2006-02-26

Message within the Message


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Lately in my devotions I've really been trying to find the message in things and not just let my mind run with the first quick thought that comes to mind.

For example, last week I was in I John. The writer talks about those whose walk doesn't match their talk, particularly when it comes to dealing with other Christians:
"...But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness ..." I John 2:11

For someone who has spent any time in Sunday School and church this light and dark stuff is pretty common ... maybe too common. We get the imagery. Light is God. Light is Jesus. Light is good. Dark is bad. We could at this point easily zone out for the rest of the verse.

But the writer isn't done with his thought. He concludes
"...is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness."
Darkness is not just a generic representation of evil. It is also a disorienting force, obscuring our vision and drawing us further off the path. The effect of darkness is that it draws us further into darkness.

Suddenly the simple, "If you don't be nice to other Christians you are naughty" message becomes a larger life lesson: when you harbor hatred for your Christian brothers, don't be surprised when you find that you have drawn off course and any number of things are turning sour.

Today in II Corinthians Paul is discussing the old and new convenants:
"Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds ... " II Cor 3 :15
Here again the quick and easy thought is, "Oh, he's talking about the Jews. Yeah, I don't see why they can't come around." Sure he's talking about the Jews, but they are hardly the only ones who refuse to embrace the full glory and might of God.

We all box God in in our own way. Let's face it, the more power God has in your life, the scarier things can get.

So, I can move on patting myself on the back for not being one of those lost Jews, or I can pause, realize that God surely doesn't have free reign in my life right now and try to figure out what veils I'm keeping up.

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