the normal things are |dangerous|

Posted on March 5, 2010 by

4


To start this conversation you must know that I listen to a lot of Matt Chandler, preacher at The Village Church in the Dallas area. Next is that this is basically a giant ReTweet… well more of a RePreach.

this is the talk that sparked this post

There are common things that are dangerous for our souls.

To be more specific, there are morally benign things that can draw us away from God. The natural example, and the one we all brush off more often than not, is TV. There are some great shows out there, funny, enlightening, educational, encouraging, but the sheer fact that we can sit and turn off our brains for hours on end makes it a dangerous thing.

I’ll use me as an example, since I like to think I know me best. The things that draw me away from God are TV, video games, and mindless websurfing.  Just last night I was reminded of how much these things can catch my attention. I stayed up later than my wife to clean the kitchen, and relax a bit. So after cleaning up I started my normal relaxation routine, I got online and started playing some games. But I thought to myself I won’t turn on the TV and I’ll get to bed on time. Well 2:ooam rolls around and I’m on the couch with a pointless grouping of pixels instead of with my wife. You’d think I’d just go to bed right, wrong, gamers anthem kicked in “one more level”, I finally quit at 2:30am.

Is there anything inherently wrong with video games, no. It’s a form of interactive storytelling. But when it becomes something that can influence you away from something that is inherently good, it needs to be addressed.

God should be our focus, pretty much always. Not because He’ll crush you if you don’t, rather because He deserves it and it is the way that we were meant to be. As followers of Christ we need to be continually pursuing a deeper relationship with Him. “Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” It’s a big goal to be shooting for. But we need to go big, small goals are too easily man exalting and God belittling. If we can achieve them in our strength chances are we won’t give the glory to God. But if our goal is something that we could in no way achieve on our own then all the glory is His.

So how do we balance our actions against God’s sovereign will?

– We recognize that The Father already sees us as perfect and holy in Christ Jesus. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” 2Co 5:21,

– and that we are continually being sanctified by the Holy spirit. There is this constant growth happening in our hearts, we are being made more and more perfect, until the day when we stand in the presence of God made perfect.

This is where we live. In what some call an “already, but not yet” state. We are already holy in the sight of God, but we aren’t holy yet. We step out in faith knowing that God is making us more holy, because he sees us as holy.

OK, now what? Something that has been called the mortification of the flesh, AKA Kill your Sin. TV wastes my time, Video games consume my thoughts, and Pointless internet leads me down a dangerous path, so I will discipline myself in these areas and be extra aware of myself when I am engaging in them. Sometimes this can seem extreme to those who don’t want to do it, or don’t understand denying yourself anything. Christ commands us to fast to draw nearer to God. He also said that if our eye causes us to sin rip it out, maybe more of us need to rip the cable out of the wall (Can I even do it?)

But there is a flip side to all this, the morally benign things that draw us TO God.

For me those are nights, nature, tea(especially white), and the smell of pipe tobacco. I’m sure the first two are fairly easy to understand, I’m a night person and these two turn my thoughts to creation, the grandeur of God and the wisdom of God. The second two are a little more abstract. Tea, it’s what I drink when I’m writing/studying (I have a cup of white tea with me right now). So when I taste white tea it turns my mind to the word of God and thinking thoughts about Him. Pipe tobacco reminds me of some of the great conversations I’ve had with friends. Ones that were brutally open, honest, and full of Love.  The scholarly air that I associate with it draws out a conversational side of my faith that sometimes gets stifled by the fear of man. As you can see these are all subjective and sometimes associative, and so they won’t work for everyone. It took some introspection to identify these, and I’m sure there are more that I haven’t pegged yet.

Let me leave you with this.

“consider yourselves to be dead  to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting  the  members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14

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Posted in: Praxis, Theology