‘THE OUGHTS AND THE ANYS’
After the ‘bricks and mortar’ Church doors were closed, I was amazed at the number of items I needed to delete from my Diary. I decided not to just put them all in again, when the time came, but to ask God which ones he wanted me to continue with. What God wants rather than what I want! Since then I have re-discovered reading, not the ‘who-done-it’s’ but books from my own library which I could not bear to leave behind, and it has been fascinating to re-read books which I had read, enjoyed, and even studied years ago.
One day last week I was reading on my balcony, enjoying the usual 27degree day and blue skies. I had a hat on and could feel the warmth of the sun on my back. Suddenly it seemed to get colder! Sure enough! The one and only cloud in the bright blue sky had put itself between me and the sun!
I was experiencing again an illustration I have used over many years to explain, simply, a spiritual situation that would be common to most of us. In Church circles we use a technical word to describe that which separates us from God namely: SIN! A little three letter word with ‘I’ in the middle! So often we sin because, “I want to do, what I want to do, cos I want…” and so on. The antidote or solution to this is for us to say (and really mean it) Sorry! In other words to Repent and turn back again to God.
In the Bible this word occurs so many times. Do you remember what the message of John the Baptist was? In Mark 1:4, he preached that people should be baptised to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. In Mark 1:15 Jesus himself, stated, “ The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” What about Acts 2:38, when St. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, spoke to the people who were ‘pricked to the heart’, and told them that they must . . .1) Repent 2) be Baptised 3) and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Have you understood the rather strange heading on this Blog? I was bought up on the King James Version of the Bible. And if you look at Mark 11:25, you will read: ‘And when ye stand praying, forgive if ye have ought against any that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.’
Maybe there is just one person reading this Blog who is going through a ‘prayers-not-getting-through-the-ceiling stage’. Perhaps you have been advised that you need more faith! Nonsense! My Bible talks about faith the size of a grain of mustard seed! Maybe, just maybe, you could have quite a few ‘oughts against many anys’. The translation we use in Church says ‘have anything against anyone’ which is very all embracing.
The lack of forgiveness can be a real barrier to prayer and to our essential personal relationship with Jesus.
My God is so much greater than any virus. I believe he will – in his own good time – bring good out of this evil. As we plan for this to happen, let us try to increase our personal relationship with him by: reading about him, talking to him, worshipping with others on our computer screens; and having a coffee or walking with just one other person! We could also be looking at those things which separate us from God and, above all, telling our Loving, Heavenly Father that we are truly sorry for those ‘oughts that we have against any’.