Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are You A Mere (Wo)Man?

I don't know about you but I want more from life. I have great expectations that life is more than what it is now. Things are so much bigger than this little life I lead. The world is bigger. Life is bigger. Jesus is bigger. Yes, Jesus is bigger, so much bigger than I allow him to be in my life. My desire for more has to start and end with Jesus. The world, as big and as great as it is, cannot offer me anything that will last. Whatever it gives will be taken away eventually. It can't give me a joy that will make it through everything. But Jesus has and does so I need to allow him to increase more every day while I decrease.

Decreasing means less of me in control. To become spiritually mature  I have to move away from my opinions and emotions; they can't be calling the shots in my life. What is important, the only thing of any worth, are the promises that God has given me. My life must be built on these promises so that every time something in this world wants to control me, push me in a certain direction, even destroy me, I allow the promises and instructions of the Lord to keep me on my feet and moving forward. They form a solid structure in my life and they allow me to experience life in abundance in Jesus. You have to know the promises and you have to trust Jesus if you want a trouble free heart. You have to have faith.

Unfortunately we often refuse to grow up and like a 3 year old we hold on to the belief that the world revolves around us, that our opinions matter, that what we are experiencing should be the focus of everyone we know. When the Apostle Paul encountered this among the Corinthians he got right to the point:

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (1 Corinthians 3:1-2)

I'm afraid that is a lot of the Church today. Often it is you and me because we forget that we are suppose to leave the foolishness of childhood behind and grow up. I want solid food from the Lord. I want to understand the greater mysteries and plumb the depth of his love. I don't want to be like these Corinthians who were still so fixated on themselves that they allowed division over silly matters that had nothing to do with the Word of God:

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? (1 Corinthians 3:3)

There is an insult for you, at least an insult to any Jesus follower who understands the truth. I don't want to be found acting like a mere man, being pushed about by those negative emotions from our sin nature. I want nothing to do with jealousy, envy, hatred, or fear. They don't belong to me, are no longer a part of me because I am no longer a mere man. I am no longer confined by the limits of this world with all it's do's and don'ts. I am no longer in bondage to the emotions of a sin filled heart. My mind is no longer darkened by the fog of a fallen rebellious nature. I have been freed from all this bondage and I walk in a very simple truth.

The truth is so simple that most people miss it. Jesus said if we try to hold on to this life we will lose it. Then he turned around and said that if we are willing to lose it we will in turn gain it. It is in letting it all go that we discover that it all belongs to us through Jesus Christ. Yes, it all belongs to us any way, but the only way it belongs to us instead of us belonging to it is if we possess it through Jesus. Read this carefully:

So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)

The Corinthians were divided over leadership and Paul told them they were foolish because all those leaders were for them, for their benefit, belonged to them. We so often want to find satisfaction and purpose in one thing but Jesus has given us everything. All things are yours, the Word says. All things! The world, life, death, the present and the future, it is all yours in Jesus. What an incredibly rich people we are yet we act so poor. What an incredibly powerful people we are yet we act so weak. What incredible joy is ours yet we walk around mourning. Aren't we acting like mere men? Well I have had enough of that.

Ours is a victorious life so don't allow your emotions tell you otherwise. We have been given everything so it is time to possess it. You take hold of what God has given you with both hands and you refuse to let go. You push, and persevere in the joy of the Lord and you move forward into the possession of this promised land. It is ours for the taking and I refuse to act any less like the prince that he has made me to be. It is all for his glory and I want Jesus to receive all the glory he can squeeze out of my living in his name. So, shake off the remnants of that sin nature, allow yourself to decrease so Jesus can increase and grab hold of those promises for his glory. It's all about Jesus.

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