Escape from Gilligan’s Island: Who Is in Charge?

Who is in charge? That is the ques­tion Pastor Bart asked us Sunday as we con­tin­ue our jour­ney to escape Gilligan’s island, fol­low­ing the peo­ple of Israel in the book of Exodus. God has giv­en us some com­mands in order to help us escape off our island. However, once the pres­sure is off, we often try to take over instead of fol­low­ing God’s com­mands.

The three main points of pastor’s ser­mon were con­cern­ing God’s Commands.

  1. They per­tain to every area of our life. Sometimes the com­mands seem to be counter to the world’s stan­dards but in all cas­es they are designed to ben­e­fit us.
  2. God’s com­mands come with bless­ings and curs­es. Blessings bring us abun­dant life, the curs­es bring us death. We need to exam­ine our lives and see where we are in dis­obe­di­ence and bring our­selves in line with God.
  3. Finally, God’s com­mands must be con­firmed by a covenant, a blood oath. Without the shed­ding of blood there can not be sal­va­tion. It seems that most civ­i­liza­tions have under­stood this, each hav­ing some form of blood sac­ri­fice. Jesus has become the once and for all sac­ri­fice. When we accept Christ’s sal­va­tion for us, we enter into a covenant with God and His com­mands.

And so how do we respond? For me, this always brings up the bal­ance between obe­di­ence and legal­ism and the bal­ance between free­dom and law­less­ness. I real­ly don’t have a prob­lem try­ing to be legal­is­tic as I hold dear­ly to “It is by faith we are saved and not by works lest any man boast.” I am rather a lais­sez-faire type when it comes to oth­ers as well. I do attempt to live accord­ing to the stan­dards God has set out for me, not because I believe it will some­how save me, but as a result of my faith.

There is a spot that God desires us to be in, a spot cen­tered in God’s love. When we stand in that place we obey His com­mands because we love Him and want to please Him. As we stay in His love, we receive His bless­ings. It is here where I desire to be.

The prob­lem we all have is of course our­selves. We even­tu­al­ly become com­pla­cent or over con­fi­dent in our­selves and find our­selves out­side of that place God wants us. We find our­selves think­ing that it won’t hurt to go on that 3 hour tour out­side of of God’s com­mands. This of course leads us to much pain and suf­fer­ing, a sud­den storm that gets us stuck on Gilligan’s Island.

We also can­not become pride­ful think­ing that we can some­how fol­low every com­mand of God through our own pow­er and in essence save our own skin. We do that and before we know it, we are com­plete­ly out­side of God’s will and back on Gilligan’s island. If there is one thing that we can cer­tain­ly learn from the peo­ple of Israel is that is is very hard to stay on the straight and nar­row. God knew this and pro­vid­ed us our sal­va­tion through His per­fect Son.

Now, we can’t blame all pain and suf­fer­ing on dis­obe­di­ence. The Book of Job teach­es us as does the Book of Exodus that some­times God allows us to go through tri­als and test­ing that we may come out stronger in the end. Those times we may feel strand­ed but in fact, God is right there with us. We may still feel strand­ed, espe­cial­ly if we have peo­ple around us like Job’s wife say­ing “Curse God and die.” I thank God my wife is just the oppo­site of Job’s wife. She loves, prays, and cares for me even when I am feelling hor­rid.

It is very hard to let God stay in charge. It is one of those fights I have with myself con­tin­u­al­ly. I iden­ti­fy with Paul when he writes in Romans 7:14–8 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer sup­port­ed. Please use your access key, the test­ing key ‘TEST
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
:1, “… I want to do what is right but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it any­way… Oh what a mis­er­able per­son I am! Who will free me from this life that is dom­i­nat­ed by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.… So now there is no con­dem­na­tion for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT).

And so, I pray that I will remain in God’s love, fol­low His com­mands, and live my life in faith­ful response. I thank God that He loves me even when I fail and con­tin­u­al­ly draws me back to Him. I am so thank­ful that although I feel stuck out in the wilder­ness like the peo­ple of Israel, I know God is with me and lead­ing me to the promised land.

One thought on “Escape from Gilligan’s Island: Who Is in Charge?

  1. bill Post author

    And in case you were won­der­ing, I took notes in the WordPress app for iPhone dur­ing the ser­vice — thus the date and time stamp of the arti­cle — and then expand­ed them at first sit­ting in my liv­ing room watch­ing TV using my iPhone. It wasn’t until I got around to get­ting ready to pub­lish­ing the arti­cle this morn­ing I edit­ed it on my com­put­er, so I could do a quick spell check, look at the for­mat­ting, and add the num­bered bul­lets. That app on the iPhone is rather handy!

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