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Seeds of the Kingdom

Living on the Edge

by Christel Baxter

17 October 2016

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All things are legitimate [permissible—and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].
1 Corinthians 10:23, NIV

Have you ever encountered a situation where you were contemplating whether something could be considered undesirable for a child of God to do, or to participate in? When the Word of God is clear on a topic this is an easy choice, but, when God’s Word seems to be silent on a specific issue, it may prove more difficult.

While at a restaurant recently with my family, I saw a huge television screen against the wall, close to where we sat. On this television they were screening clips of different kinds of sporting highlights. One of these clips was an off-road motorbike race on a dirt road, along a very narrow path. What caught my attention was the fact that this dirt road was winding around a steep mountain cliff. Consequently, the motor cyclists had the dangerous task of navigating their way along a narrow ledge. They had to keep in mind there was a steep downward drop next to them, and make sure they didn’t accidentally skid off the side of the road.

It reminded me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:23, where Paul was writing about our freedom as believers who’re in Christ. He was admonishing the Corinthian Church to do everything as unto the Lord, and take care not to do anything which would cause another person to stumble in their faith.

If I’m in relationship with a loving, kind and compassionate God, and know I’m loved and accepted by Him, my heart’s desire should be to please Him. I shouldn’t want to do anything which could hinder my walk with Him in any way. But what about those seemingly grey areas?

Our key scripture says that all things are permissible for me, but they may not necessarily be helpful and wholesome, or edifying to my spiritual life. This made me think of that off-road motorcycle race. In my walk with the Lord, I don’t want to try to live so close to the edge between righteousness and what could appear to be sin that the lines start to become blurred, and I find myself somehow feeling distant from God. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, ‘Abstain from every appearance of evil’. God is a God of spaciousness and freedom, but He’s also a God who says, ‘Be holy, because I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). I never want to be in a place where my attitude is to see how much I can ‘get away with’ – how close I can live to the edge - and ‘still go to heaven’!

In my walk with the Lord, I want to make sure I leave enough room to be able to move freely, without having to be careful of that steep downward drop which leads to unrighteousness. I want to leave plenty of room between myself and whatever has an appearance of evil, or whatever carries any doubt about its desirability. I want to pursue whatever’s helpful, expedient, wholesome, profitable and constructive to my character, and edifying to my spiritual life. ‘You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways’ (Isaiah 64:5).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I value Your opinion of me more than any other. My desire is to gladly do what I know to be right, and to steer away from anything which resembles evil, or generates doubt in my heart. Thank You for the freedom I have in You. Help me to have discernment, and to pursue whatever’s edifying to myself and others, in Jesus’ name.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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