Mar 24, 2009

A Short Devotion

Living the Christian life is perplexing sometimes, and so is zeal for the Lord. Scripture teaches us that the Spirit is like the wind, it blows where it will (John 3:8). We cannot make it blow one direction or the other, nor can we generate the wind at any point. Further, we cannot determine whether it will be a whisper, a gale-force storm, or nothing at all. We are completely dependent upon God to send His Holy Spirit according to his purposes, for His glory. Living and moving in the spirit is like being a sail-boat in the midst of a great ocean. We are dependent upon the wind for movement. We cannot generate our own wind and we could never row long enough to get to safety. We can try all we want, but we will tire and fail if we attempt it. Instead, we must learn to move with the wind, to ride the current. This means being prepared for the wind’s movement and being committed to move the way the wind moves, to go left when the wind goes left and right when the wind goes right. We must let it guide us in the ebb and flow of life, gently caressing and comforting us while moving us swiftly along the ordained path.

Our job, our responsibility, is to prepare for the moving of the Spirit… the end. God’s prerogative, right, and decision is to move according to his purposes and will. Through the disciplines, such as prayer and Bible reading, we prepare ourselves for the movement of the Spirit just like a ship’s sails being properly in place, prepare it for the wind. Yet, as with a ship, having sails up in the air does not mean we will be able to move, it simply means that we are prepared to move when the wind blows and in the manner the wind wills.

There are many spectrums in the spiritual life and this is no exception. At one end of the spectrum is being slack in the disciplines. Slack disciplines are like slack sails, they spill the wind and handle it poorly, causing the ship to move poorly or erratically. When we are slack in the disciplines, we are unable to move with the full power of the Spirit. Though the Lord is willing to move us and sends His Spirit, we are poor vessels, leaking and spilling the precious gift of the Spirit and failing to move in the power thereof. We become erratic and disheartened. Sometimes we even begin to wonder if the wind is insufficient to move us, but in truth it is we who are insufficient. In those times we should recognize it is our insufficiency causing the problem. Yet, at the same time, we need to remember that Christ is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). It is not that Christ is weak, not at all. Instead, it is that His strength is demonstrated most perfectly when we are at our weakest, when we acknowledge our weakness. It is when we are in a posture or position of being totally submitted, totally open and naked before our creator, that he is able to demonstrate His strength in amazing and perfect ways. It is then that He can pick us up in the warmth of His strong arms, holding us close to His bosom, quieting us long enough to listen to the beat of His heart.

At the other end of the spectrum is holding the sails too tightly. When the wind does blow, we are to hold the sails, but if we hold them too tightly we might believe ourselves to be the master of them, foolishly thinking we can go where we will. If the sails are held too tightly, the wind will push against the sails with tremendous force. If the sails continue to be held too tightly, then you end up in a tugging match with the wind vs you. You will not win! In the same way, if we try to use the disciplines to gain favor with God or to earn His approval, we totally miss the point. If we approach them as if they are a means to get where we want to go, we will end up going no where and even find ourselves opposing the Lord. The disciplines must be used in the way they were designed. They were designed to help us grasp the movement of the Spirit, not control it; we cannot control the wind, nor can we decide our own destination. Remember the disciplines do not make us holy; Christ’s atoning blood has already accomplished that on our behalves. Instead of trying to earn your own holiness (as if that were even possible), you must use the disciplines as tools to learn the way the Spirit moves and then set your sails accordingly.

If the wind is blowing toward the west (from the east, toward the west), you will not get anywhere setting the sails toward the east, or if you do, you’ll only end up going the opposite direction you wish to go. Further, if you stubbornly and rebelliously decide on your own course and face against the wind (toward the north or south), you will have a very hard time keeping the boat from capsizing and will eventually tire out, ruin the boat, or both. A ship in the midst of a storm must use the wind to move and be carried by it where it will, it cannot survive taking the wind broad-side. If we put up our sails the wrong way, we will likely break our mast, rip our sails, or capsize the boat. Thus, when our devotionals are on the wrong things (such as worshipping TV or the latest Christian author - ouch), we are facing the wrong way (to one degree or the other). Further, if we simply refuse to put up the sails (not doing any devotionals), we won’t move at all, but will only bob to and fro, tossed about and destined for destruction.

Yet if we do put up the sails, even if we put up the correct sails in the correct manner, we still cannot believe that this will guarantee movement, we must still wait upon the wind for movement. If performing the disciplines by themselves guaranteed movement, then we would be source of movement, providing our own salvation. God did not create us as motorboats and we cannot save ourselves. Instead, He created us as sailboats, completely dependent upon Him for all, and in all. God desires for us to grow in a deep, intimate relationship with Him. It is only when we are willing to completely submit ourselves to Him, standing naked before Him without pretense, qualification, or ideals of earning our own salvation that we are in the correct posture to be fully moved by the Spirit.

When you pray, how do you pray? What is your posture? Are you commanding the Spirit? Are you begging in disbelief, hoping somehow to get God do to your bidding? Are you praying as a means to gain favor? My friends, prayer is about posture. It’s about saying, here am I Lord! Prayer is about Christ’s kingdom and beseeching the Father to make us what He desires therein. It’s about sitting in the midst of a vast, endless ocean, totally unarmed and helpless, with sails drawn, waiting patiently and properly for the moving of His Spirit. My brother, my sister, this is freedom in Christ. If the Son has set you free, then you are free indeed!

Read Psalm 23 in a paraphrase version and pay attention to the sense of meaning it brings out as compared to a more literal version.

(note: I am usually the one telling people to avoid paraphrase versions... this time I thought it fitting :)

• List the ways you are waiting on the Lord (the key here is passive, like putting sails up and getting them ready for the wind to blow whenever it comes)

• List the things that you are powerless to do (like create the wind or determine the direction it will blow in)

• Find scriptural promises where God has already fulfilled the means to the things listed above. He has already provided, so list how he has already promised to do so.

Take a break from sin! Don’t focus on it or think about it this week. Do I have your attention? Good. Now, I’m not saying that you should use this as an excuse for sin or that you should ignore sin, not at all. Instead, I am saying not to let the accuser of the brethren, Satan, tell you how bad you are this week. This week, work on confessing your sin with an earnest heart and leaving it there. All too often, even after you have sought forgiveness and confessed your sins, even in the midst of a prayer of repentance he loves to come along and tell you that you aren’t praying right, that you aren’t doing what you should, that you didn’t get the formula right (ouch), and that the prayer is thus invalid. Listening to these types of lies just buries you further in a pit of despair for which there is no way out. Christ’s life, death, and resurrection paid the price that we could not pay, delivering us out of this very trap. Do not let the evil one trick you into thinking you are still there, this week is about freedom! Do not let that old devil twist what should be a devotional relationship with our Lord, an intimate communion, into another way to point out our failure. Instead, confess your sins to Christ and ignore the devil. That’s right, ignore him, block him out, rebuke him in the name of Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You see, “doing” and “not doing” are not the point. Christ has promised his children forgiveness when they ask, so confess your sins and think of how Christ bore your sin on Calvary, taking it upon himself. Let him take it for a week and don’t let it enter your mind. If you find yourself thinking of sin, write it below and next to that, describe what the Bible says about that accusation (Psalm 103:12 would be a great place to start).


Anonymous said...

I have no idea where the Wind is directing me. How would I know? Is it a thought? Is it an open door when all the rest are closed- I haven't been that blessed. I guess this is why I continue to lose faith no one can explain to me what you are ACTUALLY saying. I guess the Christian "answer" is Christians just know the "voice" of their master. That doesn't help me.

A-Hawk said...


First let me say that I’m thankful for your honesty. Too many people are so full of themselves, so full of pride, that they won’t be honest about where they are or that they struggle. I truly commend you on what appears to be a transparent honesty in your writing. Second, let me apologize for taking a few days to respond. School has been crazy and though I’ve wanted to respond, I simply was unable until right now. That said, I will do my best to answer your question and would encourage you to write back with other questions or whatever. I’ve given my email in various places in this blog before and have no problem giving it again; you can email me if you want to (though to be honest, a LOT of people struggle with this and I think it might help others if we keep it on the blog). Godsservant John 330 aaat gmail dot com. I spaced things out to avoid spam, but put the three things together with no spaces and it should get through. Whatever you decide, I’m here to do whatever I can to help.

First, as I referenced above, A LOT of people struggle with this, so you are not alone. Second, if a Christian gave you only the answer you gave above as the “Christian answer,” that is a very poor Christian. I have been a Christian for 22 years now and though I don’t normally have a lot of difficulty discerning what the Lord is saying, I still have times where I’m not sure. For me, the times that I’m not sure are the times that I haven’t spent a lot of time reading the Bible and praying (these are the two foundational disciplines).

Ok, there are two basic directions to go in trying to answer you and I will give them both below. Please forgive the length, but since I can’t talk to you, I need to cover my bases as best I can :). This also means that much of this may be “elementary” to you and I would ask that you be understanding. I’m not trying to insult you if you already know things, I simply don’t know you and what you do and don’t know. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him.” I don’t want to be a fool, so thanks for understanding =-)

The first direction is that you may not be a Christian. Some people don’t believe that you should ever ask that question once you walked down an aisle and gotten wet. Being baptized is a command of Jesus for everyone who is saved; they should be baptized as soon as possible upon asking the Lord into their heart. However, baptism is not what saves a person. A lot of people misunderstand this. So, if you ever “got wet” through baptism, that does not mean you are a Christian. Also, a Christian can be saved and never get baptized, though they would be living in disobedience to Jesus Christ, the one that saved them. How can you know that you are a Christian? The Bible doesn’t have one place that you can go to figure out how to “get saved,” because ideally you would read for yourself (the New Testament first, then the Old Testament). However, there is a “tool” that people use to explain it called the “Roman road.” I’m going to use it below.

Roman Road (mostly taken from with additional comments by me)

John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Romans 3:23
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
--This means that we’ve all done wrong, who could deny that?

Romans 5:8
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
--in other words, even when we were against him, he died to allow us to come to him (It’d be like someone spitting in your face and punching you, and you making sure they are ok… it’s mind-boggling)

Romans 6:23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
--this means that we deserve hell because we’ve done wrong, but God has provided a way to make us right and thus, allow us to go to heaven

Second Corinthians 5:21 says, "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we may be made the righteousness of God through Him."
--this means that Jesus took our sin and gave us his perfection (in other words, he didn’t just pay off our debt, but he gave us a huge account)

Romans 10:9-10
"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
--in other words, if you believe Jesus is who he said that he is, you have but to ask and you will be saved

Romans 10:13
"for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved."
--this means anyone can be saved, no matter what they have done and no matter what they are doing right now, it’s only too late after you are dead

Anonymous, if you haven’t been “saved,” that is without a doubt why you can’t figure out God’s will. If that is the case, let me tell you out-right what His will is. God wants you to get saved, right now! How do you know that’s true? For two reasons. First, 1 Timothy says so (listed below this paragraph). Second, if you felt like you needed to do something while reading the things above, while reading the 1 Timothy passage below, or if that was why you wrote what you did before, then the fact that you feel like you have to so something is evidence that the Holy Spirit of God is “talking” to you, telling you what you need to do. I would encourage you to read over the things above again, and to go to the site I referenced. Whatever you do, DON”T put this off because we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We have many chances in this life to listen to God, but we don’t know how long that will be. If you do surrender to the Lord’s will and get “saved,” you the first thing you need to do is find a good church and talk to someone about it. They will help you know what to do next, including baptism. You may of course also ask me and/ or email me and I will do what I can. Second, if you did that, welcome to the family, you are no longer alone, you are now my brother or sister in Christ!

1 Timothy 2:3-6 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the 1knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.


Ok, now assuming you either were already in Christ’s family or were just adopted into His family, I can talk about the second direction. In other words, if a person is not a Christian, the things I am about to talk about don’t apply (kinda like you can’t arrive at your destination before you start heading there).

As a Christian, God promises to show you His will. He will never leave you without a way to figure out what He wants. However, this does not always mean that it will be easy. In the Old Testament, God would from time to time speak directly to people in an audible voice. However, the presence of God is so terrifying, that the people literally asked God to stop showing up personally (I can’t remember the reference for that one off-hand). After that, God spoke through people, events, and occasionally directly to individual people who wrote down what God said. That is how we got the Bible (a summary at least). After Jesus came, a number of people wrote down the things He did and said, and from then on, no one has heard directly from God in the same way. Why? Because everything was building up to Jesus (the same way some people wait until after the meal for dessert). He was the main point of it all. After He came, we have all that we need to live in the way that we should. And, until Jesus returns, that is primarily how we know God’s will.

Ok, now if you head is spinning, what all of that meant is that the primary way to know what the Wind is saying or what direction the Wind is moving, is to read the Bible. Please read on, I know that’s probably not the answer you are looking for. Though it is basically that simple, that is not all and that is definitely not an adequate answer in and of itself. There are three basic ways to know God’s will (ie: where the Wind is moving).

The first is reading the Bible. Remember, God gave us the written word, HIS written word because He knows we want to know and need to know what He has to say. A lot of passages may not make sense for a while, but they are there for a reason. The thing about living as a Christian (the Christian life) is that it is a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. It is not a bunch of do’s and don’ts, no, it’s about being like Jesus. Just like a little kid usually wants to be just like his dad or her mom, we are to try to be like Jesus (and we won’t get there btw, we just try). Thus, since it is a relationship, we need to “talk” to Jesus and “listen” to Jesus regularly. The way we do that is through prayer and reading. If you have a best friend, you talk to them pretty often and if you don’t, you may still like them, but you don’t “know” them very well, after a while.

Let’s say that you have had a friend for 12 years that you just hang out with ALL the time (let’s say his name is John). Then one day someone is talking to you and they say, “hey, John’s birthday is coming up and I can’t figure out what to get him. Would he like a gift certificate for some fishing gear from Walmart?” Well, since you know John, you know that he had a traumatic experience in a Walmart store one time and NEVER shops there. However, he does like fishing. So, you tell them to get a gift certificate from some other store. That gift certificate sounded like a good idea because almost everyone shops there from time to time, but because you KNOW John, you know that he wouldn’t. Yet, you know him well enough to know that he likes fishing, thus the gift idea is a good one. Thus, you made this decision based on what you know of John.

Most of the decisions in this life, most of the time when we want to know God’s will, that is how we know it, because God has already told us through the Bible what He wants. The more time we spend reading the Bible and praying, the more we know God (just like your hypothetical friend John) and what He wants.

Prayer is the second way we know God’s will. This “discipline” as it’s called, is probably the most confusing one of all and I can’t really take the time to get into the full version here (this thing’s already long enough :). Prayer is about talking and listening to God. Sometimes it may feel very vibrant and “alive” and other times it may feel very “dead,” as if we are talking to ourselves. Relationships of all sorts have those types of ups and downs, that is normal and ok. The key is that you don’t base a relationship on your feelings. When I got sick a little while back I didn’t have some vibrant, warm feeling of love for my wife (and I didn’t want to talk to her very much either). That doesn’t mean that I loved her any less, it just means that my emotions were a little different at the time. Emotions are great things, but they can never determine a relationship.

The third way to know God’s word is to ask other Christians around you. They may have just read a passage that you had forgotten about (or have never read) and can share that with you. Also, some people have been a Christian longer than you have or spent more time in the Bible and in prayer than you have (no matter how “old” you are, there is always someone older). Thus, they may be able to understand situations a little better than you can at that moment.

The last thing I want to talk about in this section is wisdom. Many decisions are based on what we understand through prayer, reading, and through other Christians. There are decisions that the Bible does not speak directly to, though that is a pretty rare event. In other words, if I want to know whether or not God wants me to rob a store, “though shalt not steal” answers that one definitively. However, if I want to know whether God wants me to go to the 9:30 or the 11:00 church service, that is a matter of wisdom. There is freedom in the decisions we make. Though God is sovereignty in control of us, He does leave some decisions to us to make (how is a mystery). If both situations are the same, then it is up to you which service you attend, neither is right or wrong. Again though, the more we know God, the better we will be able to make these decisions.

I have two more sections to this response. In the first, I want to share with you how even the people in the Bible stories struggled the way you are struggling. We are very limited creatures, especially when compared to an infinite God. My friend, remember, you are not alone in this struggle, don’t ever believe that lie! As I said, I want to encourage you and show you a couple of short examples of how other people struggled in the same way. To do this, I will share a scripture and then make just a few comments afterward.

John 10:23-30 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. 24 The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, "How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me. 26 "But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep. 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 "I and the Father are one."
--This is likely the verse that the person (or you) were referring to. It is true that Jesus’ sheep know his voice. But, and interesting thing here is that in context, He is referring to recognizing Him as Savior, not that they are experts at following His will (though that should come). Remember the analogy here too… we are sheep. Sheep are notorious for not really listening to the shepherd and going their own way. In this one analogy, Jesus is indeed alluding to His sheep knowing who He is, what He wants, and that they, like sheep, will go astray.

Matthew 13:10 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
--Jesus’ own disciples are here saying the modern equivalent of “Huh? Dude, speak English!” Though the disciples have been with Him for some time now (in person mind you), and still find themselves not having a clue what He is saying. Don’t be discouraged Anonymous, we are all confused from time to time.

2 Peter 3:14-16 14 aTherefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
--Here, the Apostle Peter (you know, the one that helped start the entire church, the one who first recognized who Jesus truly was), is speaking to his readers about Paul’s words being hard to understand (Paul, the one who originally killed Christians). Paul wrote a LARGE portion of the New Testament, and even Peter is saying that much of what Paul wrote is confusing and hard to understand.

John 14:15-21 15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. 18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 "After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. 20 "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."
--Essentially, Jesus is here saying that if you really do love Him, you will obey His commandments (the Bible). He is also promising not to leave you alone. In fact, He has promised to send you the Holy Spirit. Here He is speaking of the fact that the Lord dwells in you if you are saved.

In the second section, I want to speak directly to your comments (I know, I know, FINALLY :).

Ok, so with all that said, yes, you must be saved to know where the Wind is blowing (and if you are not saved, the Wind is blowing you toward salvation). Otherwise, being in the Bible, in prayer, and with good solid Christians is the best way to know God’s will. Beyond that, you have wisdom calls based on what you know of God’s character, just like you’d know what your best friend would or wouldn’t do. There are many popular ways that people talk about being led by God, but scripture speaks of the three things I’ve mentioned. Sometimes when a person is so wrapped up in reading the word and prayer and so on, their thoughts are so focused on the Bible and the Lord that their thoughts become the Lord’s thoughts. This is called the renewing of the mind. God works to renew both our hearts and our minds. He actually transforms and changes our hearts and minds to the point that we think like Him. Thus, sometimes it is a thought, because we are thinking the way Christ thinks, but this usually comes with maturity. As to whether or not it’s an open door / closed door thing, personally I think that when people make decisions that way, they are not being very mature. There are always open doors and many of them lead to destruction. I have the ability to do many things, but many of them are not the Lord’s will. I have the freedom to do many things, but not all are spiritually beneficial. There are times when the Lord allows a door to seem closed to test our faith, if we are really listening to Him after He has said not to go “there.” There are other times that the Lord leaves a door open, to test us because He said don’t go there. The Garden of Eden is a prime example of this, God said not to eat the fruit, but left them the ability to get to it. God is a father (a good one, I didn’t have a good one in the natural sense) and it’s never best to figure out what your parents want by doing whatever you want and waiting until you get in trouble to realize that was not the right thing to do. A much better way to live is to figure out what they want and do it. It is the same with God.

I can’t provide any particular input as to where the Wind is directing you since there are no particulars given and I don’t know you. I would caution you to avoid “signs” and things that are very subjective. There is a mysterious subjective element that some people might try to deny, but it is minute in importance compared to the objective. The simple fact is that the Spirit will never contradict the Bible and the more we know the Lord, the more we will have the mind of Christ.

I’m not sure what you mean exactly by you haven’t been that blessed… I am picking up on your frustration, but beyond that, I can’t figure out exactly your point there. Blessed to have doors that obvious? Blessed to be able to figure things out? Not sure what you mean. I’m also not sure what you mean by lose faith. Do you mean you doubt sometimes if God is really there because you don’t seem to be able to communicate with Him? I’ve been there. The thing that I’ve found is that there are two times when I seem not to be able to communicate with the Lord. First, is when I’m expecting something of Him that He has not promised… when I demand something that I want and am so focused on my and my desire that I’m not actually listening (even though I think I am at the time). In those times, I have to remember that He is God and I can’t demand anything of Him beyond what He’s promised, and even there I have to remember that He knows when things are best. The second time that I can’t seem to communicate with the Lord is when He has already told me the answer and I am just not listening. Sometimes He seems to withdraw, as if He’s saying, “hey, I already answered you and I’m not speaking again until you do what I’ve already said.”

As to what I was saying in my note, I’ll explain here. I hope that what I already wrote makes sense. If you do write back, it probably won’t be as much of a response on my part because a lot of the ground work has been done. Anyway, back to explaining what I meant.

The note was inspired by a desire to speak to someone about how we are sometimes so zealous for the Lord and then other times we seem indifferent, and the reactions we sometimes have to ourselves in that state. Some people try to force zeal and spiritual growth, by “doing” the devotions. While growth usually comes with the disciplines, ultimately growth comes from the Lord, not because we “did” or “didn’t” do something. That’s the thing that so many Christians get confused. In the transaction of Christ taking our sin and us taking Christ’s righteousness, we can not “do” anything to add to Christ’s righteousness. We are the free beneficiaries of His grace. Essentially, when I talked about spectrums, I was speaking of legalists who try to “do” things to earn salvation and those who don’t do anything because they focus too much on grace and not enough on obedience. For example: legalists think that by reading and praying, they are pleasing God more than if they didn’t. They think that God requires a certain amount from them and that if they don’t do that, God is going to be mad. That is simply not true by itself. The truth is that we are in Christ and cannot do anything to please God more than He is already pleased. We do those things not because they gain us favor with God, but because we want to know Him better, because we love Him and as such, we want to obey Him. This is where I was talking about holding the sails too tightly. When we think that we can earn God’s favor more than we already have it, we insult what Christ did. I’m afraid I still struggle with this one sometimes, most of us do. Yet, it is true. On the other hand, some people are so focused on the fact that we have Christ’s righteousness, they believe that they can live any way that they want to and face no consequences. That is not right either and in my analogy, this is what I called not even putting up the sails. Though we cannot please God any more than He already is in the sense of salvation, it does please Him when we obey and when we grow closer to Him. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey His commandments. The test of love then is action. To say that as a saved person I need to earn God’s favor is wrong, yet to say that I am not obligated to do anything is wrong. It is when we truly grasp this in the depth of who we are that we learn to truly use the disciplines to our benefit. The post is talking about “fine-tuning” the Christian life. The main point of the post is that we cannot force God to do what we want, but we must instead learn what God wants and do it. It really is that simple and yet we get it all confused.

Well, I’ve typed right on to the eighth page and I’m not sure if I answered the question or not. I covered a lot of “basis” ground. Please do write back if there is some way that I can help. If I totally missed your point, please feel free to say that and to ask a specific question. Again, my response should be a lot shorter next time, since so much of this was trying to make sure that I explained a lot of the things that so many people just assume is common knowledge. Anonymous, I’m praying for you, I truly am; and I hope that you can find the answer you are looking for. Just remember, Christ truly is the answer to every question!

Your Friend in Christ,

Aaron Hawk
1 Kings 22:14