Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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The Problem With Growing Up Around Here

By the time we reach adulthood we have so much of ourselves that has been formed out of our experiences in this world.  We have hopes and dreams.  We have fears and we know our limitations.  We have developed a list of those things we like and those that we don't.  We have learned how to interact with others, we know those circumstances in which we will be successful and those that we don't ever want to try again.  We have learned a lot about what is possible and what isn't.  

In addition to all these things, we have grown up.  Our process of growing up isn't just the maturation of our bodies.  As we have grown up we have developed our own independence.  As they say, we have learned to stand on our own two feet.

With this bundle of experiences and ideas inside us, some of us decide that we want to enter into a relationship with Jesus.  Yet most of who we are is contrary to a proper relationship with the Lord.

Jesus wants to be our Lord and King.  The proper relationship with Him has Him on the throne and us with our face pressed into the floor at His feet.  But we are confident adults, he doesn't really expect us to debase ourselves before Him does He?  We are much more confident with the image of Jesus in the throne and us sitting next to him as a trusted advisor or perhaps dealing with Him as a peer.  In fact, there are times when the relationship we prefer is to have us sitting on the throne and Jesus nearby serving as an advisor.

Yet, the Bible makes it clear that the proper relationship is for us to serve as slaves to Him.  He should have total authority and we should be totally subservient.  However, this posture is so totally contrary to what we have learned as we have grown into self-confident adults.

As we work on developing this servant relationship, we rapidly discover that there a many other aspects of our experiences that challenge that relationship.  If, as servants, the Lord asks us to do something, we immediately want to start applying all these experiences to His request.  We try to apply our fears, limitations, preferences and expectations for results to His request.  This is in spite of the fact we know at some level, that none of these things should apply.

An example of this is when we try to apply our learned fears to what he has asked.  We say, “I'm scared that if I follow this plan that it will be a total failure.”  But, when we are doing His will, then he is with us.  As it says in the second chapter of Joel, “Those who carry out His commands are powerful.”  When we do his will, then  He is the one doing the work and we should just be along for the ride, trusting Him.  He will provide the ideas, the direction, the horse-power and everything else needed for the success of the endeavor.  It isn't up to us.  Compared with God, we don't really have much to offer for accomplishing the task, except a willing, obedient heart.

In all of our life, our job is to get out of His way and to let him work.  To do that, requires that we let go of much of what we know about ourselves and our world.

To be a God-servant necessitates that we recognize that He constitutes a more potent reality than all the reality of the world.

It is so easy to slip into thinking of the Lord as “one of the guys”.  In the last few chapters of the book of Job, where God effectively tells Job, “Just who do you think you are? I am God and you are not even close.”  This message is so totally different than where our life experiences lead us, that this scripture can have a shocking impact.

He is the sovereign, true God of all creation, whether we acknowledge it or not.  The only question is whether we choose to be His servant.  The only way that we can participate in His kingdom, is to participate as a servant.  God doesn't need us to advise Him.  He doesn't need us to create programs for Him.  He just wants us to serve Him obediently.

As servants of the Most High, we have to recognize that He is the one with the knowledge (of both today and tomorrow), the power and the wisdom to make a real difference.  When we really let go and relate to Him as a servant to his master, then real results can occur.  

We tend to think of God as something we can just pull over our life, like a coat.  A coat we are wearing goes where we go and does not interfere with us doing what we want, the only real difference it provides is to give us a warm feeling.  Yet our relationship with God should be more like a hand and glove – He is the hand that puts us on like a glove.  Although people don't see the hand, they only see the glove, it is the hand that does all the work.  Without the hand, the glove can do nothing.  Yet if the glove is rigid and unyielding, then the hand can't do much either.  For work to be done, the glove must allow the hand to move it.

For us to be that supple glove that the Hand of God can work through, we have to set aside nearly everything that the world has taught us.  Only when we accept that He is God and allow ourselves to be His servant can we have a real relationship with Him.

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