Love must go both ways
But now the only way was me
So I must leave before I fall
Into your twisted misery
The way I've been going, even before my "backslide" - it just hasn't been working.
Well, the gospel's not exactly a "get-holy-quick" scheme.
I know, but I've done everything they've said - prayed, read my bible, took notes in church, went to Sunday School all the time, Bible Study, the Wednesday night meetings, sung on the praise and worship team, been on the retreats, the summer missions trips... I've rededicated my life I don't know how many times... I've read all the books - Piper, Mahaney, Harris, Lewis, Tozer...
Are you a Christian or not?
Um...I guess so.
Well then, there you go.
There what goes?
You've already done it right; at least started right.
I don't get it.
I read this somewhere - In our relationship with God, we don't grow step-by-step; we're either there or we're not. God doesn't cleanse us more and more from our sin, but when we are in the light, walking in the light, we are cleansed from all sin. It's a question of obedience and instantly the relationship is perfected. Turn away for one second out of obedience and darkness and death are at work at once.
All of God's revelations are sealed until they're opened to us by obedience. You'll never get them open by philosophy or thinking. Immediately you obey, a flash of light comes. Let God's truth work in you by soaking in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. Obey God in the the thing he shows you and instantly the next thing is opened up. One reads books and books on the work of the Holy Spirit when five minutes of drastic obedience would make things as clear as a sunbeam. It's not scholastic studies that do it, but obedience. Just the tiniest fragment of obedience, and heaven opens and the profoundest truths of God are yours right away. God will never reveal what you know already. Beware of becoming "wise and prudent."
Wow... So - all those books - they're pointless?
I wouldn't go so far as to say that; everything has its time and place. But I'd venture to say your expectations of them may be somewhat misplaced.
Okay... And going back to what you said at first - am I supposed to be "there" all the time? What do I do when I'm not in perfect obedience?
What do you think grace is for? :)