Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> EAGLES' REST: Walking (Perfectly?) In The Light

Friday, September 21, 2007

Walking (Perfectly?) In The Light

I'm getting a little tired of the ongoing argument concerning Baptists, Presbyterians, AG's (etc), and "unrepentant sin". Wade Burleson and Les Puryear have both posted about this, today. Not minding stealing ideas for posts, I thought I'd chip in.

Some years ago I studied Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God study course and had a life-changing experience as a result (sorry, F.A.I.T.H. proponents). One morning the assignment was to take a 20-minute walk with God. At the time, I was getting up at 5am to do the study, so I dressed and went out into the 30 degree morning air. Being February, it was dark.

I noticed several things on the walk. The first thing was that most houses were dark, and they presented a really dreary, almost spooky, presence. Darkness. No life. Couldn't tell if anyone was there. On the other hand, a few had lights inside. They projected warmth and life. They affected my view of the homes. And I connected those two things to my Spiritual life; the Light of the World does the same in my soul. But that wasn't the big deal.

I noted that, in the darkness ... I think darkness may start here in the evening and spread to the rest of the world ... my only light was the streelamp every so often. And what I noticed was that they did not light up the world .. they only lighted up my path far enough to get the the next light.

WOW. I immediately thought of my Spiritual journey, and God immediately told me that was precisely what He's been doing for about 40 years. He gives me just enough light to get to the next light.

I was walking around a street-loop that was about a half mile long. I knew I'd wind up back home if I just followed it. But I noticed that, as I walked, I passed several side streets, and there were lights down there, too. But if I went to those lights, I would be taken further from my goal. So I had to remember what the destination was, so I could avoid following the wrong light.

WOW again. God then said (of course)that the same thing has been happening in my Spiritual walk, too. If I lose sight of the goal, it's easy to follow the wrong light. And that takes me further from my goal, and requires that I back track to even get to where I'd already been before I turned aside.

WOW again. Let me add that the walk lasted a little over an hour......

So I have to ask myself this: what's the destination? Perfection of doctrine? Purity of approach? Orderliness of presentation? Compliance with requirements? Or is it to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts? Or is it to manifest God's holiness and love and compassion and love and righteousness. And love. What IS it? What are we about?

We seem to have reduced ministry to the status of welfare, and excluded loving people .. remember I live around the corner from two of them....from sharing that love. In the name of perfection of doctrine.

On another personal note, I'm glad I'm not a graduate of anything beyond High School. I don't have some of the baggage that seems to have been produced by folks who've lost sight of the destination.

Some of the current controversy seems to come from folks who believe the light in which they walk lights up the whole world for them. Maybe it does.

The light in which I walk, doesn't do that for me. And I don't think I want it to.

13 Comments:

At 10:52 AM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Alycelee said...

Bob, thanks to you, Wade and Les.
This entire discussion is sad and frankly I can't believe what has been said.
I go to God and ask Him to help me with my sin.. I trust God to deal with how others see 'doctrine' and/or unrepentant sin.
You and Wade are right again.
It is all about grace. I'm so thankful.

 
At 11:17 AM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Alyce.

I've always been taught that God generates repentance; we can't do it in our own strength. At least that's guided my ministry so far.

 
At 1:52 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Les Puryear said...

Bob,

Beautiful post. "Experiencing God" was life-changing for me also. Thanks for a reminding us that we are going from "glory to glory."

Maybe some of these younger folks have not taken "Experiencing God." Maybe they should.

Les

 
At 2:55 PM, September 21, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Les; True, true, true. I could write a big post about what all EG did for me.

 
At 6:14 PM, September 22, 2007, Blogger klasieprof said...

Well..Do it Bob. Experiencing God, brought HUGE changes in my life.

Then...I TAUGHT it...which was even better, and better doing it the second time.

then..Years later, Rick Warren and Small groups changed my life as well.

 
At 7:06 PM, September 22, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

HI, KP. Thanks for the comment.

I taught EG several times, too. Then I got into Ken Hemphill's course "Serving God .. Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gifts." I've taught that one eight times, now, and am currently going through it in a discipleship setting. It's terrific!

 
At 12:17 AM, September 23, 2007, Blogger Bones said...

Bob,
Most Christians have labels. Be it Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic, etc. But, I don't see you as any of those. I see you as a Christian that just happens to be serving in a Baptist church. No disrespect to the churches, but our main concern should be as followers of Christ.

 
At 4:56 PM, September 23, 2007, Blogger summer said...

Hi Bob. I have been lurking on your blog for quite a while as I usually enjoy and am challenged by your posts. (found you on pioneer woman, where else? lol) Anyway, I especially enjoyed this post though I feel somewhat inadequate leaving you a comment as I know little of theology! But as you said it's less about the "issues" and politics of religion and more about revealing His holiness and bringing Him glory. Thanks for your blog and continual realness.

 
At 5:19 PM, September 23, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, summer.

The word "theology" simply means teaching, and I tell folks I'm no theologian. I'm just a guy in a pew, albeit I've taught Sunday School for some years.

I appreciate your comments. And I' too, love Ree's blog.

 
At 4:26 PM, September 27, 2007, Anonymous Debby Hornburg said...

Hi Bob. You'll definately go into my list of favorites. I was pleased with this blog. Theology, as I understand the word, is Greek, meaning 'the study of God'. I believe, to state it simply, if you look for God, you will find Him. If you study him, you will know Him. God is not some distant deity. He is as close as the air we breath. If we all focussed on God, it would remove the focus from other people all together. I really believe that if you focus on God, 'the stuff of this world grows strangely dim'. Don't lose your focus...do not stop sharing what you learn.

 
At 5:34 PM, September 27, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Debby:

As I understand it, Theos = God, and Logos = Word. So I think theology is words about God. I always make it a point to say I'm no theologian as I'm just a guy in a pew and never completed even one year of college. Hence, if I can see something, I can't imagine everybody else doesn't know it too.

Thanks for stopping in and for the kind words. I guess I'm going to have to write some more stuff, and have been thinking of one for a couple days.

Stay tuned.

 
At 6:49 PM, September 27, 2007, Anonymous Debby Hornburg said...

I have no college either. I've never really considered it a handicap, although it probably would have opened doors to job opportunities. However, a diploma is no guarantee of smart, just as no diploma doesn't mean a person is stupid. You prove it. I like to think. Apparently, so do you. PS: If I disagree with you, please do not be offended, just as I promise not to be offended if YOU think differently.

Have a good one.

 
At 6:57 AM, September 28, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

No problem, Debby.

I intend to have a good one ... Peg and I are having lunch with CB and Karen Scott. That ALWAYS generates a good day, all by itself.

I love to disagree (as long as it's agreeable). How else am I to learn; how else is God to further refine my thinking? Even when someone I admire, and I, disagree over inconsequential issues, there's something very special about loving folks and being close friends despite that. CB and I are like that and neither cares. It's wonderful!

Oh, and as a Calvinist and a Pentecostal and a Baptist, I got a good supply of stuff over which to differ!

Thanks for commenting and you have a good day too.

 

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