Hectic. Crazy. Fearful. Nuts.
It’s been a while since I posted, and that’s because life’s gotten nuts. Since the Easter outreach, American life is rising and it’s currently winning the arm wrestling battle. I’m seeking to channel my inner Sylvester Stallone, turn my hat backwards, and fight against it. [Kuddos to those of you catching the “Over the Top” reference…possibly the cheesiest movie ever made. about arm wrestling.]
The spirit of this age:
Here’s what I mean. For the past couple weeks, we’ve been very busy. VERY BUSY. Maybe you can relate: going to work, paying bills, swimming lessons, piano recitals, birthday parties, house cleaning/fixing/prepping to sell, people moving in, spending time with friends…LIFE is happening. Bills are getting paid, taxes being submitted, all the regular things I’m supposed to be doing are happening. BUT, IS LIFE REALLY HAPPENING???
- John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
- 2 Cor 4:4 states: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
I always took this to mean: “Those who don’t believe in Jesus, Satan keeps them from seeing Jesus.”
I’m starting to wonder if a different interpretation is also valid: “Those who seek to love God with all their hearts, Satan will put a bazillion other ‘good’ things in their way to prevent them from living by faith and experiencing FULL INTIMACY with the Father.”
- Is it Jesus, or the ‘god of this age’ that tells me to pursue status, possessions and things?
- Is it Jesus, or the ‘god of this age’ that speaks to me and tells me to be concerned about appearances to others?
- Is it Jesus or Satan, that tells me to worry about my future?
I believe I am being duped. I’m being sold a lie. Not by you, not by the Church necessarily, but by the ‘god of this age’. I am guilty of being more concerned about appearances and time and possessions than I am about souls and the Majesty of God.
I am not talking about ‘Getting Busy for Jesus’, either. But if the gospel is REAL, if Jesus is REALLY ALIVE, and He can REALLY touch and change hearts, than it seems like a big, huge waste of time to hustle around gathering crap that will burn up anyway. The most important thing I can do with my time is to Love Him with everything I got. All my time, possessions, energy strength. He is the treasure in a field, worth selling all for.
The problem I’ve been having isn’t that I’m not evangelizing enough, or reading enough or knowing enough. My problem is I’m not GAZING enough. I’ve lost the Wonder of God amidst thousands of other ‘good’ things. My faith has been blinded. I’ve stopped believing that God can heal my neighbor of cancer, that he can change my atheists friends hearts, that He can do it. As I’ve stopped having faith for these miracles of God, I’m missing what He’s doing right here and now. Shame on me. I can blame it on culture, but there’s really no excuse.
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal ; 21 for where yourtreasure is, there your heart will be also.
Not to be-labor the point, but
Here’s a mock schedule:
Here’s where I’m stuck. I notice that I’m not living out the Gospel. I find it difficult to love God with all my heart with pressure of money. It is even more difficult to make disciples while spending my time worrying about making money to pay for these things that He told me not to worry about in the first place. It obviously takes time to have a house and kids. Are they bad?
So, what’s the answer? Live like a bum? Become a hermit? I know God wants me to be responsible, so maybe the answer is to become super zealous? Never watch a rated R movie, and stop every stranger on the street and tell them about Jesus?
The path I believe God has put me on is one of intimacy. He is teaching me to abide in Him. I don’t know what He will put in my path, all I know is that He is the path. I am told to Love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. If 90% of my human energy is spent on acquiring wealth that will burn up, I’ve got a problem. I am spiritually bankrupt. I may escape ‘as through the flames’, but I’m not living the full Christian life. I’m not living in intimacy with Jesus.
The issue for me is setting my mind to ‘seek His face’. Ps 27: When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.” He is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do with my time.
So what’s the answer? I still don’t know. Right now, all I know is that He is Worthy, I must seek His face, and I don’t want to be like Balaam…assuming that I know what God is doing. [crazy Bible story my wife reminded me of last night. Thanks, Miah. and you’re sexy;)]
I’ll post an excerpt here, but you should read the whole thing. Basically, Balaam has his heart set on 1 thing [money]. His heart is set on it so much so that he can’t see what God is doing around him. God makes his path difficult, and it frustrates Balaam to the point where he beats his donkey in anger. He REALLY wanted that money.
I know in my life, I get angry at God when He doesn’t do what I think He should be doing. My prayer for myself is that I won’t assume anything during this time. He’s God, I’m not. My job is to trust and obey. for there’s no other way. to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey [right, ma?]
But God was angry because he was going, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey and his two servants were with him. 23When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawn sword in his hand, thedonkey turned off from the way and went into the field ; but Balaam struck the donkey to turn her backinto the way. 24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path of the vineyards, with a wall on thisside and a wall on that side. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed herself to thewall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he struck her again. 26 The angel of the LORD wentfurther, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn to the right hand or the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam ; so Balaam was angry and struckthe donkey with his stick. 28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam,”What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times ?” 29 Then Balaam said to thedonkey, “Because you have made a mockery of me! If there had been a sword in my hand, I would havekilled you by now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden allyour life to this day ? Have I ever been accustomed to do so to you?” And he said, “No.” 31 Then theLORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way with his drawnsword in his hand ; and he bowed all the way to the ground. 32 The angel of the LORD said to him, “Whyhave you struck your donkey these three times ? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, becauseyour way was contrary to me. 33 “But the donkey saw me and turned aside from me these three times. Ifshe had not turned aside from me, I would surely have killed you just now, and let her live.” 34 Balaamsaid to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you were standing in the wayagainst me. Now then, if it is displeasing to you, I will turn back.”