Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Question from a Bible Student

The following came in by E-mail:
...ok..another question .....just a random question .........maybe you can blog this!! (:-) ...Do you think God purposefully takes away relationships that cause you to sin in an area that you are working on (or He is working out in you) when you are not overcoming in that sin area? ...whatever it may be...drinking, spending, gossip, etc....

Short Answer: I'm not sure.

Long Answer: Maybe, sometimes, but generally, I don't think so. Again, we have to acknowledge that we are doing some speculation here, but here's my path of thinking.
  1. Most of us would rather have an escape from a problem than a solution.
  2. For example, most of us would rather take a pill that will melt our excess poundage away than discipline our food intake and exercise appropriately.
  3. We would prefer to pray a 30 second prayer for deliverance from some habitual sin and be done with it than to work on a "long obedience in the same direction" to eradicate some negative pattern of behavior.
  4. Praying like saints of old through the night, literally on our knees with tears and agony of soul for God's anointed rescue, is way too inconvenient for 21st century saints hustling to the next soccer game, piano recital, or dinner engagement.
  5. All the exhortations of Scripture seem to take 1-4 above for granted.
  6. I can't think of a single Scripture that I can point to that says God removes people from our lives so we can grow.
  7. There are hundreds, no, thousands of Scriptures that implicitly indicate that we are to struggle through, by the power of the spirit and the mesmerizing truth of the gospel, with learning how to overcome sin. (cf. for example Phil. 2:1-4 or Phil 4:1-3 or Ephesians 4:1-32. All these passages and so many more imply that the believer will be actively engaged in working out unity in a daily struggle for righteousness and a greater depth to our understanding of what it means to be forgiven and how that should make us great forgivers.
Enough for now. I'll let others begin to move the discussion forward.


Craver Vii said...

I had always assumed that it was yes, but now I'm disappointed in myslef that I never thought to look for a biblical precedent about this.

In the summer of '86, when I first believed, I experienced an instant polarization of my socal networks. The pain of alienation from formerly close friends was mitigated by the welcoming embrace of my new church family.

When I considered these changes, I reasoned that my old friends could have been a competing influence, (and since all communication was severed by them, not me) I stopped missing them and instead thanked God, believing that He purged my surroundings for a more spiritually healthy environment.

But now, you're making me THINK! ...(sniff, sniff) Is something burning??

ChosenRebel said...

Thanks for the comment but I think you missed the direction of the original question. This student was not asking so much about relationship outside the body of Christ or prior to relationship with Christ. This person's question is about relationships and issues within the body of Christ.

Anonymous said...

What if there is a sin issue you are aware of and dealing with in your life. Being in certain relationships leads you down that path again. You're seeking God, asking God to help you with this issue. Telling Him that you don't want to go this way again. Over the years you have made progress but still haven't totally overcome and when these relationships start heading in that direction and you ask God for help, why wouldn't he remove the relationship? Why wouldn't He answer the prayer in that way, even when they are relationships you enjoy? Couldn't He be protecting you? Couldn't He be saying NO, don't go there. I don't care how much you enjoy this relationship. This is an issue we are dealing with and you are not overcoming? Why wouldn't He do that?


ChosenRebel said...

Hard to believe that more would not want to enter into a discussion that is so clearly centered in the very heart of the gospel.

Questions: Does this say something about how few people are visiting the site? or does this say something about how shallow our understanding of the gospel is?

Llama Momma said...

Hmmm. I'd have to go with b) shallow understanding. (Only speaking for myself, of course.)

Final answer.

Laura said...

I'm late in commenting on this discussion because I do not get a chance to visit the site on a consistent basis.

I lean toward the belief that God can do anything, He wants and desires the best for His children and mostly He never ever gives up on us...so...to me the answer "depends" on what His ultimate purpose is for the people in the "relationship".

Does that make sense?

clc said...

i'm with laura. well said.