Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sweating the Small Stuff Part II

When one gives in and lets God take the reins of our life, several things happen. We accept that God has a plan for us. We may not know the reasons why events transpire as they do, but rest assured, God has a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. We are comforted in the knowledge that God will provide, even in the darkest of times. We accept that it is His will and we are reassured that His plan is best for us. So, when we experience a life altering moment, or a big thing, we can more readily accept that God’s will is being done. Unfortunately, the small things tend to bring out the worst in even the most ardent believer. The evil one uses those mostly insignificant events to needle and cajole us, causing even the most ardent believer to fail to live up to God’s standards. That vehicle in the left lane going the speed limit elicits that expletive; if not uttered aloud, our impression of that particular individual will not be very favorable. The elderly person searching her purse for the exact change while there are 10 people waiting in line to check out, garners that contemptuous glare, rather than prompting empathy for her financial situation and the fact that every penny she has may be in that purse. Pet peeves, minor irritations, and all those other trivial annoyances that tend to get under our skin are the perfect avenues for the evil one to prod us to engage in those behaviors that we know cannot be pleasing to God. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10, “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Even though we make ourselves right with God and endeavor to accept His will, we are continually tripped up by the small stuff. Typically, these things are not even on our spiritual radar. But, the evil one uses many other ruses to tempt rather than simply appealing to our selfish nature. Those at peace with God’s plan and submit to His will have many weak spots that the evil one can take advantage. One of my weak spots occurs when I am behind the wheel of an automobile. Perhaps it is due to 30 years of traffic law enforcement, but I am particularly annoyed by those drivers who do not pay attention to their surroundings. Even while listening to Christian music on the radio, I have been known to mutter under my breath, certain unpleasantries to those drivers that, if still on the job, I would pull over and cite for inattentive driving. The things of this world continue to affect us and if we are not vigilant, we fall directly into the center of the evil one’s trap. 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Even when we think we are doing God’s will, we fall off the path of righteousness. We make certain that we are being fed the bread of life through the proclamation of the true Gospel, leaving the apostasy of the ELCA. But are we abandoning those who have been blinded to false gospel of acceptance, tolerance and welcoming by leaving them behind? Those brothers and sisters that trust in the leadership of the ELCA to maintain proper doctrine need to hear the truth. When our goal to maintain our personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, causes us to leave our brothers and sisters to fall away, this is not what our Lord would have us do. It is our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make disciples of the world. When it is our brothers and sisters in Christ that are at risk of falling away, we have the duty to reel them back in. This is no small thing. Every Christian lost to the evil one is one less soldier for our Lord. We must not forget our brothers and sisters in the ELCA. We must continue fighting the good fight and proclaiming the heresies promoted by the leaders of the ELCA. 1 Timothy 6:11-12, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.” While we are called to flee from the ungodliness that has overtaken the teachings of the ELCA, simply fleeing and saving ourselves is not enough. Continue in prayer that our brothers and sisters wake from their slumbers and realize just where the ELCA wants them to go and they also flee to find a denomination true to the Lord.

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