I’ve written it before and I’m writing it again. As life around me has become complex, the remedy for the complexities have become simple: trust in the Lord with all your heart. This has brought great peace and joy to me as I’ve learned in a very pro-active and productive environment that I am not at the helm and the buck does not stop with me. I am not promoting complacency, apathy, or laziness. It just seems that there’s lots of spinning wheels going on with little progress when perhaps God is telling us to just put it in park.
I’ve been in a particular environment for 30 years that I am thankful for. Yet, everything in this world has its flaws as we grapple with the truth and light that is given as we interpret and/or understand it. I would say that its specifically the myriad of interpretations that has placed this okay, which way is it? gal in a tailspin, that has created a need for the simplicity of: I know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Be honest. You may think, is that it? Yes, my friend, that is it.
A simple statement that cuts through the muddiness of human thought, and yet, carries invisible complexities which defies physical laws. A statement that reigns me in from focusing on grooming my gifts and talents (which I believe are emphasized way too much in some circles), building my “ministry”, and keeping me from climbing a ladder of Christian success. It causes me to simply be available as an expression of God’s heart toward humanity.
If I am too interested in theological debates, or focusing on self-help resources to help me know who I am in Christ, or identifying my spiritual gifts and talents, and the list could go on, the limited hours in a day and years in a lifetime can leave me still working on these things. And all too often there is little time for doing the real work of the ministry which is laying down your life for another. God is into one-at-a-time and we like numbers. Lots of them.
Certainly the scriptures speak to all areas of our life, yet, the main thing needs to be kept the main thing. And it’s sweet simplicity of looking out for others over yourself speak very explicitly throughout the New Testament. In fact, Jesus is the supreme example. How often we dismiss the baked pie brought to a neighbor or laying aside our busy schedule to help someone else with their busy schedule. In fact, if God is speaking so much to people these days, then how come there are people in our churches who are going without? How come God doesn’t speak to people more about giving money to other people? Like, I’m thinking that we should be stepping over ourselves, denying our wants and needs, and giving to others. Herein lies the mystery. When you scatter, you increase. When you water, you are watered. The very thing that God says to do goes against our grain and so we often do it our way, with our spin, and little is accomplished. When we do it God’s way, (which may require some real faith on our part), we will find real success and fulfillment.
Now, on to the main point of this entry. There’s all kinds of problems in people’s lives. Struggles abound in every size and shape. I look around at the time and effort I have personally invested in many situations and the results are pretty poor. I have followed the lead in deferring to others who I believe knew more than me, but all the while there was this dichotomy that floated around in my mind. I would set it aside and continue to pursue what everyone else was doing. Until. Because there comes a time when we all will hit the proverbial brick wall and the tools we had in our hands are no longer successful. We reach into the distance to touch the hem of His garment in search for answers. Time and time again, it comes back to simplicity. It’s us who makes it complicated.
When one is struggling with sinful thoughts and behavior, we have many reactions. As of late I’m thinking of Congressmen Anthony Weiner. I’ve watched the panels on news stations and if they had stones in their hands they would have thrown them. Here is a man who is like any other man that has, from time to time, had to whisk a sexual thought out of his head (or entertain it). Jesus said if you’ve ever had a lustful thought you’ve committed adultery so every single man and woman is guilty of adultery.
It’s not that I condone the Congressman’s behavior. There is nothing righteous about standing up for sin. But I do stand up for the man. I think Jesus would, too. And God says He knows the weakness of our frame and pities us. That is why Jesus died for us. Because the sin nature is so deadly that it required His death in order to redeem us from it. So. Why is it that we do not respond to others with that same compassion and mercy we received? Is it because we don’t think we’re really that bad?
I hope that there is someone in the Congressman’s life who will come along side him and tell him there is life after sin, that there is hope, and when one falls, we gather around to pick him or her up. This is what we should be doing. Not upholding the Law as the standard, but love as the standard. I guarantee that when we love someone in this manner, that the Holy Spirit is then able to do the work of drawing with Divine chords of love. If we call ourselves co-laborers, then I hope that we are absolutely, positively co-laboring in for God so loved the world. The 10 commandments are written on our hearts already. We don’t need someone pointing them out to us. We are already wired to know the difference between right and wrong. What the world does need is a Church that will not expose, but love in such a way to bring hope and comfort to those who are destitute and burdened with the affects of sin.
There is a time of sowing in faith. We work while it is still day and we may not see the fruit until eternity. We are lights in a dark world and Jesus said not to hide them under a bushel for what good is it? That light doesn’t necessarily mean that we expose the deeds of someone’s heart, but to be a beacon that guides to the Savior.
If I may be so bold to speak to this Church Age, it’s time to shift gears.
And if I may be so bold to speak to the world, lay your weary head to rest and don’t you cry no more.