Ponderings and possibilities


Mind the gap
April 22, 2009, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The infamous gap between the train and the station.  This is the same gap that is between theory and practice.  It is a dangerous gap that can cause injury or cost lives if accidently under-estimated!   There are so many examples of this, whether it is learning to drive, writing and estimating software, raising kids or anything else.  We all use judgement to form some opinions based on hearing/reading/watching something (the theory) and we don’t know really what it will take until we do it (the practice) or experience it first hand.

How does this translate in the Word and in His Kingdom?  Pick up the sermon on the mount and think about how high those standards are that Jesus sets for what it means to lie, cheat, lust and anger.  Think about how the commandment is that we are to love one another.  Think about loving enemies, walking with them, giving them more than they ask for.

Numerous times, I have underestimated this gap when reading scripture and thinking about how I judge how I am doing in this area (note – key words ‘judge’ and ‘I’ in that sentence – ugh).     I think I am something because I do one thing in a verse on a particular day – yeah me.  How painful it is when God humbles me either at that time or some time later and shows me I am NOTHING WITHOUT HIM.   I guess I have asked for it, as I asked aggresively to be shown my failings and sin – boy am I getting it.   He is showing me the gap between His Word and what is in my heart.  It is painfully humbling but I am rejoicing in this (was in self condemnation mode for a bit until I was “re-minded” that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus).

Some things I am noticing to mind the gap:

Humble myself – Don’t let thoughts of judging myself take my mind over to the left or to the right (under-estimating the gap hurts and is somewhat avoidable!).  Just think scripture and be humbled by this.

Be Guided by The Holy Spirit – If it is under my own strength I will fall into the gap; doesn’t mean suffering free and easy with expected results, but does mean His Will Be Done, not mine.

Be ok with making mistakes – Nobody is perfect; it is better to make mistakes trying to get on the train than standing on the platform in case I get the gap wrong!  If it is for His Kingdom and is His Will then he will catch me and I will learn from this to know the gap and pray for this to become smaller.  It is an important step to growth in Him and seeing where I do/do not abide in Him.  This does not mean be wreckless.  There are many places the Word says be Diligent and Careful, but it doesn’t say don’t help, don’t use gifts, don’t love etc.

Don’t play small when God wants to go big – I can’t take every opportunity that comes my way, but do consider that He will increase faith and provide gifts for furthering His Kingdom.  A lot of times these are bigger than I can phathom; I can shy away and cast it off as a crazy thing I once thought about, but what if that was from God and what if He would want that to happen using me to make that so?   Surrender the comfort and submit from obedience.  Expect it to be painful and expect persecution.  Don’t step down or shrink back because of thoughts, just do it from love and obedience.

Summary – Mind the Gap between theory and practice, but get on the train brothers and sisters, for we have work to do.  As we humbly step out in Faith, He will give us all we need, He will bless us and He will deliver all that He has promised.  LORD, PUSH ME, PROMPT ME, GIVE ME THE FAITH TO LIVE OUT YOUR WILL AS IT IS IN ISAIAH 58.

Isaiah 58

1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.

2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.

3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.

4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?

6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.

11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

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