And if it’s God that I’m after
I just can’t serve two masters
And before something happens
I gotta turn it all around
Because I know I can’t just have my cake and eat it too
Cause it’s real easy to stay on the fence and still do you
And it’d be cool if we could love the Lord and still go do our thing
But see it doesn’t work like that
You gotta to be white or black
No it don’t work like that
You gotta be white or black
No gray No shades of gray
Don’t work like that
I know that most, if not all, Christians can relate to Jonathan McReynold’s song “No Gray”. The song accurately describes the struggle we Christians have with living our lives how God has instructed us to and the way the world thinks we should. A lot of people classify themselves as Christians but then pick and choose which of God’s laws they want to follow and live by. This way of life, which I like to refer to as the Gray Zone, often leads to sin and then eventually the absence of a relationship with God.
When I was younger, I remember making a list of all the things that I wanted to accomplish by a certain age. Most were innocent and harmless like getting a cellphone at 13, going to my first supervised coed party at 15, getting my driver’s license at 16, and attending college at 18. But then there was the secret list that I made for the things that I knew didn’t please God, but I wanted to do them anyway. For instance, sneaking into clubs, underage drinking, and hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places.
To be completely honest, I did not enjoy any of the activities on my secret list as much as I thought I would. I knew right from wrong, but the world glorified these activities and as a Christian, I felt like I was missing out. While I was out fulfilling the things on my secret list, my relationship with God went left. I had forgotten about Him. I thought that I could love God and still to all of the things that I wanted to do. “God would want me to have a little fun,” is what I would tell myself. I was dead wrong! The more we focus on the world’s pleasures, the easier it becomes to forget God’s care, love, dependability, guidance, and most of all, God himself.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that I was living in the Gray Zone. The problem was that I was following God with my words and not with my heart and actions. God wants our life to back up our spiritual claims and promises. He wants us to be true believers. God wants us to separate ourselves completely from ALL sin and tempting situations. All sin hurts us and others, and ultimately it offends God because sin in any form is a rebellion against His way of living.
It is easy for us to grow careless about obeying God, to live our way instead of His. But if one way were just as good as another, God would not command us to live His way. He always has good reasons for His commands, and we always place ourselves in danger when we consciously or carelessly disobey them.
Have you been forgetting God lately? Has something or someone been pushing God out of your life? Are you in the Gray Zone? It could be as simple as television, a friendship, sports, a boyfriend or girlfriend, music, food, fun. Any of these can become idols. If they do, they must be removed from the center of your life. The first step is recognizing that something or someone has drawn your heart away from God. Then you must confess the problem to God and turn it over to Him (1 John 1:9). It is also important that you find someone to hold you accountable. You need someone to encourage you, ask the tough questions, and to pray for you. This could be a friend your own age who has a real desire to grow spiritually. It could be a Christian adult who you like and respect or anyone who is genuinely concerned for you. Ask God to send you such a person. It will help keep you from falling into the Gray Zone and provide you with close, lifelong friends.
- Christians are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:15). Like the Israelites, we are to remain spiritually separate from the world’s wickedness, even though we rub shoulders with unbelievers every day. It is no easy task to be holy in an unholy world, but God doesn’t ask you to accomplish this on your own. Through the death of his Son, He will present you holy and blameless before Him (Colossians 1:22).
- King David gave his son Solomon principles to guide him through life (1 Chronicles 28:9-10). These same ideas are ones that any Christian can learn and follow.
- Principles to Live By:
- Get to know God personally.
- Learn God’s commands and discover what He wants you to do.
- Worship God with a clean heart.
- Serve God with a willing mind.
- Be faithful.
- Don’t become discouraged.
Scriptures on Life-Style:
- Jeremiah 18:18. Life-style is determined by your beliefs.
- 1 Corinthians 6:20. Live to give glory to God.
- Philippians 1:12-14. Living for Christ.
- 1 Timothy 6:18-19. Your life and your earthly and heavenly future.
- 1 Peter 4:10. Have a serving life-style.