Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Religion entraps people by suggesting and encouraging “one day.”
“One day you’ll be holy.” “One day you’ll have it together.” “One day you’ll be closer to God.” “One day He will bless you.” “One day you will be fully surrendered and committed to God.” “One day you will become what God wants you to be.”
Do you see the trap? It suggests you’re not holy, which means Jesus didn’t make you that way after all. (You’re still dirty and sinful, even though He thinks you aren’t.) It encourages you to work and focus on becoming better, because Jesus didn’t make you complete in Himself. (Oops. You’ve got work to do, even though He thinks you don’t.) It suggests the possibility of drawing closer to God, implying you’re not now. (Better figure out what’s standing between you and God, even though He thinks there’s nothing.) It encourages you to keep striving in faithfulness because there’s a blessing He will give you that He hasn’t yet. (Keep tithing/praying/witnessing/being nice because the blessing train is coming, even though He thinks He has already arrived.) It suggests that you are still against God and stubbornly resistant, but if you try hard enough, you will eventually become real friends and get along. (And, living the surrendered life, you will finally be useful, even though He thinks you’re entirely compatible already.) It encourages you that, while you are not now much of anything, “one day” you will finally give yourself a really good scrubbing and arrive. (God’s gift to you is life; your gift to God is what you make of it, even though He thinks His work in you is plenty already.)
The six statements at the beginning of this post (there are plenty more) suggest the lie that you don’t have everything God thinks you do and that you’re not actually right now in Christ, who earned it all, who provides it all, and who maintains it all—right now and forever for you. But that’s the truth, and believing it is how we live! Religion that entraps subtly encourages you to see yourself (and others, such as your kids) outside of Christ, with a whole lot of stuff to do so YOU can earn what He hasn’t, provide what He won’t, and maintain what He cannot. That is not the gospel. That is anti-Christ.
Fortunately, we’ve been convinced about God toward us and for us and in us, and we trust and glory in Him, “. . . who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:30-31). Let’s help each other with the truth—big, heaping platefuls, served regularly and at all hours! That’s how we’re nourished and can resist the lies.
Because of Jesus, one day has arrived.