I Did It My Way

30 11 2013

When we think about the poor, the needy, or the destitute, many feelings come to the surface.

For some, this gives rise to compassion and a desire to reach out.

For others, it’s a sense of loathing and disgust. We hear phrases like:

“Why don’t they get a job?” or “They should have made better decisions.”

Smug self-righteousness can creep in if we aren’t careful.

Jesus had a unique way of viewing the needy:

Blessed are the poor in spirit…

Blessed are those who mourn…

Blessed are the meek…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…

Blessed are the merciful…the pure in heart…the peacemakers

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness. (Matthew 5)

He hung out with drunks and prostitutes so often that He was accused of being one! (Luke 7:34)

Jesus looked beyond their faults and saw their need.

He said things like:

“Ask and keep asking; seek and keep seeking; knock and keep knocking.” (Matthew 7:7)

“You don’t have because you don’t ask.” (James 4:2)

Although this was not brought out in the study we attended, I realize that our independence and desire to be seen as strong and autonomous is a very big obstacle to our relationship with God.

So long as we believe we have life “handled,” we think we have no need for God’s assistance. We tend to call on Him only for our “big” problems.

When we read the Psalms and find David weeping on his bed all night as he calls on God, we’re thankful that we don’t need God like that. The Old Testament prophets can be uncomfortable to read – many of them were broken-hearted over what they saw around them.

We think, “Nah, so long as I’m okay, that’s all that matters.” We can be so self-centered!

Oh, and let us be “grown up” in our self-sufficiency or die. But Jesus said:

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:15)

We have grandchildren who come to visit. Some days it seems like all they do is ask!

They ask if they can have this or that to play with, or for something to eat. They ask if they can do things, and they ask us to do things with them. In most cases, they ask out of curiosity, or they need something (a drink, for example).

Because we love them, they delight us and it gives us pleasure to be able to do things with or for them.

We don’t put them down for their immaturity…they’re children.

Isn’t it a relief to know that we are, in fact, all immature in our spiritual walk? We all are…even the most mature among us. Step back and look at the BIG picture for a sec. How “grown up” are any of us, really, in the overall picture?

(Makes you want to disagree, doesn’t it? I’m typing this and asking at the same time, “How dare you?” 😉 )

Yes, we are to mature in our faith. I get that.

This means becoming more dependent upon God – not less!

To the extent that we insist on coming to God with our “adult undies” on, we miss out on sweet communion with God.

He is not put off by neediness, or dependence. He calls this state of mind “blessed.” In fact, it isn’t until we come to this place that we have a chance of entering His Kingdom. Let me repeat Jesus’ words:

“…Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Does this statement concern anyone?

It certainly makes me think twice before I approach God as anything other than His child!

On a typical Sunday morning, when we are at our “Christian best,” we gather to sing about Jesus, to talk about Him, to collect money for Him.

Where is Jesus?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock…

To knock – and keep knocking is not beneath Jesus. We find Him doing just this in Revelation 3:20. To call His action one of humility would be an understatement, for the door of the church is the one through which He seeks an invitation…to be with His own.

“If any one hears My voice and opens the door.”

“Hello…Is anyone home?”

In closing, let’s remember that self-sufficiency is not listed in the fruit of the Spirit. Let’s learn to depend upon God more, and ourselves less.

“Me do” will only get us so far –

– and will block our relationship with God.

You’ve dropped in on the series Intimacy with God. It begins here: C’mon In…

This section is about obstacles to intimacy. It begins here: A Clogged Conduit

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9 responses

6 12 2013
Ann

Well, you sure hit that nail right on the head! 🙂 In our church our pastor has been doing a series on maturing in Christ. In our small group we were discussing what that looks like. As we went around the room there were many different answers but all were very “performance-based” and I walked out last week feeling very down but then knew in my spirit that this wasn’t right. It is not our performance it was Jesus’ when He went to the cross. And I need to leave it there or I will fall into that reverse sort of judgment where i “judge the judgers” 🙂 I don’t get to read many blogs these days was so glad that I read this one. Blessings!

6 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hi, Ann!

What a delight to “see” you again. I know what you mean. I’m back in school, and don’t have much time to read either.

The performance thing is – wow! Yeah, the way I live life most of the time. It’s easy to say that we’re going to quit doing this…until you get around others who live this way too. 😉 Not only do they *expect* us to measure up, but often *insist* that we do…and get really freaked out when we don’t.

And, yes, I need to “leave it there” as well lest I also “judge the judgers!” 🙂

Thanks for stopping by.

May this Christmas season be filled afresh with the wonders of our marvelous Lord who loved us enough to let someone change His diapers! The more I know Him, the more I realize just how humble He truly is. That amazes me!

Be blessed, sweet sister. 🙂

Love in Christ,
\o/

30 11 2013
Susan Irene Fox

Like Mel, I also was struck by the self-sufficiency comment. You write with such simple truth and a heart for Jesus. The more open our hearts, the more genuine we can be in our surrender to and our dependence on him.

30 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Open hearts are so important, aren’t they? I frequently ask the Lord to keep mine soft. Hard-hearted people are a pain in the neck!

\o/

3 12 2013
Susan Irene Fox

😉 Yes, have had those pains myself.

3 12 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

30 11 2013
melwild

Great insights here. I like, “Self-sufficiency is not listed in the fruit of the Spirit.” How dare you! 🙂

Everything about the Christian faith is a paradox, isn’t it. The way up is down, lose to gain, become childlike to mature, etc. I’ve had “childish” down pat, now I’m working on child-like.

30 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

It’s hard to live simply in full dependence on God, isn’t it?
I’m learning that it gets easier as time goes by, though.

If Jesus was our “prototokis,” then life will become infinitely more interesting as we get this down, I think! 🙂

\o/

30 11 2013
melwild

Amen. Our life in Christ and “infinitely interesting” should be synonymous terms. 🙂

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