While I’ve never written as much as I would like to, it hasn’t kept me from trying to move forward with this blog. One of the things about moving forward involves coming up with a name. Through the years, I’ve tried a few: Extra Spout, The Truth Hurts, The Scenery, and mostly recently, J. Alan Doak. The last was the most convenient, but while my blog is a reflection of my thoughts, it isn’t me. While a person could get a pretty good idea of who I am from my blog, they still won’t know me. I know the difference between the two, and I’m able to separate the two.
So. My blog needs a name. Last month, my pastor touched on the topic of God’s plumb line. It made me think. How are we measuring our lives? Are we measuring our lives and our views against God’s standard or our own? I hears phrases like: “I think God,” or “I don’t think God,” or “I feel God would,” or “I don’t feel God would,” or “What would Jesus do?” While we certainly can’t know every thought of God, we can get a pretty good idea of how His mind works. After all, He’s provided us with a rather comprehensive look at His values, standards, and expectations in a book commonly called the Bible.
The Bible is a set of books that we also call the Canon, which is Greek for “measuring rod” or “standard.” In other words, the Bible/Canon is God’s measuring rod or standard; it is reveals God’s plan for how we are to live a righteous life. A synonym for righteous is upright. What does a plumb line do? It measures vertical straightness, or uprightness. In other word’s, the Bible, God’s Word, is His plumb line and we can use it to measure our lives against it. We can use it to measure reality against God’s Word and see how our view of reality stacks up. If our view of reality isn’t in line with God’s plumb, then Houston, we have a problem. And I guarantee the problem isn’t with the Bible, it’s with our view of reality.
Have you compared your feelings to God’s standards? I don’t mean a few verses here or there, but God’s Word as a whole. I’m fully aware that it’s easy to pick a few statements from His Word which, by themselves, appear to paint a picture that we find problematic. But, when I say God’s Word as a whole, I mean everything, cover to cover, within the context it’s intended to be in. Taken this way we don’t find the caricature that liberals and atheists like to paint, but a loving, caring, good God deserving of our worship; a God with values, standards, and expectations worthy of trying to live up to.
We are called to be disciples of Jesus. We are called to be His servants. We are called to be a Kingdom of Priests. We are called to be a light in a world of darkness. In other words, we are called to reflect Jesus in a way that draws others to Jesus. We are not called to reflect Jesus in a way that pushes people away. We draw people to Jesus by molding ourselves in an upright fashion against God’s plumb line. We cannot mold God’s plumb line against ourselves. A plumb line naturally runs upright, and the only way to change that is to force it from center. But that is exactly what we do when we try to mold God’s Word to fit our intention instead of His. The line becomes crooked, and you’ll follow a crooked line, and people will see that crookedness. The only people you will draw will be those who are crooked like you, because to them, you’ll appear upright.
I am not perfect in any sense of the word, but I try to mold my values and standards to God’s plumb line. Occasionally there are times when I think, this doesn’t seem right, but I trust God’s Word anyway. It always turns out to be right. I can’t think of an instance, where I yielded to His guidance, and didn’t come out feeling better in the end. There are those who will berate you for trusting and remaining faithful to that guidance, and they will even make you feel bad for sticking to it, but don’t listen. They want you to fail. Don’t take their bait. Trust His Word!
And that’s the idea behind this blog. That’s always been the idea. Don’t attack people, attack ideas. Just as I can tell the difference between this blog and myself, I can tell the difference between someone’s idea and the person. Whether the world likes it or not, this is about my reflections on the world in light of God’s Word. Hopefully, it’s a reflection that draws people to Jesus. Hopefully, it’s a Reflection On Plumb.