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The choice is ours, the grace is His

March 25, 2010

Morpheus stated, “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

The Matrix is still a bit of a culture icon, even after all these years. In the movie Morpheus offers Neo a choice, a choice to believe or not to believe, to follow or not to follow, to be set free or to stay in captivity. 

That is how it is with faith in Christ. He offers us a choice, a choice to believe, to follow, and to be set free, or a choice to stay in the same place we have been and in captivity to the things we believe and the ways we live.

I just finished a book called The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus. In this book we are challenged to take a different look at Christianity. He presents a case that Christians have been civilized to believe and follow a message of conformity and comfort instead of pursuing a radically personal relationship with a God who knows us intimately and wants to lead us into a unique journey. He cautions us to stop believing that the message of Christianity is a peaceful, easy, religious message of adhering to the same doctrines, traditions, and theologies, but instead to see it as as the breaking down of customary teachings and worldly beliefs that creates tensions of radically changed lives, beliefs, value systems, and lifestyles.

This is the sticky part of the barbarian call. It’s not fair or equitable. When you hear the call, when you follow the call, you must recognize that it is a life-and-death proposition. When you understand what Jesus means when He says that you must follow Him, you finally realize that this is not a cattle call. He is not calling you to the same life that everyone else will live. He’s not even calling you to the same path that every follower of Christ will walk. Your life is unique before God, and your path is yours and yours alone. Where God will choose to lead you and how God chooses to use your life cannot be predicted by how God has worked in the lives of others before you. – The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus, 36-37

Christ came to save the sick, not the healthy. He came to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and to release prisoners from darkness (Isaiah 61). He wants to free us from the things we have believed and the limited views we have known. He wants to open our minds to truth, possibilities, and opportunities. He wants us to become the people he has created us to be.

It is up to us to believe and to walk in his truth.

Faith is more than just asking and hoping, it is walking as if the prayer has been answered and we are changed.

Morpheus later told him, “Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”

We have been offered the Gospel, a message of good news. Many have twisted and distorted it. We may have not been taught the full Gospel, or we may have mis-heard it or only received parts of it that we were mature enough or ready to handle.

Amazingly we are offered grace to try again.

Neo was only given one chance to take the pill. If he made the choice to stay in darkness he would have remained there with no further opportunity to change. Christ offers us chances over and over again. We may choose to follow but not do it wholeheartedly and he takes us back. We may follow and then turn away for a time and he takes us back. We may follow and fall hard into sin or disbelief and he takes us back.

Somewhere we have confused the Gospel and made it more about us than about him. I don’t think it is about us finding salvation, but about him offering to give it. I don’t think it is about us following correctly, but about him leading us. I don’t think it is about us being obedient to all he leads us toward, but about him loving us enough to lead us there over and over again despite all the ways we fail.

You see, the choice to follow is ours, but the grace to live like we truly believe and follow comes from him.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 4:35 pm

    I always say , we must forsake the god of our fathers and get back to the God of the Bible.

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