But what about those who bring things onto themselves and blame other people for how they are or where they are? When Led Zeppelin wrote that song, I bet they did not realize how true that statement really is. We get those Christians who blame the devil for every little thing that happens in their lives. I will hear statements, “on how much the devil is attacking me these days.” You know, we give the devil way to much credit for our own decisions. Let’s take for example the whole temptation thing. Does, the enemy attack? YES. Does, the enemy throw temptations our way? Yes. Can I ask God to please let me never be tempted again? I would have to say no. I think what God expects of us as he displayed after fasting forty days that we grow up and realize who we are in Christ. Reading scripture, it is evident that even Jesus was tempted by the devil and yet he stood up to it. We have to realize who we are and stand firm. We will always be tempted and we will always have to chose the right path.
Then there are those who fall into the category of “Drowning with Land in Sight.” I have been in this category many times and began to realize that more and more, God has been faithful in the past and will not let me down now IF I MAKE RIGHT DECISIONS. Let’s take the person who is ticked off at the world for instance. These are the people who feel everything and everyone including friends and churches have let them down. Perhaps they think jobs that let down and that none of it is their fault. A person really needs to sit back for a moment and say, “how could it possibly be that every scenario goes wrong for me? Is it them or is it me?” But when people think of themselves as not being able to do anything wrong, then they will always have a life of despair and rejection because they are not willing to bend or compromise. These are people that need a life style change and try to get along with other people so they don’t lose all hope.
Take someone who has decided to leave a church. There are truly sincere reasons to do this because you need to find a place where you will be fed. The flipside of that coin are the ones who go from church to church and suck the life out of it and then move on to another church. Whether they know it or not, they come in thinking, “what can this church give me?” The real question is what do I have to offer this church? In what ways can I be a blessing and thus be blessed? It has always boggled my mind when someone is searching for a place to worship and is waiting to be called somewhere. Where is that mindset biblical? Whenever you read in the bible of Jesus and his disciples they went what seemed to be anywhere the wind blew and were used there in awesome ways. You have to find a place where you get along with people, where you get fed, where you fit in. Where is God calling me to go to church? Here is what I know from my past, if I am raised one way in a certain denomination (A/G) I probably will not be straying away from it. If I was to leave the A/G it would be for a non-denominational church. I also know that where God is calling me is anywhere because he wants me to be in fellowship with a group of believers where I can be blessed and be a blessing. I remember visiting 5 different churches and all of them were great in their own way. Why didn’t the heavens open and God speak to me in a way much like he does in Monty Python movies? Because they are all good, I just need to pick one. But, until I pick one I become judgmental about all of them I go to, I don't anchor down and get involved, I lose my support system, and eventually I start drowning with land in sight. It is like a pastor who is “waiting for God to call them somewhere” when in fact he sent out 10 applications all over the U.S. and the first one that calls this is where God is "calling" them. No, the fact is you have a gifting you want to use and would be great anywhere. This just happened to be the first place that came along.
How do we resolve all of this? I believe we need to in fact see the world as “the glass is half full” and become fully aware of what God has done, is doing, and will do in the future. Can’t seem to fit in anywhere? Is it the other people or is it you? Trying to find a church? There are 40+ churches in Waupaca alone…what gifts do you have? If even 30 of them are bible preaching churches, then they are good places to attend depending on your personality. You just have to choose. I find it interesting how many people leave a church to begin shopping and will stop going to church, pastors that leave a church are no different in some cases. A place to call home where you will always be held up so you will not drown with land in sight is the goal.