Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Peculiar Journey - Chapter 1

So often when we gather together as saints of God, the enemy of our souls will delight in the application of a lie that will cause us to compare ourselves with one another. And that devilish comparison may be couched in areas of virtue or vice.

We may compare ourselves with others in matters of goodness. Christian service, zeal in worship, devotion to study and discipleship or even a simple thing like frequency of church attendance all fall into areas of virtue that we use to compare ourselves. Anyone remember the Sunday school pencil you got for perfect attendance? It made you feel pretty superior didn’t it? Or maybe you just ate the eraser off the end?

Maybe comparisons arise in our minds because of certain vices we’ve yet to be free from. The argument comes like this; “Well at least I’m not as bad as…” Or maybe it comes like this; “I used to do that, but thank God I don’t anymore. How come they can’t get their act together and get the victory?”

Or maybe the comparisons are not named for the vices or struggles weaker brothers and sisters are living with, but they come in the form of disdain or impatience.

Or maybe silent comparisons are even made between fellow ministers. They’re usually based upon congregation size. But rarely are they based upon the preaching of truth or spiritual health and emotional freedom.

Regardless of what kinds of comparisons are drawn, we’ve all been on both ends of their destructive influence. Which is very unfortunate and likely grieves the Holy Spirit.

It is from these various places in life that God calls us to a journey and a mandate founded upon grace and mercy. A journey based upon faith not works or place in the race.

Because each of us comes from a different location in the process of redemption; grace and mercy must be our watch words. And for those who believe they have apparently arrived at some place of victory and success; grace and mercy, not disdain and impatience must be evident to all. And for those of us still marching in cadence who often weary in their journey; we must call cadence to one another through encouraging words of faith, grace and mercy. Remember it’s the kindness of God that leads us to change our minds, not His frustration with our lack of progress.

If you believe you have arrived at a place where victory and overcoming are daily feelings and evidenced in the fruit of your life; then glory to God in the highest! Give thanks with a grateful heart that God has endured with you to your point of your arrival. But take heed lest ye fall. Many are still on the journey.

I note this issue of comparison, because the hallmark of the Christian life in Christ is that each of us comes from a peculiar place in life yet if we remain in Him our destination is very positive! Regardless of negative starts or side roads along the way.

For some the journey looks like a rerun from “Leave it to Beaver” and for others it looks like something right out of the television show “Cops”. But either way, it is by the grace of God that we are even called to this journey. It is NOT NOR EVER WILL be based upon where we started out or even how we proceed on the journey.

So the next time you look at someone who is on their way to where God wants them to be, repent of the times you’ve judged their progress and just know… you’ve been on your own PECULIAR JOURNEY.

Well I’ve got to get back to my own peculiar journey, because a very positive destination awaits me!

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