Friday, 10 August 2012
Moving on beyond the basics, the traditional and our comfort zone.
When we are babes in the faith, it is understandable that we dwell on the basics. We just feed on milk as we cannot digest the meaty stuff.
But, many years on, it’s unthinkable for us to continue drinking milk and not progress to meat. Spiritual growth will suffer; we will just stagnate.
Consider Paul’s rebuke of the spiritually immature in Hebrews 5: 12-14:
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognise the difference between right and wrong.”
In faith matters, it is important to build on a solid foundation. But, once this has been laid, we should then move on.
Being stuck in the elementary things hinders progress. Similarly, we can be stuck in our traditions and comfort zone instead of moving on.
If one of our favourite mantras has been, “But we’ve always done it this way”, we should cease chanting it. **
Instead, we should be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in our lives. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14).
Those who are at the crossroads in life should be open to new opportunities as God leads.
An engineer might help to dig tube wells (which supply potable water to the poor) in Africa. A doctor could volunteer his services in mission hospitals in Thailand. A teacher could go to China to teach elementary English, offering hope and the chance of a better life to the marginalised. Those on the threshold of retirement can consider becoming a mentor in a church or an NGO. They could also be role models to their grandchildren, imparting values while their parents are busy at work.
Like Peter, we may be called to get out of the boat (our comfort zone) and walk on water, venturing out in a faith ministry which has never crossed our mind.
When we come to a fork or crossroad in life, we know we need guidance. How can we know God’s will for our lives?
We can only hear the Shepherd’s voice if we belong to Him, earnestly seek His guidance and are willing to obey.
God desires to show us His will and reveal His secrets to us because we are His friends (John 15:15b). So let us boldly approach Him (Hebrews 4:16) and let His Holy Spirit reveal His plans and purposes to us (John 16:13).
STEPPING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE
Discomfort awaits the faithful. To bring out the best in us, God may lead us to places where we get stretched like a rubber band.
SEEKING GOD’S WILL
** Footnote: Tradition is not necessarily negative but it is not etched in stone.