What's with "With?"
In the current series titled, “With,” we have learned that God desires to be with us and for us to be with Him. Jesus called this “abiding” or “remaining” in John 15. However, as Skye Jethani argues in his book, With, too often we default to one of four wrong religious postures: Life Under God, Life Over God, Life From God, and Life For God.
Last week, we took a closer look at Life Under God and Life Over God and contrasted each with Life With God. Based on feedback from some of you, I know that many of us can relate to one of these wrong postures. We try to be extra good to bargain for blessing (Life Under God) or we try to religiously follow God’s principles without ever relating to (or relying upon) God personally (Life Over God).
One question that has surfaced is, “But isn’t there a valid place for fear of discipline as one motivator for obeying God (Hebrews 12:7-17)? That sounds like Life Under God.” In response, we should note two things:
First, a disobedient believer may encounter God’s correction (discipline), but never God’s condemnation (Romans 8:1). That is a significant distinction. Second, while a healthy respect for God’s loving correction can discourage disobedience, Jesus promoted obedience out of love for Him. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15. See also 14:21-24). We obey because we love Jesus and treasure deep fellowship with Him.
This Sunday, we take a look at the final two wrong postures— Life From God and Life For God. Don’t miss the third installment of this helpful 4-week series!
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Is the series helping you resist conforming to worldly approaches to God? Share your thoughts with me!