Out of the Wilderness

I guess we’re not in the wilderness any more.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that since about 2005 our finances have been a bit… sporadic. While Pete worked full time (and more), and I cared for my elderly dad, started a business, and continued with the volunteer ministry God placed me in, we’d only get a paycheck every few months. We used up our savings, we simplified our lifestyle, we prayed—a lot! And God provided.

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We just exchanged our aging pick-up for a newer vehicle that gets much better gas mileage. Wanting to take the best care possible of our new car, we sat down together to read the owner’s manual. (Yes, I know, nobody actually reads the directions. We’re just weird that way.)

While the manual is quite thick, clearly most of the contents are there for the express purpose of making the lawyers happy.

In our reading, we discovered these serious hazards:

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No Excuses

If you will here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you, that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it. —William Law.

Profound statement—one which I must admit is true.

Often times I fool myself into thinking that perhaps it was easier for the early Christians to follow Christ so obediently (despite even their problems), and that as times have changed, it has made it much more difficult for those of now days to do the same. And yet, every time I’ve relied on such an excuse, I’ve always known it to be an outright lie.

Our challenges today may be different than those of the early Christians, but we most certainly cannot say that they are more difficult, or so much more difficult, that we can begin to excuse inferior behavior. If we (myself being no exception) insist on being inadequate followers of Christ, let us not blame our current social/political/environmental/economic conditions, but own up to the fact that our lack of obedience is nothing more than flat-out rebellion against God. Blame, unfortunately, is an easy thing to relocate to where it will do no good whatsoever.

—Jeremy Gosse