A few mornings ago, the fog was so thick when I left home for work I could barely see a few tenths of a mile down the road in front of me. I had to take my time, move forward carefully, be prepared to stop, and make sure my lights were on.
Life can be like that sometimes. Our way can be foggy and unclear, and it's hard to see where we're going. That's why we need to read the Bible and rely on God. God said that His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). In many areas the Word provides a clear view of what is right and wrong; the way to go and the way to avoid. On many issues the yes or no is as clear as a bright, sunny day.
But in some areas, the Bible is not so clear. With some questions the way is kind of foggy. As a preacher, the questions I get hit most often with are not the clear ones, but the foggy ones. Like no one has ever asked, "Pastor I hate a certain person, and I want to kill them. Is that wrong?". That's pretty clear in the Bible. But on other questions, the answer is not so obvious, either because what the Bible speaks on it is unclear, or it doesn't speak on it at all.
So the way I try to approach those kinds of issues is to handle it like you would with driving on a foggy morning. Take your time, move forward carefully, be prepared to stop, and make sure your lights are on. In particular I want to talk about making sure your lights are on. And the two headlights I use are two questions I ask myself. 1) Is my motivation sinful? 2) Will it give God's name glorify or shame? Let's test it out.
Ask me about something you are not sure if it's ok with God. I see your hand; you there eating and getting crumbs all over your computer...Ok, good question. "Is it a sin to buy lottery tickets?" Let's turn on the headlights. 1) Is your motivation sinful? 2) Will it give God's name glorify or shame? I think you have your answer. Next question. You there still wearing Christmas pajamas in September... Ok, another good question. "Can my boyfriend and I go to 'third base' and still be pure until marriage?" Let's turn on the headlights. 1) Is your motivation sinful? 2) Will it give God's name glorify or shame? I think you have your answer. (And by the way, if you're rounding third base really fast, it's easy trip and fall into home plate without even meaning to.) Next question. You there with your forehead knotted up because you don't like the answers to the first two questions...Ok, that's a fair question that many people have. "Can't I just make my own decisions. As long as I'm not hurting anyone, it should be ok right?". Let's turn on the headlights...even when you don't want to see what they reveal, turn them on. 1) Is your motivation sinful? 2) Will it give God's name glorify or shame? Whether you like it or not, I think you have your answer.
Look, there is only one place where we can find the answers to all of our questions, and that's the Bible. Some are obvious, but some need a little light to see. The real question is, once we know the answer, will we obey. Don't get me wrong, I struggle with finding some of the answers, and accepting some of those I do find. That's why I think we should pray about it.
Father, we thank you for sharing Your light in this foggy world. There is no telling where we'd end up without You showing us the way. We pray Lord that You will help us see Your truth when the answers are not so clear. And most of all, we ask that when we find the answers, You give us the strength to obey them. We are so grateful that Your Son has risen and His light is burning away all of the fog and chasing away all of the darkness that was consuming us. And it's in His name that we pray. Amen!