For a few years I believe the Lord has been teaching me a principle related to living and God’s will.
Actually this principle is rooted in a much longer-term spiritual learning concept for me – God’s will, God’s way. For about 10 years I have been seeking the Lord’s direction for what it means to live according to not only God’s will, but also as He designed and therefore God’s way. The 1 Degree Principle is one important part of God’s will, God’s way, but only one part.
I think my pondering over the 1 degree started when I was preparing messages on the Sermon on the Mount at the InterNational Church of Wroclaw (INCW). Primarily Matthew 5:48 caught my attention as most translations of the Bible say “be perfect”.
Though it is true the verb in verse 48 is in the future tense, therefore it is that we “will be made perfect”, and I learned it is more about being mature and or complete, it still remains that there is a spiritual type of path for believers.
Add John 14:6 with Matthew 7:13-23 and we get an even better, I believe, idea of the overall process Jesus was teaching. He is the “way” and we are to follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Jesus implies in Matthew 7 that He is the spiritual “narrow” way, and stating it another way He is the perfect way or path.
That led to me wondering what happens when I fail to follow, as it were perfectly, Jesus according to God’s will (Matthew 7:21-23)? Thankfully it is by God’s grace, not only for salvation, but also the long-term process of making us “mature and complete to lack nothing” (James 1:2-3) that any of us can spiritually follow Jesus at any time or in any way (read Romans 7:13-25 for an example). In the end it is God who is truly doing the “hard work” of making it possible for any of us to follow Jesus.
Always keeping God’s grace in mind, it still remains that whenever I swerve even 1 degree from obedience to God’s will, ie following Jesus, I am going down the wrong path. It seems so minor at first to be only a tiny bit off of following Jesus, but the long-term affects can be catastrophic.
My intent is to continue to hone my understanding of this principle as I seek the Lord for His insight on the subject through the Holy Spirit. In response to the search I also intend to begin documenting not only what I learn, but how it affects us in application as well.
I would be honored if you feel led by the Lord to join me in this journey so don’t hesitate to write any comments, insights, suggestions, and or kind disagreement.
Serving Our Savior