Each day is a walk closer to the end of our lives. Christ is our guide, but we have the ultimate decision on how, where, and why we walk. I recently was listening to a pod cast where for several weeks they had been answering live text messaged questions from the members. After several weeks of answering a myriad of questions, the minister began his current message by admonishing sternly his congregation for the type of questions they were asking. He explained that every question dealt with how close to the line of sin they could legalistically approach. “How far is too far?”, “Can we do this and be ok?”, “When do I need to stop doing this?” and the list went on? The minister then told them that they were nothing but selfish in nature. All the questions dealt with how close to sin can we go until it is not acceptable? Instead we should be asking how close can we get to God?
As I pondered this question I began to reflect on my own life and relationships. How close to God am I? How close to sin do I try to get before I turn around. Are there areas in my life that I walk the ledge?
Then I felt God speaking to me (not audibly), but through my own thoughts, saying by walking this ledge you are hurting our relationship. I want more from you than you are giving right now. Furthermore, you are hurting your other relationships by putting yourself that close to sin. How can you truly show others what I am like if you are only giving it a half-hearted attempt? I gave my only Son for your life and you can only serve me by occasionally having a drink, telling a few coarse jokes, looking only a little at suggestive images, and the list goes on. Talk about a punch in the gut! By living this life of mediocrity God is slowly being soiled to the point that we and others can’t even recognize who he is anymore. At what point do we get to a place where God doesn’t recognize us anymore? When will he get tired of our constant blatant sin and turn us over to our evil desires? (Romans “God gave them over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves”.) Those questions scare me and frankly I don’t want to test that line, because when we find that answer it means I am in a place that I never intended to find myself.
I am learning daily that I would rather try to find how close can I become to God's intended purpose? Where can I improve my relationship with him? Is it through prayer, serving others, my speech, what I view on a daily basis, my own personal thought life, or whatever. You can fill the blank with your own struggles? God wants more from his creation than what we, as a culture, are offering to him today. The most reassuring thing is that he offers unconditional love. We have rejected, despised, disappointed him, but he still loves you and me. There is no earthly reason that we should not fall into his arms of grace and strive to serve him wholly. Not partially, half-heartedly, but totally and completely. He does not promise that it will be easy, but he does promise life with him eternally. Think about it and step back from the ledge.