Monday, March 26, 2007
Walk Like Jesus
Jesus knew what was coming. He also knew where he came from and had his Father's complete, unconditional support. Support is too weak a word. Love is overused. Unconditional positive regard is a phrase designed by a committee with no heart. To know how this works you have to walk with Jesus.
Jesus knew his Father was with him, like sunshine on His heart. None of us questions gravity; take a misstep and we fall, boom. We know how that feels. The experience has been repeated often enough to make us careful going down stairs or just walking on slippery surfaces. Gravity has an internal reality with, well, real weight to it. Jesus had the same confidence in God.
We have a kind of sorta hope that God will occasionally look upon us with something other than disgust. Every once in a while God will remember me and come to the end of the dangling branch and give me a little cup of water or something before He's called away to someone else. Too many people, not enough time. "Sorry. Can't stay long. Many other demands, don't you know. Just hang in there and you'll be fine."
There can't be much confidence in that lifestyle. What if we were way behind reality? Keep in mind that our teaching comes from the world, and he who rules this world has no interest in having people learn that God wills them toward freedom. Free people are loose cannons, thinking and feeling and living, sparks in the darkness that could ignite full-honk flames.
Taking a step in freedom requires confidence. Jesus had the confidence to face down the Pharisees, the functional gods of Judaism, and they saw it in His face. They backed away.
Once a person turns to Jesus there is no more need for excuses. God no longer sees me as that dark and twisted result of a lifetime spent in the wrong world. He looks at me and sees a reflection of Jesus, through His own kindness. I awaken in the morning and see labor. God looks over the whole arch of a life and simply doesn't worry about it. One step at a time. When you live in all of time, the future just doesn't loom that large. For me it's a huge wave that could break and thrash me at any time. I lack confidence.
And yet, we who believe have died with Jesus, and been born again. "These are my beloved Sons, in whom I am well pleased." Through God's grace I can have confidence that the Holy Spirit wants to stay with me. It's not a grudging gift, but offered in graceful abandonment, with a smile.
The world being what it is, walking around with God's glow isn't the way to remain invisible. God and I still have some conflict over this. I've been very well trained. God isn't interested in training, but in teaching. Freedom doesn't come from training or any other rote process. Freedom comes from confidence, and confidence comes only from experience. Experience can also be a heavy lid on a life, which is why God has to work so hard to teach me. Memory is powerful. I remember every painful fall, and to avoid more pain I take pains never to fall again.
The experience may not be much fun but God still smiles. I no longer have only my own thin resources to kiss the wounds and make them better. God fills the voids, sets the broken bones, gently rubs on healing salve, and continues that genuine smile. He waits for me to get up, offering the help I can accept, and then smiles as I take another shaky step through this new world of generosity.
It is no cheap thing. God knows exactly what He's doing, and He is patient. Onward, with confidence. We need make no excuses.
I have 'be still' in and on one side of my mind and heart and 'charge in love like a rhino' on the other...it IS only looking to and following Him I know which to be....
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