What About When You're Face To Face With Him?

Last night our care group had our best discussion yet. We are a relatively new group and it sometimes takes awhile to get things rolling - to be real with each other, vulnerable.

We were discussing two questions that asked 'Do you allow God to have every area of your life? If not, how would you justify it?' and 'What is the price for your obedience/disobedience to the will of God?'

There was much discussion that came from these questions, some unrelated. Here are some things that really struck me:

1. Areas are not simply 'activities' - building friendships, being a husband/wife, going to work. They include areas of the heart - pride, independence, greed, etc.

2. You need to be willing to hand over every area, every part of you. You should be seeking His will all the time. However, you should recognize that there are parameters around where His will lies. For example, from reading His Word we know that we are within His will if we are 'thankful in all circumstances' (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

This means that just because we are seeking His will, we won't necessarily feel His direction on every little facet of our life. If we aren't feeling His specific direction, that doesn't mean we stop doing anything and wait for Him. (He's not going to tell us that He wants us to get up at 7am, brush our teeth at 7:10am and eat scrambled eggs for breakfast at 7:30am.)

We need to have the freedom to keep living within His general will, while seeking specific direction.

3. One price of obedience may be persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Caution needs to be exercised, however, when applying this verse to your life. Don't fall into a trap of thinking that you're 'taking one for the team' when there is conflict in your life. Just because we can expect some persecution does not mean that we can chalk any and all conflict in our lives up to this expected persecution. It may well be that the conflict in our lives point to an area of our lives that could use some repentance.

4. When I have conflict, it is so easy for me to justify my actions or my thoughts. "She did this or he did that or I'm right because..." One thing I need to remember is that, someday, I'm going to be standing face to face with Jesus. He will ask me to account for my life. I cringe inside when I think of telling Him the justifications for my behaviour that I tell myself here on earth. "Well, Jesus, she wasn't very nice to me and she hurt my feelings. One time she was talking behind my back and it got back to me. I didn't want anything to do with her after that. That's why I didn't show her love. That's why I didn't tell her about You."

It's embarrassing to think of it. I really don't think He's going to care 'what others have done' to make me act the way I do.

The best care group discussions I've been involved in are always when people apply God's truths to their own life, instead of simply discussing how they were applied to Abraham's, Noah's, Job's, Paul's. Vulnerabilty breeds vulnerability. When we're real with each other, share our struggles, pray diligently for each other, His truths really shine through.