But God, you said!

 

Have you ever heard God say something , and you say okay and be obedient, then a few months or years down the line He’s like, “Don’t do that anymore”, or “That’s no longer the plan”, and you’re looking like this guy?

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No, just me? Okay cool…

But I’m sure that’s how the Pharisees and the disciples were looking in Mark 7 when Jesus switched it up and said “There is nothing that enters a man from the outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.”

You see, back in Leviticus God told the Israelites about all these unclean animals they couldn’t eat; He was really strict about it. So what ended up happening was that the instructions that were given then, became rituals and traditions. But Jesus came for traditions too in the Mark passage. He said “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.” You may see this a lot in the church setting but we have the tendency to do it in our personal lives as well. Not trusting (forgiving) people after they wrong you because it’s what your momma taught you, even thought it’s not supported biblically. Continuing to observe pagan traditions because you’ve been doing it for years despite your recent enlightenment, etc.

So when Jesus told them that it’s what comes out of a man that defiles him and not what goes in, He was trying to free them. He was trying to liberate them from a tedious lifestyle and get to what’s really important. The law of God is not bondage, but God realized we didn’t have the ability to keep every commandment He had. He wanted to simplify life for us and take the pressure of perfection away from us and He did it through Jesus’s lifestyle and teachings.

Here’s where we get caught up: When you’re set in your ways and not open, you miss new instructions. 

Let’s say I went to the store in 2003 and the most advanced cell phone out was a flip phone, and I bought it. Now time goes on and technology progresses, but in my mind this flip phone is the most advanced phone available (because that’s what I was told when I got it). If someone were to come to me and say “Girl, you know we have touch screen phones with no buttons and all you have to do is tap the screen! “, I would be like “No there isn’t, last I checked, this is the most advanced phone.”

I can’t perceive the new because my mind is dead set on the old, and that’s how some of us are when God tries to advance us into a new place. Jesus said “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” That is to say that having ears doesn’t always mean that you are, attentive and receptive to what God is saying. Jesus ended up having to repeat what He explained to the pharisees, again to the disciples. Despite how closely they walked with Him, they didn’t understand it either.

Is it possible that your ears are shut off and the last word God shared with you is expired? He may have told you to separate from a person a few months ago, but He might be saying it’s time to reconcile now. Can you hear Him? Don’t be so guarded, especially by your negative emotions, that you miss what God is saying in the current moment.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear…for the Kindgom.

References: Mark 7:1-23, Leviticus 11:24-47

 

Here’s Why “I Can’t”.

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From time to time, I go back and reread my blog posts. It’s always amazing to look back and see what I was thinking. This time around though, something I read sparked a question in my mind. Not long ago I did a post called “I care, but I can’t”, which talked about the lesson I learned about trying to save the world, when that isn’t my assignment. In the post, I said:

“The harsh reality is that you don’t get extra credit for doing things God didn’t lead you to do.”

Although I knew it was harsh when I initially typed it, it was so harsh that it caused me to second guess the validity of the statement. After all, it wasn’t quoted from scripture, but it just seems to me, that a reward is not in order for someone who did something extra, especially depending on the attitude of one’s heart while it was being done. (After all, God told Saul, obedience is better than sacrifice). However, the scripture that came to me as an answer to this question was Hebrews 11:6, particularly the second clause.

“…he must believe that He is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

The key words in this verse are rewarder and diligently. Diligence refers to conscientiousness when doing a task. Then, in the Greek, it happens to be synonymous with the word seek, which translates to investigate or search out.

Rewarder on the other hand, is a person who gives something in return for service, merit or hardship. (I could talk about a reward for enduring hardship in another post…)

So Here’s why “I can’t”.

From these definitions, I’ve learned that God rewards those who investigate a matter and search Him out. To me, that means that my reward is based on what I do with the findings of my investigation. While I am worshipping and praying, I should be asking God what my role is in every situation of life that I find myself in. For instance, If I am to water the soil of a soul at my job, I will do just that and stop when God says so. If I’m just supposed to plant a seed in the homeless man’s life, that’s where it ends and I can expect to see a return on that deed.

By all mean, when your job is done, leave gracefully. Don’t just “cut people off” and try not to burn bridges. But you must be honest and set and KEEP your boundaries. We can’t just be doing good deeds without any directions from God; it’s way too dangerous. The reality is, if you weren’t instructed to do it, there is a chance you could do more harm than good. And worse case scenario, you could possibly undo the work you did do.

So, with this in mind, let’s be careful to acknowledge God in all our ways, because He promises to then direct our paths.

Be mindful; but do good, for the Kingdom.

Kiana