Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 1 Corinthians 5:6
The longer we know God, the more comfortable we can get. And that's so great in so many ways. God is above all, relational. He desires us to know the depth of His love and that we can come to Him with anything. We can show up in our yoga pants, hair in a knot, no make-up and stinky breath, and He's still going to love us.
However, familiarity can breed a few little problems. Like we start to forget He's God. That when He asks us to do something, we need to listen.
Ever used this one on your children (or hear it used?) "I'm not your friend, I'm your parent."
That's what I'm talking about. Just like we want to laugh and have fun with our children, just like we want to bless them with every blessing we can, we ultimately want them to listen and obey. We can spot destructive behaviors and know what harmful habits they may lead to. We don't say 'no' or caution them about choices simply to destroy their fun. We do it because we want what's best for them.
God does the same. And sometimes it's with what seems like the smallest things to us. The things that earn our eye rolls because they seem so nitpicky--besides, we can handle them, right? Like what music we listen to. Or what we read. The movies we go to, or the friends we hang out with. Oh, and telling little white lies or sharing in a smidge of gossip. Those things seem trivial compared to what we often label as "bigger sins"--as if there's even a list. But we sure can keep one, can't we?
My point, however, isn't about the so-called "list". You know if God's asking you to give something up, and that (whatever that may be in your life) is what I'm talking about. Case-in-point, years ago He decided to weed things out of my life one at a time. Some were easy, but some were so, so hard. Like my music. I had a tape back in the day by a female artist that I looooved. Knew every single lyric--and that was the problem. The music was great, but the lyrics would curl your eyebrows back. And God finally made it around to that tape.
I clung to it.
Me and my little Dodge Omni could really rock out with that tape playing.
And it was only a tape. Right?
But God calls us to holiness. In every area in our lives. And when something is pulling us away from Him, when we grip it so tight instead of saying "all I have is yours", then it becomes a stumbling block. Then it begins to wield a control over us, and that little sin, like yeast in dough, begins to work its way through our entire lives.
See, sometimes our hearts may be surrendered to Him but not our walk. And that will never work, because our unsurrendered walk will take us straight off the path that leads to Him. That's because man cannot serve two masters at once. God is light. Sin is dark. They cannot coexist. Either we allow the light to destroy the darkness--even the small specks--or we pull deeper into the shadows.
God pretty much spoke that over me one day when I was driving. Point blank, He asked me who I was going to serve, because really my struggle had become more about my unsurrendered heart than that cassette tape. And I knew, if I wanted to keep growing, I was going to have to give up those things He was asking me to give up. Even those that seemed like little things to be picking on.
Not even going to lie. I hated giving that tape up. Especially because He wasn't calling anyone else out on their music. But then again, it probably wasn't a stumbling block for them. Still, when I made the decision to obey Him I tossed that cassette into a dumpster and kept on driving.
So what about you? Are you at the place where you need to do some drive-by tossing of little things, or have you already been there? Truth be told, I still have dumpster days:)