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Sometimes the best way to "walk the line" is by having one foot on either side. In this case, one foot in heaven and one foot in the world. With both feet in heaven, you can do no earthly good. With both feet in the world, you are no longer available to the God who wants to use you to make good in the world. Only by dividing your steps can you truly live out the mission of Jesus.
So many people see the life of a Christ follower as a list of do's and don'ts. We imagine a big border line that should not be crossed. This side and you really follow Jesus, that side and you are hopelessly condemned. But what if life really isn't like that? What if the way people see you has more to do with the molding that God is doing in your life than the list of seemingly arbitrary rules that someone made up?
The idea of "wrestling with God" comes from an actual wrestling match between God and a man called Jacob. For so much of his life, Jacob was a deceiver and liar and cheat. But when God met him before a pivotal moment, God changed his identity and his name. Jacob the cheat became Israel, one who has influence with God. God is in the business of wearing away the identity that you have built up, to reveal the true person underneath.
God calls us as he sees us. Not just how he sees us now, but he also sees who we become. In the story of a man named Gideon, God used his faith and his doubts to prove not only who Gideon was, but also who God is. God knows the battles you will fight and the mark you will make. And as we encounter Him, he grows us for the fight.
In this week's conversation, Pastor Jim takes a look at one day in Peter's life. At one moment, he recognizes Jesus as Messiah -- the next, he is telling Jesus that He cannot do what he intends to do. We live out this same dichotomy in our own lives. One minute we think this way, the next minute we fight for the complete opposite. The real question is: after meeting Jesus, do we change?
Have you ever felt that you were in the wrong place, just waiting for God to show up and change things? Pastor Jim recalls the story of Lazarus and how sometimes you and I are "dead men walking," unawake and unresponsive to the new life Jesus has for us. Jesus calls each of us back to life, so that our new life will point others towards him.