Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Ordinary Life For Me, No Thank You

Good morning my friends. Ready for an exciting day directed by the Spirit? It is so good to start the day in the Word, in prayer and with worship. I hope you will not neglect any of that today. We are continuing with Galatians 4.

Once again we see evidence that the Circumcision Group has followed after Paul and is trying to recapture people in the law. They were a constant pain to Paul, always threatening to undo what had been done in the Spirit. They were successful because we always feel better about earning something than to receive it for free. Paul pleads with them using the example of Sarah and Hagar.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. vs. 22-23

I want us to consider this statement but I want to go further than just the understanding of the son born in the ordinary way and the son born of the promise. I think this is a fine example of life in general. Throughout our day we have a choice to live according to the promises of God or to live by the ordinary, normal ways of life.

We need to understand some facts. First, God has created us well. We are an intelligent creature. We have a will to survive. We can think ourselves out of most situations. We can survive most situations. We can be fiercely independent, living our lives without God and succeeding at what we do. This also means that even as Christians we can pray, not waiting for the answer and finding our own solution, then give God credit for it. The problem is that to everyone it just looks ordinary; there is nothing of God in it. When we allow God to do it according to what he wants it is always far better than what we can produce ourselves.

We can live our whole life claiming to live by faith, claiming to be doing the will of God, claiming to be filled by the Spirit, claiming to know God, claiming to have experienced his love yet just be ordinary. Just plain ordinary. No different than anyone else on this planet except maybe for a different set of values. Spiritually we are dullsville. This is what worries me about the Church, there are so many people who THINK they have experienced the love of God but they are just ordinary.

To follow Jesus Christ means that we have encountered him, experienced first hand his overwhelming love for us, that this love has transformed us, and now we are living passionately for him. This means that we are children of the promise and we live by the promises of God. It means we have chosen to be obedient to the Spirit, no longer making decisions for ourselves but being directed by the Spirit. It means we no longer settle for the ordinary but expect our God to respond to us in such a way that he leaves no doubt that he is doing it and glorifying himself in everything.

This means that what we do we could never do on our own. We are not involved in a work where our best is all that is required. That would mean we could get the glory. We have been called to do things that no ordinary person could do, only a child of the promise. We have been called to do things beyond our intelligence and ability because we have been called to glorify God. Our lives are meant to be extraordinary, passionate, consumed, larger than life itself, not powered by our abilities but powered by the Holy Spirit.

Moses was told to take on Pharaoh and lead God's people. According to Moses this was beyond him. God does not call us according to our abilities. He may use our abilities from time to time but he does not call us according to what we can accomplish. He calls us according to our weaknesses so that he may be glorified through us as people see us do things beyond us. Too often we choose the beautiful people, the talented people, the naturally gifted people and they build fine churches and monuments to the accomplishments of man. But is it powerful? Is it Christ centered? Is it filled with miracles or is it filled with programs? Is it filled with God things every day or is it filled with man things? Is there power there or just fine sounding arguments. Is the Father using it to draw people to his son or is it growing according to sound marketing principles. There is a difference you know. One is according to the promises and the other is just ordinary.

I don't want to put down any church or ministry but enough is enough. Let's see the extraordinary again. Let's see the miracles, the signs and wonders, the power of God. Let's see transformed lives in place of conformed lives. Let's see what turned the world upside down just under 2000 years ago. Let's see every Christian living lives that are beyond them. Not what I want or what I can do Lord but only what you want and what you empower. Our eyes are on you Jesus, show us what you are doing today and invite us to join you there.

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