"In the Absence of Authority"

Do I really believe God sees everything?

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It was early one morning around 4:45 A.M. I love to rise early and get my day started. Some think it is a curse to not be able to "sleep in", but I have never been able to do that.

I rolled out of my driveway, in my small subdivision in York County, Virginia. I was about a mile from the main road in the county, and there was a stop sign.

I could see no headlights coming down the road, and I knew all was clear.

Or perhaps you can imagine the scene this way. You live out in the middle of the heartlands of America. Near your farmhouse is an intersection with a four way stop sign, and soybean fields for several miles in all four directions. You can see down the road for miles.

Do you obey the law and come to a full stop as the law specifies, or do you roll on through the intersection after looking in all directions and knowing there is no traffic in sight?

Come on now and be honest with yourself! We all face driving situations like this many times a week.

Some would refer to this as situational ethics. You know the drill. "It is O.K. to break the law in certain situations. After all, who in the world is going to get hurt in a situation like this."

But let's change the scene a little bit. Sitting on the corner in plain view is a police car with the radar gun sitting in the window.

Wow! That changes the scene in a quite remarkable way. I doubt if any of you folks reading this article would not come to a full stop as the law expects us to do. (And you also reach around and buckle up that seat belt before he sees you.)

So what has changed in this picture? In the Absence of Authority, things have changed in our lives.

1 Peter 2:13 states, "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake..."

As I was thinking about this scenario a few days ago, I began to examine my life and see how many times I have "winked" at sin. It seems that the world around me has squeezed me into it's mold, which is a paraphrase of the passage in Romans 12:2. I have become calloused to the Authority of God in my life, and since I do not really believe He sees everything that I do, I compromise my beliefs and go along with the rest of the world around me.

Oh, I can justify it in my mind. "Everyone is doing it." Good grief, God does not care about a stop sign in the early morning with no one around. Wrong! He does care. He calls us to holy living and obedience. My nature is to cut corners, fudge the truth, bend the regulations, and whatever cliche I can place on it.

God is very plain. He calls it sin!

But the enemy of our souls understands our nature, and we are very much like the old story of the frog in the pot of water. It is said that you can place a pan of cold water on the stove, and place a live frog at the bottom of the pot, and turn the heat up slowly, and the frog will make no attempt to get out of the water, and eventually succumbs to being boiled.

Now please do not report me to the animal rights folks, because I have never really tried this experiment. But you understand the illustration, don't you? We slowly compromise our position in some area of our lives, and after continually doing this activity for some time, our conscience does not even bother us any more. The Bible talks about having a seared conscience.

Each day in my business, I am faced with decisions about integrity and honesty. It is so important that I maintain a close walk with God on a minute by minute basis, so I can hear that "still, small voice" behind me that Isaiah talks about in Isaiah 30:21. Each day I try and start the day with a quiet time with the Lord. I usually ask him to examine my heart from the day before and let me know if I need to correct anything. If you do not have a regular quiet time each day, perhaps this link will encourage you and give you some ideas.

So today perhaps you can print out this image below, and place it on the dashboard of your car. God does see everything we do, and He is not the mean old "watchdog" who delights in giving us a list of do's and don'ts. Obedience to Him and His laws are in our best interest. Please believe that today. I hope to do that.

Jim Young
Yorktown, Virginia

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