No Stones (part 1)

What does “No Stones” have to do with Refreshment in Refuge? Ask any champion weightlifter if he or she would like to carry that extra three hundred to four hundred pounds around with them on a daily, 24/7 basis. Of course, the answer would be an emphatic “NO!”. It is fine and dandy to lift three hundred pounds over the head, hold for ten seconds and then let drop with a bang and clank of the weights rattling together. But does anyone want to strap that extra poundage on their back and carry it around, even bathing with it? How ridiculous! But we Christians do it all the time.

Oh, it isn’t black iron in circular shape with a hole in the middle, but it is black and heavier than iron. It weights the mind like an anchor dragging the bottom of the sea when the alternative could be an open sail full of the salty, brisk breeze carrying the ship on a sure course. What is “it”, exactly? Those stones you carry around with you when Jesus’ clear message of the cross was “No stones. Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

No Stones…

There are many Christians that have stayed in the wilderness because when they came to their Gilgal, they could not cross the Jordan on faith. They wouldn't even put their feet in the water, much less pick up their stone from the middle of the river as a remembrance. (Joshua) These Christians are content to wander around in the wilderness…never entering the Promised Land of milk and honey. Content living the life of hardship with just their needs being met and content with that miracle instead of accepting God’s promises of blessings all for just putting on the armor of God and stepping into the fight.

It’s the difference between immaturity—babes in Christ, and maturity—soldiers in Christ. Our enemy is not flesh and blood but the dark principalities and the wicked spiritual hosts. Our enemy is not each other, but Satan. If we could but recognized who the enemy is then we could present a united front and the stones would land on the shields of faith instead of being tossed about within God’s army.

You see, it is through no works of ours that we are clean or that we have no spot or wrinkle. Our works do not make us holy or sinless. But through Christ and the right attitude, we are blameless. Since we are blameless before God, how can any one Christian possibly pick up a stone and cast it at any other? Tripping over God’s law makes us unworthy for that. Whoever judges, by the same measure will also be judged. (I always hate it when a person misquotes that verse. It is our right to judge teachings like the Bereans, but no one knows a man’s heart, only the Father searches and knows that.)

This is what No Stones, means. This is what Freedom of the Cross means. We are incapable of living the Christian life perfectly, but our intense desire to live with the mind of Christ and to please Him is what God searches the heart and finds. That indefinable thing is put there by Him so all the work is His and all the glory is His. We must participate!! Yes, for nothing can happen unless the heart is willing and we must go to school everyday...but the work is God's.

Some stones we carry: worry which causes stress which can cause illness; sin habits that grow familiar and comfortable; anger; bitterness; jealousy; impatience; anxiety; infidelity—not necessarily adultery, but emotional infidelity; dishonesty with God and fellow Christians; time miser; selfishness; withdrawing from church family…

What causes that withdrawal from church family? Secret sin? Does the church cause folks to withdraw when she condemns the before-conversion behaviour? Does she judge? Turn a cold shoulder? Are these stones the church carries or can these stones even be carried corporately?
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