Posted on Mar 25, 2015 | 0 comments

by Skip Moen – at God’s Table

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— Romans 5:12 NASB

Death – “The death of the soul is never quick. It is a slow dying, a succession of little deaths that continues until we wake up one day on the edge of God’s voice, on the fringe of God’s belovedness, beyond the adventure of God’s claim on our lives.”[1]

Where is the fringe of God’s belovedness? Where do you or I step off the adventure of His claim on us? Where is the fence around the Tree? The first step in answering these questions is to know where I am now. And the answer to that question is actually pretty straightforward.

Is your present experience filled with the joy of the Lord? Are you discovering His contentment? Do you feel His embrace?

Take a fearless assessment. Don’t pretend. This is far too serious a matter. Look in the mirror and ask yourself the real questions. And if your completely honest answer is, “I’m not sure,” or “No, I’m not,” then sing praises. You are ready to find the edge. [For all you spiritual giants who have never been close to the edge, we salute you, and you can go back to living without reading any more.]

The problem most of us have is that we don’t see the fence around the Tree until we are on the wrong side. Death is disguised in small defeats. We discover the geography of sin after we have crossed the invisible line. Then we know what it means to be without His presence and it is not a good feeling. As a result, we first try to recover the good feeling. But it’s too late. We are standing on the wrong side of the fence. The feeling we seek can’t be found here. We must stop trying to recover the feeling and move back to the right side of the fence. We have come to this place through dozens of tiny steps, none of which seemed so terrible at the time, but all of which add up to death. Now we have to retrace our steps, backing away from the path we have taken, until we return to the place where we first made the wrong choice on the road. Far too often we attempt to simply skip this recovery process. We want to feel better so we think we can just jump back to the beginning. But that leaves all the tiny steps still there, still hidden from our sight, still luring us back. In order to prevent the slow dying, we must make the slow journey back to the first wrong step. We must recognize each part of this journey to the edge of life, acknowledge it as our deliberate choice, renounce it and step backwards once again.

It took God forty years to bring Moses through all these steps, back to the place where Moses was ready to be used as the Lord commanded. It took forty years to unravel all the plans of Moses, the pathos of Moses and the confidence of Moses so that those essential elements of leadership could be replaced with God’s ways. Forty years training to be Pharaoh. Forty years ­untraining. The path back is as long as the path that got you here. But you have time. God will see to that.

There are no shortcuts on this road. Yes, we are inclined to think that repentance is the shortcut to presence. It is not. God’s presence will be with you while you step backward but it will not exempt you from stepping backward. If you attempt to shortcut the process, you may soon discover you are right back at the edge. Some things must be dealt with over time.

Death is a process. So is life. Choose today to start the journey back home. It is the direction that matters today. All the steps of a man or woman who journeys toward home are ordered of the Lord no matter how long it takes to get there.

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