Recently, a friend told me of watching her son parachute to the earth from 10,000 feet. She proudly described his perfect landing. Even after 34 jumps, it was only the second time he had been able to land on his feet. I do not know a lot about skydiving, but I do know I've never had an urge to jump from a plane. As I listened to her, a thought came to me that perhaps seems like a 'no brainer.' But if he wanted his parachute to open, he must pull on the chord. Then as I read on the subject, I found out there is a safety feature on modern parachutes so that if the diver does not open his chute by a certain altitude it opens automatically. That's not very technical I know, and if I were more adventurous I'd actually try this to see how it works. Think I'll just take the experts word on this.
Some people believe our spiritual life is like this parachute. All they must do is say 'I believe' and their spiritual 'parachute' opens. You know, if I miss something essential in opening it, God being the wonderful Being He is, will cause it to 'open' on it's own. Uh, I hate to burst anyone's bubble but it really does not work like that. Something more is required of us. I know, I hear you thinking, there she goes, telling me about all the rules, etc. . .
I'm used to being called legalistic, dogmatic, or whatever the current term is. But the fact is this: God, the Creator, and Author of our faith wrote the book. He set the law of gravity in place and also governs our relationship with Him. Just as the skydiver must obey the rules of nature and gravity to have a successful jump, we must obey God to have a successful 'landing' in eternity. It is only by recognizing and accepting His guidelines do we have the relationship with Him we desire. We cannot make the rules to suit ourselves. We must submit willingly to the ones He has already established.
In the kingdom of God, there are no automatic chute deployments. Here is to more happy landings!