Friday, September 16, 2011

You Continue to Ignore Me-Thoughts on Amos, Choices and Trust

In Amos, chapter 4 The Message paraphrase uses almost word for word the same sentence four times:
"you continue to ignore me".  
This chapter mentions famine, drought, disease, fire and earthquake-major catastrophes happening to the people.  In each instance, instead of turning to God, they chose to do their own thing.

Each of us make choices every day in one form or another.  Some choices are easy.  Others are a little more difficult.  The little nudges by the Spirit asking us to do things that we are not comfortable doing, they can be the hardest choices.   For me, they tend to be the choices I wrestle with the most.  It's not that I want to willingly ignore God.  It's tough to choose to get whacked!  I have a lack of understanding as to "why" and trust comes in to play.  Choosing to trust, can be a tough item for me personally!

At the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus asks Simon  three times "do you love me?" The Disciple Bible study notes say that Jesus did not call him Peter because "...he was no longer a rock.  He had reverted to predisciple behavior, so Jesus used his predisciple name to reclaim him."  Simon had a choice to make.  He already believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  He loved Jesus, no question.  His struggle was not with Jesus, his struggle was with himself!  Not only did he have to choose to follow but he also had to trust that God would give him the ability to carry out what was being asked of him.  He had a choice to make and we know that he chose to follow.  History tells us that he died a martyr.  How different would history be if he had chosen to ignore God?

I'm not perfect and I know it!  Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I blow it!  The problem is not God, the problem is me!  I pray that God gives me the strength to make the right choices and not ignore what He is asking me to do.  It's not always easy but I have faith and hope in His power, not my own!  The holiness journey is about trusting God to lead the way.  And trust is something that I struggle with mightily at times!

Wesley understood this and in his sermon The End of Christ's Coming he put it this way:
"We know, weakness of understanding, and a thousand infirmities, will remain, while this corruptible body remains; but sin need not remain: This is that work of the devil, eminently so called, which the Son of God was manifested to destroy in this present life. He is able, he is willing, to destroy it now, in all that believe in him. Only be not straitened in your own bowels! Do not distrust his power, or his love! Put his promise to the proof! He hath spoken: And is he not ready likewise to perform Only "come boldly to the throne of grace," trusting in his mercy; and you shall find, "He saveth to the uttermost all those that come to God through him!"
Wise words of wisdom to apply to the choices we make every day!

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