6. A “Child” or a “Child”?

8 12 2010

(For the past few days I have been blogging on the book “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. These are my reflections on chapter 6).

This is a loaded chapter. I would suggest you start at the beginning and don’t take a sneak peak at the last paragraph that reads: “Pride can not travel this path, but only those who desire peace at the risk of rejection. It is a trail which leads to humiliation and abasement. It is the road that leads to life” (69). Yeah, sign me up for that vacation package; I am all up for more rejection.

But I am running ahead of myself…

Here is the big question so many people, including myself, ask: When is God giving me permission to move on.  Move on from what? It doesn’t really matter; it might be a relationship, it might be a community of people, it might be a job, a church, a person, place or thing. The only part that matters is that you know God called you to it in the first place and you obeyed by going there; and then one day “there” isn’t as attractive as it once was. “There” might be the worst thing you have experienced in a long while.

“So when can I get out of here?” We ask. The author says, if God is silent He is saying, “Stay where I have placed you” because

“Your departure will not be based on the actions or behavior of others but rather on the Spirit’s leading. So leaving…is not based on how bad things are…To leave with an offended or critical spirit is not the plan of God. It is reacting rather than acting on His guidance” (62).

Now is the time to resist blaming others.

Now is the time to listen and learn.

Now is the time to let God search and know you.

Now is the time to put into practice what it really means to be a “child” of God.

The author draws out two different words for “sons” in the Scripture:

  • “teknon” means son, the kind of son one would be as a result of their birth. I am my parent’s child because I was born to them.
  • “huios” means son, but this is now the son who can be identified because he now displays the characteristics of his parents.

Romans 8:14 says, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons/children of God.” The word for  son in this verse is “huios;” people who are led by the Spirit of God. The author says that when we are immature we are less likely to actually be led by the Spirit of God. We will react “emotionally or intellectually” (63) to our circumstances, which is very different from the Spirit’s leading.

Jesus was a son/huios who learned obedience by the things He suffered, Hebrews 5:8 tells us. Well, emotionally and intellectually, we do not want to suffer; we do not choose suffering; we desire to escape suffering. The author responds by saying,

“Intellectual growth is a function of learning. Spiritual growth is neither a function of time or learning, but it is a function of obedience” (63). We can even pride ourselves in our knowledge of Scripture, but this does not prove our maturity; only obedience is proof of maturity.

But oh how I want to avoid the path of suffering. I have this tug-of-war going on in me where I so badly want release, but I so greatly desire to be obedient. There are many times I pray that God would just end my pain and I will just as quickly say, “God, don’t listen to me! I know I am just being a wimp. I truly do desire to follow you in obedience. Help me!!!”

I realize I can complain enough and, as the author says,

“If we are so set in our hearts not to face difficult situations, God will actually release us though it is not his perfect will.” We can pester God (68).

What is the attitude of my heart? Am I acting like a huios? A child who reflects the attitude and actions of my Father? Am I mourning brokenness as I should? Am I seeking peace in earnest? Am I, as the author says, watching for an opportunity for restoration (69)?

The author says that we can often act like the dog who has been scalded by hot water. Not only does the dog become afraid of hot water; he becomes afraid of cold water, even cold refreshing water. Can’t we become wary like that?

“Jesus desires to heal our wounds, but we often do not let Him heal them because it is not the easiest road to take. It is the path of humility and self-denial that leads to healing and spiritual maturity. It is the decision to make another’s well-being more important than your own, even when that person has brought you great sorrow” (69).

And then…that last paragraph that I quoted first.

I can see how I easily slip into being a child of the world, rather than a child of my Father’s. My thinking, is it so different from my neighbour’s who does not know Christ? Could you tell us apart, given my list of offenses and how I handle them? Does peace follow in my path or am I content to walk away, and walk away, and walk away…

— Teresa Klassen

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