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Being On The Line

Being on the Line…Before I came on this trip to Jinja, Uganda to work with widows and orphans, I asked the Lord that He would reveal things to me that would shape me, reveal Himself to me, and that I would leave with a clear understanding of what my role is in this love relationship with Him.
This past weekend we traveled 12 hours by van to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a safari. On the way, we passed the equator where there is a big yellow line and a restaurant to go along with it. It was a really cool experience, got great pictures and great coffee, but I wanted something more. Like I said before, I prayed for more than just the surface level things and for Him to reveal something to me. So, while I was there drinking my coffee, I asked the Lord; “What do you want to teach me here?” I looked down at the yellow line I was standing on and He revealed something so applicable to my life right now. The equator divides both hemispheres, north and south. No one questions this line, whether they have been there or not, and everyone is sure of what hemisphere they belong in.
Well, I actually knew those past things already…but what I had not thought about before is how this same concept is true for our lives. Through Christ sacrificing His life for us, we have an opportunity to live our life on the side of the line that offers abundant life by surrendering to Him instead of living on the other side that is “according to the course of this world”. Having said this, there is no “on the line Christianity”. You are either a Christian and bear fruit, or you’re not a Christian. I’m not writing this to shame anyone, but if you’re anything like me, it starts to make you think. Is there anything in my life that is still sitting on the line? Is there anything in my life that I’m not willing to bring to the other side? Am I someone at home and a different person at school/work/friends?
If you told someone, “I am from The United States of America”, everyone would know that you live in the northern hemisphere. No one would question it because every single map affirms this truth. Do people question what side of the line you’re on? Does your life show proof? I believe this is such an important thing to think about, especially for the time that we are living in now. Too many times do I hear from people; “well the Bible was written thousands of years ago, that truth doesn’t apply now” when a topic is brought up for dispute. What?? The definition of truth is a “statement in accordance with fact and reality”. Truth is not something that has a time frame or “depends on the situation”.
So, if you are a Christian, and you bear fruit once the Holy Spirit is in you, why are so many people “talking the talk” and not “walking the walk”? I don’t have an answer to that question, but the only thing that seems to give me peace is focusing on how I am to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. It’s hard to watch someone whose life does not seem to reflect Christ’s love for us; but I think it’s most important for us to ask the Lord to search our own heart and reveal things that we cannot see.
Similarly, in the Bible, it says; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. Fruit is singular. This means that you can’t have one and not the other and you can’t pick and choose which fruit you want. When you receive Christ and pursue Him daily, He gives you THE fruit. You may show “love” differently than “joy”, or “joy” differently than “peace”, but no matter how you show them or bear them, it is all in one package. You can’t order some of the fruit at some point in your life and then order the rest of the package later on “when you need it more”. The beautiful thing about Christianity is that when we read scripture and love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we will naturally want to live our lives on the side of the line that bears fruit by pouring out our lives for the sake of furthering His Kingdom.
You may think that this is taking a silly little experience at the equator way too far and way too deep, and you’re honestly probably right–haha. But I prayed that the Lord would show me truth so that I can reevaluate how I’m living. This is important for us to do whether you’ve been a Christian for 50 years or 1 month. We are all growing and I am humbled that the Lord showed me this in order to stir in me a stronger awareness of how I am to live my life according to His will.
Romans 12:1-2, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Being on the line is a place I never want to be. I want to be known as someone who loves the Lord not only in parts of my life, but fully and completely surrendered to His way instead of the way of this world. I pray the same for you.
Copyright 2017
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture is from the ESV

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