I gave you life, but cannot live it for you.
I can teach you things, but I cannot make you learn.
I can give you directions, but I cannot be there to lead you.
I can allow you freedom, but I cannot account for it.
I can take you to church, but I cannot make you believe.
I can teach you right from wrong, but I cannot always decide for you.
I can buy you beautiful clothes, but I cannot make you beautiful inside.
I can offer you advice, but I cannot accept it for you.
I can give you love, but I cannot force it upon you.
I can teach you to share, but I cannot make you unselfish.
I can teach you respect, but I cannot force you to show honor.
I can advise you about friends, but cannot choose them for you.
I can advise you about sex, but I cannot keep you pure.
I can tell you the facts of life, but I can't build your reputation.
I can tell you about drink, but I can't say "no" for you.
I can warn you about drugs but I can't prevent you from using them.
I can tell you about lofty goals, but I can't achieve them for you.
I can teach you about kindness, but I can't force you to be gracious.
I can warn you about sins, but I cannot make you moral.
I can love you as a child, but I cannot place you in God's family.
I can pray for you, but I cannot make you walk with God.
I can teach you about Jesus, but I cannot make Jesus your Lord.
I can tell you how to live, but I cannot give you eternal life.
I can love you with unconditional love all of my life..... and I will!!!
This short litany makes an important point: We are responsible for the life we have been given. Most of it could have been spoken to us by our Lord. We cannot make others responsible for our lives. God gave us life and expects us to use it wisely. We may need a little help from time to time but overall it is up to us to live our lives well. And just how can we do that?
We begin by determining what our Creator, our life giver wants. You can find all you need to know in the Bible. You can have specific questions answered by prayer and the Spirit of God in you. But still, it is up to you to live your life. God did not make you a puppet. He made you in His image with the ability to think and act independently. He gave you choices and free will. He is hoping you use your intellect and free will in good ways. Bad ways lead to damnation but good ways lead to salvation. And this we know.
2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But He is not only loving and merciful but also a God of Justice. Poor behavior will not be rewarded. We are expected to do what is right. We are expected to develop good character. We are expected to demonstrate our commitment to the word of God by actions and deeds. In other words…
James 2:26 (NIV) 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Another way of explaining this concept is through stewardship. We need to take good care of all we have been given. We have been given material things and spiritual things and relationships. We need to interact with all the things we come in contact with. But how? Again we go back to the Bible and prayer and the Spirit. You will not find a detailed instruction book that covers every situation but you will find the principals you need for every situation. It is your life, live it!
Now here is what I am getting at. You need to be about your Father’s business just as our Lord was. But you should mature and reach the point that you can act on your own without being told precisely how to do everything. Jesus said this…
John 14:30-31 (NIV) 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. "Come now; let us leave.
For instance, suppose I asked Sherry to get a bulletin from the table. Would she need to ask me how to get there? Should she walk or run or skip or have someone bring the table to her? Should she pick the one on top or the one on the bottom or some other one? If she goes to the table what route should she take? Should she give the bulletin to me or to someone else? What should she do with it?
Jesus did, “Exactly” what His Father commanded Him to do. But does anyone seriously believe He was commanded in such great detail?
Start with your left foot; next the right goes forward one big step. “Excuse me Father, how big of a big step do You want?”
He gave you life, live it. Make a mistake once in awhile and learn from those mistakes. Do things in a less than optimal way but do something.
I am not saying you should not pray. Most certainly you should pray! But do not grieve the Spirit with matters that you should be able to handle on your own. White socks or brown socks? Go to church or stay home. Write a letter to my family or give them a call.
Hebrews 5:12-14 (NIV) 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Our Lord is always there for you and welcomes you to talk with Him but He is the creator of heaven and earth. He is God almighty and He wants you to learn to walk on your own and learn to eat meat and not always milk. Do it.