February 25, 2013
Are there certain things that just make you uncomfortable or not feel at ease? Things you fidget about, or feel the urge to squirm as you watch, learn, or come in contact with? Jesus told his own disciples, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) He goes on to tell the story to the two men who built their houses on two totally different types of soil, with the result that one stood firm in the midst of the trouble and storms of life while the other fell flat. (There’s a great song for this story with awesome motions, by the way!) Jesus makes the point that only those who listen to Him and obey His words are able to be firm and withstand the issues of life that affront them, while those who simply claim Him verbally as Lord will not withstand the trials the world throws at them.
It is so easy to claim to be a Christ follower and “look good” in front of others simply because we align ourselves verbally with all outward appearances of a genuine follower. But it is a totally different thing to not merely give verbal assent to being a child of God, but truly heed His every word and obediently follow. To forsake my way and my plans for His and give up on my agenda is not normal, nor comfortable. It is easy for me to find exceptions to His command to me to love all, or to forsake all and follow.
Chris Tiegreen puts it this way: “We forget that the nature of God in Christ is radically contrary to the nature of man in Adam. If it were not so, we could have adapted to the holiness of God and saved ourselves. But we could not; it was not in our nature to do so. And it is not in our nature to conform to the lordship of Christ. His authority often does violence to the self we’ve cultivated.” I read those sentences and felt so uncomfortable! God desires to live within us and radically change our old self and conform us — and it will cause damage to the old and we will not be able to stay the same. God transforms us from within and not by external code or dogma. This is the heart of the good news! Jesus Christ makes us new, and washes away the old. Why do I insist on clinging to the old? And worse than that, why do I become satisfied with the little bit of change I’ve made to differentiate myself from the lost and immature Christ followers when I still have so far to go? I’m uncomfortable with knowing what still needs to change in my life is far greater than what has already changed over the course of the last 40 years!!
ACTION POINT: Are you squirming under the conviction of the Holy Spirit? I am! And, I am embracing that feeling of discomfort so I do not fall back into a verbal lordship of Christ. Open God’s Word and with a receptive heart! Listen for the prompting of God! And pray for a spirit of obedience to let Him truly rule over you today.