If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell. – Matthew 18:8-9
I never completely understood this teaching like I do now. There’s no way I would literally cut off a body part if I couldn’t control it. But, I have come to understand this to be more about outlets than body parts.
Outlets that cause me to sin.
Lines of communication that cause me to sin.
Relationships that cause me to sin.
Places, people, things…
In the undertaking of maturity, there is a weening process. It’s wrong to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit. Jumping the gun on Him will only leave you starting and stopping in fits rather than choosing, in obedience, to cut out a part of your immaturity so that the chain, or the source(s) of poison, is (are) removed.
In the natural (or supernatural) progression, the inevitable journey, you will come to a point where everything is held up to the light and seen for what it is. We do not have the human capacity to become what we were meant to become without the relentless scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. There is always a point of realization and the only response is submission or disregard.
In my own journey, there have been things that I thought were innocent and explainable outlets for expressing myself, but have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to cut them off. Sometimes I understand the reasoning and sometimes I don’t. Practicing obedience makes it easier, over time, to comply without a long thought process as to ‘why’ and ‘why not’. It doesn’t matter what the answers to my questions are when I know that I’ve been told to do something.
I’ve never been a big fan of authority. I have always questioned and resented it. As an adult, I am finally finding the safety and usefulness of another set of eyes looking out for me. I have two sources of authority in my life right now. My husband and God.
When either one asks something of me, I do it. Lucky for them, neither one asks much. My husband sees the potential in situations that I do not. It’s the same for God. I have come to the decision that even if they’re off the mark, it doesn’t matter.
I am a human being with ignoble ingredients. I’ll never deny that. But, my life has noble purpose. If I am constantly stumbling over things in the ‘here and now’ I’ll never reach my full potential.
Better to move forward without than to stay stagnant with.