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Paying The Price…Passively - Dry Creek Wrangler School

How often do we realize that what we miss in life is from how we passively respond to God's grace or outright reject God's gifts?

We all have done it!

We find ourselves being sinful or stiff necked and rebellious and we reject what God offers us by either just sitting there or not responding to the prompts of life God brings our way.

In the video below Dewayne offers us some wisdom to contemplate.

"A lot of time of the difficulties, or the things that we miss in life are things that are the result of our actions, but we never even know about it. And so the cost is not something that we have that we end up losing, but something that we have never had, and now we will never get. And we won’t even know it.' from video introduction

The Sin of Doing Nothing

"I have often failed to recognize, let alone withstand, the temptation of loving my life in this world. This shows itself not in the great acts of sin I commit, but in the good I do not do. I have been guilty of what Charles Spurgeon called “the sin of doing nothing.”

Sin, as classically understood, is not just the doing of bad (commission) but also the failure of doing good (omission). I tend to care more about the first than the second. In a culture still sailing under the semblance of a theistic morality, we tend to judge ourselves by what we do instead of what we leave undone. But wars are not won on defense alone.

And what glorious battlelines to excuse oneself from. Is it not our utmost privilege to participate? To watch behind fortress walls would have been enough; to blow the trumpets and attend the banners, an honor. But to be summoned in by the King himself, to be fitted in his armor, given a family to march forth with, and lost souls to win — how can we resist? The conqueror, the King, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, stands in the thick of the battle. Does your blood not stir to join him?

“Sin is not just the doing of bad, but also the failure of doing good.”

For those of us who have settled down and grown pudgy, we have much to learn from the men of Reuben and Gad, two Israelite tribes who wavered on the brink of the Promised Land. They were tempted with the sin of omission, “the sin of doing nothing,” the sin of laying down their weapons before the warfare had ended and God’s people possessed the land. While inactivity in God’s mission may be treated as harmless, God treats it as a serious sin, and so should we.

Tribes of Stand-Still

These two tribes, the men of Reuben and Gad, were of the twelve that marched behind Moses toward the Promised Land. As children, these men left Egypt through bloody doorposts and a parted sea. As they came of age, they fought against Sihon and Og in the wilderness. Their generation, unlike their fathers, proved faithful in God’s campaign to go forth into the Promised Land.

But now, they arrived at some pleasant land suitable to their needs and would be tempted to not continue in their mission. These men did not want the city on the hill, the land flowing with milk and honey; they wanted land for pasture. So they asked Moses to be relieved of their duties.." from the article: The Sin of Doing Nothing

Live Against the Drift

"The danger of drifting, spiritual or otherwise, is in just how subtle and comfortable drifting can feel. Often we don’t even notice it’s happening at all.

I grew up outside Cincinnati, Ohio, a far drive from any ocean. I can’t even remember a lake near our house. The largest body of water might have been the man-made pond next to the local golf course. So when I finally met the ocean, I would never forget it. I had never seen anything so large and alive and frightening — and yet my little brother and I could splash and wrestle in its wake.

I distinctly remember, on one of those early beach days, mustering up the courage to swim out a little farther, and then a little farther, floating over wave after wave, learning how they obediently march in rows and yet dance in their own way. And then, as happens to so many first-timers, I realized (with great fear) just how far I was from safety. Suddenly the waves were coming higher and faster, pulling me farther than I wanted to go. My feet searched frantically for the bottom. My arms and legs suddenly felt like logs, like they were somehow taking on water. I looked and looked along the beach, but couldn’t see my brother, my dad, my mom, anyone. Another wave crashed over my head.

In a panic, I swam frantically, and soon found my feet back on land, but I had learned just how easy and dangerous it is to drift away from shore. How much more dangerous, then, to drift away from Jesus — to realize, after weeks or months or years, that the waves of life have carried us farther away than we ever expected.

Focus or Drift

"One mark of Christian maturity is learning that none of us passively drifts toward Christ, not even after we’ve followed him for years or even decades. The currents of the still-sinful soul, weathered by constant waves of temptation, still pull us out to sea. We can’t sluggishly float in place. We’re either swimming toward God or drifting somewhere else.

“None of us passively drifts toward Christ, not even after we’ve followed him for years or even decades.”

The writer of Hebrews had felt the undertow of sin battling our love for Jesus. After lifting up the supremacy of the Son in creation, in redemption, in authority, in glory, he writes, “We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Hebrews 2:1). In other words, if we take our eyes off of this Christ, we’ll soon find ourselves further from him. In the life of faith, we either focus or drift.

For his immediate hearers, the tide threatened to pull them back into the Christ-less rituals of old-covenant Israel. Jewish persecution made following Jesus painful and costly, leaving some in prison (Hebrews 13:3). Many considered retreating from Christ to being mistreated with him. Our souls may drift along similar lines. We might drift because people we love hate the God we love, making belittling comments about our convictions or distancing themselves from us because of them. Or we might drift in other, very different directions.

We might drift after unrepentant sin, allowing some lust or bitterness or craving or envy to take hold and slowly drag our souls from safety. We might, like Demas, drift away into worldliness, slowly allowing our affections and imaginations to be absorbed with some distraction — deadlines and promotions, headline news, sports triumphs or losses, shopping trends and deals, social media controversies. We might even drift away because of a fixation on friends or family. Each of these loved ones is a gift of God meant to lead us to God, and yet how often do they instead become gods?

We might drift any number of ways to any number of places. The warning is that if we’re not currently swimming closer to Jesus, we cannot stay where we are. Paddling in place is not an option. And the tide will choose where we go — if we let it. The human soul is designed to wax or wane, to drive or drift. So do you know, in the moments of greater preoccupation and weaker resolve, where your soul tends to drift?.." from the article: Live Against the Drift

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