Pastor's Blog

Jesus commanded the apostles to love one another and they in turn passed on the same command to the gatherings of believers.  In a similar vein, the apostles several times called on the earliest Christians to be “of the same mind”, to be “in full accord”, to be “of one spirit”, to “agree with one another”, to “be united” and “maintain the unity of the Spirit.”

If things happen automatically, they simply happen.  Issuing commands to do them would be pointless and unnecessary. 

If a command is issued, the thing commanded must be, to some degree, doable.  If it isn’t, issuing the command is sheer nonsense.

If you don’t get what I mean:  command a newborn baby to read Genesis 1.1 aloud.

Christians loving one another, building connection, and maintaining unity doesn’t just happen.  It requires effort on the part of believers to make it happen.

Some evangelicals claim that this approach to spiritual living is a refusal to trust the Spirit of God to work.  If we just “try to do things”, they claim, we’re doing it “in the flesh” and that exertion of effort toward a commanded good is wasted -- an evil rather than a good.

That view of a walk with God, not uncommon among evangelicals, seems silly and backwards to me.

The biblical commands aren’t given to the Spirit of God.  They’re given BY the Spirit of God to believers – you and me.  He wants us to do them.

My obedience may be clouded by my ignorance or be fall far short of perfection because of my own imperfections.  But does the God who works all things together for good have to wait for us to become perfectly honed tools before He can use us to accomplish what He wishes?  Or is He able to work through our blunders and stutter-steps and stumbles?

If faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, what might a similarly microscopic effort at loving others or building connection or maintaining unity, motivated by a genuine heart desiring to obey, accomplish?

Not because of the greatness of my effort, but because this is the very thing that the Spirit of God choose to use to work in the world.
The Spirit of God works through our imperfections.
He has to.
There is nothing else to use.
Glory to God that He chooses to do so!

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