Last weekend, Memorial Day weekend, dear friends from Illinois visited us here on the farm. They brought their trunk of artillery and ammo. Todd and I brought ours from the basement gun safe.
Spread on the table before us was an assortment of shotguns—a 9mm AR 33-round rifle with virtually no kickback, a couple 9mm handguns and my very own Walther 380. I bought it from Bill who taught me to shoot straight and made me into the certified conceal-carry woman I am today, though it’s legal to pack a pistol openly here in Wisconsin.
Our 44 acres was ample space for having a blast, pun intended. Todd and Nick set up the trap shooter. I set out crackers and brie. Then Bill started loading and guiding each of us on how to be, as he said, “ONE WITH THE GUN”. The Annie Oakley in me just loves this dude (and his wife—a sharp shooter you wouldn’t want to mess with).
So there we were—guns, ammo, crackers, cheese, clays loaded . . .
Ready, set . . .
His hand pulled the trap shooter. Bright orange flew up against blue.
I kept my eyes on the target, my body moving to track.
Then the “BOOM!” echoed off ridge to the south when index-finger squeezed trigger.
Sometimes my aim was off.
Other times I was spot on.
Sometimes I was too quick to pull the trigger.
Other times, I was too slow.
And sometimes, I didn’t shoot at all. I just stood there aiming—and waiting—and never acting . . .
Sadly, this sounds like my life too often. I wonder . . .
What if I aimed to please God more than others and self?
What if I listened for the pull of God more than the pull of the world?
What if I acted in good faith, believing God is big enough to correct any wrong—my wrong?
What if . . .
And what if I think my sight is fixed on Christ but it’s off, even ever-so-slightly.
How would I know?
God’s word aligns life properly.
But I am a shifter.
Too often, I set my sight by myself, on myself, shooting down God’s Word with my bullets of relativism.
And so do you.
We think in a never-ending shooting stream, like this . . .
What’s true for you is fine for you but maybe not fine for me but who cares because I “care” about you and I want you to “care” about me so I wouldn’t want to take a stand against your ways even if God’s way stands in our way because I “LOVE” you and YOU come first which really means I—I—I come first.
Chew on it, Self.
Taste the bitter of relativism, Self.
See where it gets us?
Where God’s Word gets lost in the morass of the words in our heads—where we mince and separate His Word according to our liking in our lives, spotlighting verses we like and shoving whole sections we dislike into the shadows—this is the place where we begin the decent into death.
When the aim of our life is deciding for ourselves what part of God’s word we’ll believe and obey, we are shifting our aim from God to Self. All life misses its mark in that shifting, shattering ourselves and others.
Sooner or later.
Bit by bit.
One way or another.
What’s our remedy, split personalities that we are? Throw up our hands, wave a white flag, say “Don’t shoot!” because, after all, we’re all sinners? I don’t think so.
We need to stop our attempts at spiritual coup d’état. We need to stop thinking the Bible is merely an ancient manuscript of optional guidelines written by men instead of the holy word of God Himself, the Ancient of Days, given by Him through the hands of Man.
We need to stop believing half-truths, cutting and pasting God’s word as we want, defining “love” and “truth” as we want.
Basically, we need to stop creating God in our own image.
But . . .
Do we want to stop?
We want to think what we think, don’t we?
For example . . .
God is Love, right?
The notion of God as Judge is passé, right? (Except for those WE judge as wrong, right?)
Surely, God will bless us no matter HOW we live, as long as we’re “good” people, by our own judgment, right? And we deserve this, right?
And as long as we don’t encounter resistance from those most dear to us—like our family, our friends, our pastors, our culture—we’re on the right track, right?
Majority rules, right? Strength in numbers, right?
And when those we care about don’t stand against us, they stand with us and for us, right?
Silence is loud, these days.
And loud silence means acceptance, right?
As long as the boat doesn’t rock it means we won’t sink, right?
Truth is, when we smile and embrace and say nothing and do nothing, we may have shifted our sight.
And if God is no longer the center of our sight, according to His opinion, we perish. We perish as individuals, as couples, as families, as communities . . .
And the ripple effect continues.
The way back comes one repentant heart at a time.
May God heal our double vision.
May we allow God to rescue our minds, bodies, and souls hijacked by relativism, our real and present danger, far more deadly than any terrorist.
May we stop allowing Satan to shroud the light of Christ in us and our loved ones with lethal thinking that shifts with the times, making good appear evil and evil appear good.
May we repent of all our idolatry which might not be figurines fashioned with our hands, but children born of our bodies and raised in our homes who embrace anything and everything God calls wicked.
May we repent of all compromise due to our own definition of “love” when our “love” is nothing more than consent for kidnap and chaos by a culture intent on snuffing out the very presence of God—one wrong thought at a time—steeping ‘til bitter in the wicked ways of culture more than in the healing hands of our holy God.
May we repent of our defeatist attitudes in the war against wickedness.
May we raise arms in prayers of repentance, for ourselves and all whom we love.
May we stand firm in absolute truth and absolute love, no matter the cultural current.
The cost may be steep. The cut may be deep.
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37-38
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (Hebrews 3:15 and Psalm 95:7-8)
If we turn back to God, if we allow Him to fix our aim, He will surely forgive and restore.
So He promises . . .
In His Word.
We have His word.