walk closer with Him is a decision which none of us will regret.
      I am so glad things are moving right along for all of you there in SD.
      It is so cool when we get to see Him working!


  2. TheFirstScandal.blogspot.com Give it a shot.

    • Nathan Says:

      OK Robert,
      I read your blog page (the several posts) and it all seems very clever, but I don’t understand how it applies to the subject at hand? Could you elaborate?

  3. Rachel Says:

    Great post. There is a difference between admonishing in love for the purpose of love verses being rule-bearing.

    And I love the 2nd to last paragraph – we worry so much about being in a fellowship the right fellowship but neglect the one fellowship with God that will lead to every other need and purpose we have.

    Rachel

    • Nathan Says:

      Thank you for your comment Rachel, I always appreciate your comments,

      Yes, people’s religious concerns are quite different from what their relational concerns ought to be.
      How often we hear Matthew 6:33 quoted and yet it’s message is distorted to mean that God works only through the “church”, and somehow “doing” (tithing, “rightly dividing the Word”[that is, hearing it from a preacher], being under proper authority, etc.) is involved.
      Goodness, can’t folks just seek Him and Him alone!

      “5. Trust in the LORD with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      6. In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight.”
      Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB

      Thank you again Rachel, it is always good to hear from you.


  4. Flogging my blog is oh so wrong.
    But what else can I do?
    I haven’t a whole lot of time left.
    So I do what I have to do.

    It’s all about Adam and Eve, you see.
    It’s not about lyrics that stink.
    So focus a little on substance.
    And forget about lyrics that stink.

    http://www.TheFirstScandal.blogspot.com


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