Monday, March 17, 2008

New glasses

I have been moaning for about two years that I could not see to read with my varifocals and for the most part to read I took them off. Over the past few months I have been repeatedly saying that I needed to get my eyes tested. I know all of these things because eventually Mrs P told me to 'put up or shut up'. In other words she was tired of my moans and wanted me to do something about it.

What did I do then? I shut up about it. It had been five years since my last eye test and I confess to being a bit embarrassed about it. I had ignored all the reminders thinking that my eyes weren't that bad.

Last week I dropped my car off with my mechanic mate for its MOT. It mean that I had to find something to do for a few hours in Tamworth. I asked him to drop me off at the shopping complex that houses all the IT related shops and also Asda. I thought at least I can get a cup of tea and window shop.

As I was walking around I decided to go and get a cuppa in Asda Café. Noticing the Opticians in there I decided that if they could fit me in then I would have an eye test. They could and so I did.

In the five years since my last test a lot of the technology had changed. That impressed me, I love technology. Three different machines as well! After the test I was told that my eyesight had changed quite a lot in five years and I would need new lenses. I decided to have varifocals again. I also discovered that I could now have plastic lenses that were also react to light. No more changing specs when the sun comes out or remembering the sun specs are in the car when I am on the plane to Cape Town. Amazingly the new glasses were ready in two working days and were half the price of the last ones.

I realise that my 'make do' attitude wasn't very clever. I had put off something that was painless, (apart from the price) and made a vast improvement to my enjoyment of life. I can now read with my glasses on (once I get used to not having to do it without them). I was also glad that in the five years new technology made the process quicker and more efficient and that the advances actually saved the cost of a second pair of specs.

I have begun to realise that there are also times when I 'make do' with God. I allow what I have grown used make me stop progressing into new things. He has moved on but I have stood still. To God nothing is new but to me lots of things are new because I have not walked in them yet. Once I have seen something then surely I should not ignore it but walk in it.

What stops us moving on into new things? I was proud and didn't want to admit my stubbornness. There are times when I know God has revealed something to me but the fear of what others would think if I said holds me back. I remember when I was first taught about the gift of tongues I rejected it because the church tradition I was in had said it was not of God. When I embraced it I had to declare the teaching I had received, albeit sincerely, was wrong. I had to move on.

I am learning that it is better to obey God than man. It will cost but in the end it reveals new spiritual technology and adds to your faith. God is looking for those who not only believe His word but walk in its revelation. I am learning to do that more and more.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Identity Theft

A couple of summers ago my wife and I were holidaying in France. We hadn't heard from home for a few days so we decided to text our son and check if all was well. The reply indicated all was fine but he had a question, 'Did you order another GPS because one has arrived?'

I realised something was wrong so called Ben to find out what was going on. I then discovered to my horror that someone had stolen my details and was ordering items to be delivered whilst they thought we were on holiday. In total nearly a £1000 worth of things had been ordered.

I had to call my bank from France on my mobile phone and after a lengthy process managed to convince them that I was not the one ordering the items. I discovered that the thieves had probably got my details from someone working at an online company I had used who was passing them on. The scam was to order the goods when they thought I was on holiday and then pick them up from the parcel depot where they would have gone to if I didn't sign for them.

I was angry not just because of the cost and inconvenience but because someone was trying to pretend to be me. It was my identity they were stealing.

None of us like to be mis-represented. I used to become very agitated at work if anything I had said or done were mis-represented to others. I was reprimanded once for calling someone a liar in a Senior Management meeting. They were lying but it wasn't the done thing to say that.

As a Christian I am God's representative. I represent Him to my family, friends and even the strangers I meet. Being Jesus to others is what I am called to do. He lives in me by His Spirit and I am His witness to those around me. It should be that if people want to know what Jesus is like then something of what I am in Him should be seen. The Apostle Paul said to one church that they were God's letter to be read by all men.

I have learned not to feel condemned but just to accept that. I am so many things in Christ that I must just accept and walk in. I am the righteousness of God, I am a new creation, I am more than a conqueror. I have not done anything to deserve any of this but I accept that this is what God says I am since Christ is my Lord. Its a Kingdom of God thing. This is the exchange that took place when I repented of sin and made Christ my Lord.

My identity is now in Him. I am hidden in Christ. I no longer live but Christ lives in me and even the life I now live in the flesh I live to the glory of God. Even if I mis-represent God then there is an advocate who speaks on my behalf named Jesus. All I need to do is confess my sin and He is faithful and just to forgive it.

Its not arrogant to say what God says I am. If I deny it then its inaccurate and I can't claim the benefits of sonship that are mine. I have stopped struggling with who I can't be and have received who I am. For those that are led by the Spirit are sons of God. Accept it and see what happens.