Thoughts From The Backseat
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)
So I found myself in The Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts listening to the President of Messiah College, Dr. Kim S. Phipps when suddenly I had this flashback to the night I graduated the Colony of Mercy. I remember staring out into the Colony Chapel and telling everyone there I wasn’t sure what God had in store for me but all that I knew was I was being allowed to go home and that I was going to keep the following verses in my head at all times…
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Now for recovered addicts flashbacks can be ugly moments where the adversary comes in and says, “See how you are, what’s a wretched man like you doing serving Him?” but that ain’t happening on this morning. This morning I, along with my wife Kathy were accompanying our daughter, Karen, to “Open House Day” at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg PA. Never in million years would I ever had thought I would find myself in the backseat of the family car allowing my daughter to drive this distance only to come to a realization of the distance God has taken the family I have been given stewardship of. Then I got to thinking about the distance YHVH took His people in the Exodus story.
So much craziness going there, so much upheaval to YHVH’s leading, so much disobedience that it makes me wonder how He ever tolerates even us in the 21st century. Ya see we like sheep have gone astray and have really lost the true intention on what God has had for His church. We’ve gotten into some much in the way of theology that I think we, as the American Church, have no real theology to lean on.
I look at the opening passage of Scripture I’ve used for today’s Freedom Fighter, Joshua 24:15. It is about choice, even in the Old Testament days it was about choice. It would be true to say that people were dealing with God the Father and when we look at 1 John 2:15-17 we’re dealing with God the Son but it’s still about choice. And it’s in those choices where we can measure distance. If we choose to serve ourselves the distance between us and God can be measured in miles maybe to tens of miles but for those of who choose to serve God the distance that is measured between us and God can be just a prayer away.
Why am I saying these things? Well on this crisp October morning, as Dr. Phipps made her pitch on why Messiah would be a good college choice she kept emphasizing the things that would affect community and community was God’s original intention for His church. When we choose to serve ourselves community takes a backseat to us and they need to just deal with it but when we choose to serve a Mighty God community takes the passenger seat while He drives and you, like I did, get to enjoy the ride from the backseat.
Now if you had my daughter driving, like I did, you too would have your moments where you just take a deep breath and have a little faith that you aren’t going to be squashed between the concrete barrier to the left and the never ending line of 18 Wheelers to the right but isn’t that what it is all about with Him, having a little faith to make the choice to serve Him rather than a theology or a worldview and just a side note here both of those things can change at the drop of a hat.
On July 18th, 2003 I made a choice, on November 12th, 2003 I doubled down on a bigger choice, took the backseat and because of that a world of choices has opened up for my daughter…something I believe was God’s original intention for me to see as she grows into one of His children. Hope the same is going for you. Amen? – Chris Hughes is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “To become effective men of God, then, we must know and acknowledge that every grace and every virtue proceeds from God alone, and that not even a good thought can come from us except it be of Him.”—A.W. Tozer
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Psalm 31:20