How many of us set the alarm but hit the snooze button many times and thus don’t wake up at the intended time? How many of us wear a wrist watch but yet get late – or for that matter, how often do we look at the watch to start with? How often do we even forget we are wearing a watch? The alarm can’t jump up and down and perhaps throw water into your face to make you get up… Likewise with a watch…
“You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink” – Anon
Many of us have fallen and yet got up by God’s grace… only by God’s grace. It has taken us years to get to the place where we are today. We have been stubborn and had heart hearts, away from God and revelling in our fleshly desires. Yet in time, we turned to Him, repented and God lifted us up from the miry clay.. We then clung to Him and today we stand sharing our testimonies.
However many people forget the ‘progress’ they went through. I recall an instance where a person of God shared a beautiful testimony as to God’s saving grace – whereby this person had lived with a person, well one after the other a few times it had taken place. Soon after the testimony this person – with a heart of love I’m sure – tried to ensure that a guy and a gal – who were beginning to get interested in each other – couldn’t sit next to each other in a vehicle full of people. So it was ok to testify God’s grace in that person’s life of living with someone but two people can’t sit next to each other in public while getting to know each other?
Often we become suspicious in the areas where we ourselves had fallen as our minds are alert in that area. Having God’s discernment is one thing.. but acting out of assumption is yet another and forcing our ways expecting the other to skip the entire progress and be where we are today is very much hypocritical. We can’t expect an infant who is barely crawling to run can we? Likewise we can’t expect people to skip the steps of growing up in God either.
First of all, just because we failed in a certain area doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t have control in that area. Their weakness could be in a totally different area. Secondly, we have the right or rather the responsibility to speak the truth in love and also to gently restore someone when the person is caught in the act, not when we assume that they are doing the wrong thing.
Just like the watch being on our wrist doesn’t always prevent us from getting late, we can’t force our way on another. For that matter, even God doesn’t force Himself on us. He gives us free will – there is His perfect will for our lives and there is the permissible will. However, He longs for us to embrace the perfect will so that we can walk along the narrow path that leads to intimacy with Him and eternity.
And just because we believe in God and just because He lives in us, doesn’t mean that we are being led by Him either… Just like we need to time to time take a look at the time and let it guide us for the day, we need to constantly turn to God and be in tune with His voice to be led by the Holy Spirit. His plans are higher than our plans and His wisdom is greater than ours.
Yet for all, there are times when we do keep an eye on our watch but yet we get late by unforeseen factors out of our control – like the traffic or vehicle issues etc etc. Likewise, we can expect delays in our lives despite being led by the Holy Spirit due to the work of the enemy – directly or using others with wrong motives to provide obstacles. There can be delay but ultimately we know God is greater than anyone or anything else. Let’s keep our eyes on Him and let Him steer the way.
In the meantime, let’s keep remembering to encourage one another and build each other up – not to discourage and not have unrealistic expectations in growth and to remember each one is at a different stage of their spiritual life. Let us help one another to throw away all that hinders and run the race with perseverance.