Monday, August 1, 2011

Sold Out - Not Sucked In

Several years ago Aaron Tippen had a country song called You've got to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything!  What a great song! As it turns out, it's also great theology. Read the passage from James listed just to the left of this post. Now read verse six again: "He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed about by the sea."

Tossed about...sometimes life can do that to us. Sometimes it's just part of life. Things happen: people get sick, the car breaks down, someone loses a job... That's not the kind of tossing James is talking about here. What he's describing is someone without a spiritual foundation, an anchor, a home-base for their faith. Consider this scenario: I am a Christian and find myself in conversation with someone who is not, or thinks they were, or might have been at one time... the longer the discussion goes the more convoluted it gets with my friend describing to me how she thinks she may have lost her salvation a while back because she may have sinned. I want to reassure her that she did not lose her salvation, but suddenly I'm not so sure anymore that I know what I know. You know?

Now take this same scenario, only this time I can walk her through the Roman Road to salvation. I can talk to her with confidence about the gift of God - the grace of God and assure her that her works/actions have nothing to do with saving her. What if I can then go to Romans 8:35-39 and assure her without a doubt that nothing can separate us from the love of God! Then I assure her that she has indeed sinned and I take her to 1 John 1:9 where she finds a promises that if she confesses her sin He is faithful to forgive and to cleanse? What if I can do that for her?

That is truth. That is powerful. That is my anchor. Those verses, along with the rest of scripture are the foundation of my life. They are the foundation of everything we do as Christians. As children we memorized Psalm 119:11, "I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Why do we have children learn this verse? Is it one of those verses that we learned so early and have repeated so often that we fail to meditate on it and let the power of it fill us? How many times do we repeat John 3:16 without a complete sense of awe, wonder and humility at the sacrifice given for us; the awesome love that God demonstrated for us?

If someone asked you about salvation or forgiveness or praise or divorce or abortion or racism or money management or...this list is endless. What would you tell them? Would their questions confuse you and make you doubt what you know, or would you be able to say "here's what I've learned from scripture..."

This isn't about scripture memory, although it's great to have a verse come to mind when we need it. This is about KNOWING the truths found in the word because we have tested them, lived them, meditated on them, and they have become a part of us. They have moved from our heads to our hearts.

What would it take for someone to convince you that the law of gravity doesn't really apply anymore? Could anything convince you of that? Of course not! Why?  Because whether you think about it or not, you are bound by it every day. When you drop something it hits the floor not the ceiling. When you fall you fall down, not up.

We can be just as certain of God's truths in our lives. (By the way, gravity is one of his laws. Just sayin'). We need to read them, meditate on them, prove them. They will anchor us firmly in a world of shifting values and will become a beacon of hope for those who watch us every day.

In the middle of life's storms it is good when we can say, "I don't know how long this will last or what the end will be, but I do know that my captain walks on water!"

Don't get sucked in by doubts, half-truths, and outright lies. Get sold out to Jesus. Know that you know that you know! "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Meditate on that for a minute.

What about you? How do you anchor yourself in your faith? What is it that attacks you most frequently and causes you to question or doubt? How does that affect your Christian service?

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