Georges River Congregational Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt – Life is No Quantum Leap
Recently, I watched the DVD sets of a TV programme that once aired called Quantum Leap. In the show, there is a man called Dr Sam Beckett, who has found a way to go travel throughout history. He does this to ‘leap’ into other people’s bodies and ‘fix things up’ in their lives (such as preventing a murder). Sam often speculates as to whether God who is the One sending him.
The programme raised the interesting question as to whether God sends powerful forces (like angels) into people – even non-believers? – to make choices for us. Does God really stop us from ourselves like this?
I suspect that many Christian believers assume that God does this. When we pray things like, “God, make me a patient person”, what are we expecting? That He will jump into us, perform a Spirit-filled lobotomy, and then exit our bodies,leaving no trace of a previous struggle? That, to our minds, seems like the easier option because it puts all the onus on God to change us, on the one hand, and helps us to evade responsibility on the other. It gives us clinically sterile holiness that avoids making painful decisions and living with the consequences of poor decisions. Non-believers would love God to do this so that there is no evil in the world or suffering for it (even though the evil was of our own choosing).
This isn’t to say God isn’t at work in those who trust in Jesus – the Holy Spirit is doing so constantly. He empowers us to see reason, to see our sin for what it is and to love righteousness (Titus 2:11-12, 1 Peter 1:15, 1 Kings 21:17-29), yet the onus is squarely on us to kill our sin. Colossians 3:5 commands us to “put to death your members which are on the earth”, which are sinful inclinations. It doesn’t read, “May God put to death your members”, but tells us to do it. God is definitely on our side to help us, but He’s not doing it all for us.
In light of this, let us be so diligent, with the power of God’s Holy Spirit, to put to death our sin and walk in His light. God respects our choices – even bad ones – and can even uses those to bring us to our senses, as He did with the Prodigal Son; but the option is there for us to choose right over wrong so that we don’t get taught the hard way. Let us make wise choices, with Spirit-opened eyes, so that God will draw near to us as we draw near to Him (James 4:7-8).
~ Pastor Haydn.