Permission Is Not Equal to Support

Pharaoh told God’s people to go, to get out of Egypt, to go and worship their God in the wilderness; yet he wasn’t excited about it. He didn’t support them as a people or follow their God, despite having experienced His power first hand through powerful plagues.

In 1 Corinthians 10:23, Paul wrote, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.”

How many times does God allow us to have our way even though it’s not the best way? He gives us permission to choose with our free will, but He certainly isn’t excited or supportive of all of our choices.

There are a lot of things we “get” to do in our lives. There are laws that give us rights that we cling to and claim. We justify what we do because we have the law on our side or a clinical study or a chosen expert’s opinion or, if nothing else, we can Google it and find someone who claims the same thing we want to claim. But majority doesn’t rule and opinion doesn’t reign.

We will always be able to find someone who says “okay” to everything we do.

That doesn’t make everything we do okay.

We need to want permission and support from the right sources. We need to stop asking the “right” sources, knowing we’ll get affirmation. Constant affirmation doesn’t challenge us to grow. It doesn’t hold us accountable.

Truth does.

How difficult is it to ask God what He permits and what He doesn’t, what He supports and what He doesn’t? How many assumptions have you made about those things? Has it become more about behaviors on a to-do and don’t list instead of knowing God’s character and heart enough to know how to approach such things?

Pleasing God, getting His support, isn’t about legalism. If you want some examples, look up everything Jesus said to and about the Pharisees. God’s support isn’t about what we do; it’s about the process by which we do it. It’s the relationship we have with Him as we wrestle through decisions. It’s what we do when we realize we’re off the track. It’s setting aside our own will for His.

Ask Him what’s permissible; then be sure to ask Him what is helpful, what builds up, and what He supports, too.

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