CHRISTIAN SHADES OF GREY

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CHRISTIAN SHADES OF GREY

“Can we meet in the middle?”

This is a phrase that we often hear at the negotiating table, isn’t it? And the world does believe in compromise. In fact, the first thing you learn when you step into any arena of customer service is that the negotiation is successful only when the customer leaves feeling like they have gained something and the company hasn’t really given much away.

Growing up, I used to see life in black and white, with no shades of grey. I used to think that right was right; and what was not right, was well, wrong. But life, and the people around me, had a funny way of making me see just how wrong I was. And soon enough, I started to meet life ‘in the middle’ and saw shades of grey. Apparently, as I am told, there are 50 shades. Just kidding.

But what about God? Can we meet God in the middle? Can we negotiate with Him? Does He see shades of grey? Well, beloved, in a word, no.

Ah, but you are starting to think that God is therefore a dictator, that He is so rigid that He has no room for compromise. Well, yes and no. Yes, there is no room of compromise with God. God sees white as white and black as black. But no, God is not a dictator. And if you truly appreciate the love of our Father, you really wouldn’t want God to have shades of grey. Let me show you why.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Jesus said, in no uncertain terms, that our Father will give us anything, yes anything, that is good for us. ‘Good gifts’ is the phrase He used. In fact, He did not just mention it once, He said it several times.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

And He wasn’t just talking about intangible spiritual things either. He listed them out. Food, drink and clothing. Daily necessities. And then he went on to refine and further define what He meant.

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

We normally narrow down and become more specific when we are defining things. But Jesus, when He defines the width and length and depth and height of our Father’s love, just gets wider and wider with His definition. From necessities, it becomes ‘whatever you ask’.

And it is not just mentioned in Matthew or John.

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

Yes, now it becomes ‘whatever things’. Not just one thing, not just three wishes, whatever things, in the plural. Ever wondered why?

That’s because that is the truth of our Father’s love for us; immeasurable, unfathomable, incomprehensible. And really, the only way that we can truly begin to have an understanding of it, is to have Jesus show us, each and every day, in every area of our lives. As Paul says,

“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

So, after knowing all that, do you still want God to compromise?

Now, after knowing all that, how would you respond to this passage of scripture?

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16

Doesn’t sound so dictatorial anymore, does it? And that’s just it. As far as our relationship with our Father is concerned, He doesn’t want us lukewarm, compromising, sitting on the fence. He wants us to take a stand. We are either with Him, or against Him. Yet, notice how, despite His love for us, He still gives us a choice? Even though He loves us so much, He still gives us the choice to say that we completely do not believe in Him.

Now, as ludicrous as that may sound to those of us who have experienced His love first hand, that just goes to show how un-dictatorial our Father is. He would rather you either say that you have experienced His love and there is therefore no way that He doesn’t exist, or that you feel He hasn’t blessed you enough so you feel that He is a lie. What He doesn’t want is you saying, ‘yes, but.’ Yes, God exists, but I did all this on my own steam. Yes, God helped, but if not for my smarts, His help would not have helped much anyway. Yes, God blessed, but if I wasn’t diligent, all this would not have happened. Yes, God saved me, but I really wasn’t that much of a sinner and would probably have spent the rest of my life, just outside Heaven’s gates anyway.

Do you see what I mean? That is why Jesus said.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelation 3:17-18

That’s really what we are, aren’t we; when we say that we actually have it all together and God can take a break and have a cuppa? But beloved, if we ever think like that, how wrong we are. For just yesterday, we saw that this was the very reason Jesus came.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;” Luke 4:18

To reach the poor, which if not for the provision of God, we would be; to restore the broken, which many of us were before we consented to be restored by Him; and to make the blind see, which we still are if we can’t see by now that our Father loves us.

So how do we have this revelation of our Father’s love? Well, He tells us to do three things, buy His gold, wear His white and anoint our eyes with salve. So what does all that mean?

“So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 [AMPC]

The refined gold is your faith. When you go through trials and face challenges, that is when Jesus is refining your faith. He never meant for the tough times to happen, and we know that there is also you-know-who lurking around the corner always,

“Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain,” Luke 22:31 [AMPC]

So “sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you,” Genesis 4:7 [AMP]

Yet, when bad things happen, just like it was for Joseph,

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

For indeed, “…all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

So Jesus very generously says, buy that gold, buy that faith, with patience, trusting that He is and will see to it that all things turn out well for you. For

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]

And what about the white garments?

“and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:2

That’s right. Let Him transform us, change us into the perfect creation that we were made to be. After all, remember that this is who we are.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

We were created in His image, to have dominion over His creation. So if you feel like you have fallen from Grace, if you feel like you have become dominated by creation, then let Him restore you to who you originally were made to be.

And finally, if we are still blind to our Father’s love, take an example from the blind man.

“Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”” John 9:10-11

Let Jesus anoint your eyes and then go wash in the water from the pool of the one who was sent. Wash your eyes with the word, spend time reading scripture and also reading your own full length history. Look at your days and with His anointing, you will see just how real our Father has been for you.

So beloved, our Father’s love for you is uncompromising. Don’t compromise on your position with Him. If your belief is now strengthened, then spend even more time in His love. If your belief is still untouched, then in time, Jesus will open your eyes. But decide one way or the other and stop sitting on the fence. Don’t say ‘yes, but’ anymore. Face up to what and how you truly feel for that is when Jesus can really begin to work in your life.

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