Control Freaks

 "Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly Kingdom. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen." 2 Timothy 4:18......."Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted there by the devil." Matthew 4:1

 

Do we realize that Paul wrote those words to Timothy with the full knowledge that his execution by Rome was very near? He knew he was not going to leave his jail cell or escape the executioner's sword. Just as John knew he would never leave his prison island, and as Peter knew he would not escape his crucifixion. Yet all of them could face these realities for these reasons. They trusted in the goodness and faithfulness of the Father and of Christ.....completely. They did not trust them for deliverance as would be defined by us, but as defined by the 3 in 1 God. They would get them home. Nothing, not the sword, the island or the cross would be able to stop that. They each believed the promise Paul shared with Timothy. Do we? Do we believe that in the chaos, heartache, loss, and battles of life, that none of them, not one, can prevent Him from getting us home? And doing in and through us all that He intends in the journey? 

 

We speak much of the Spirit-filled life, and what it is to be led of the Spirit. The thing is, we believe that He will lead us to places we wish to go. Places that offer our idea of abundance, well-being, and victory. We see the lives and deaths of Paul, Peter, and John as being necessary for them, but not us. We know and our thankful for Christ and His victory in the wilderness. We don't really believe His Spirit would ever lead us to the same place. We've decided just what the Spirit led life looks like, and cells, islands, the wilderness and crosses have no real place there....for us. Beth Moore said that we are always seeking to make the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit "behave." That is, that they will not allow our lives to ever seem to be out of control. Our control. No matter how we try to "paint it," we're control freaks, and to a very high degree. The Lord must behave according to our expectations and we will go to just about any length to see that He does. When we live such lives, the only result for us is exhaustion and burnout. We're jugglers who never stop juggling. Sooner or later, we will be unable to keep all the aspects of our lives, families, and our ministries going. All of them come crashing down. I think though, that the worst of it all is that in our incessant juggling, we never come to really know Him, understand Him, and grow in Him. We certainly never come to trust Him.

The path walked by Christ, Paul, Peter, John, and all those who have left all to walk with them and their Lord, may well include the prison cell, the sword and the island of exile. It will certainly include the cross. It will not be painless. There will be suffering. There will also be glory, wonder, and a participation in His miraculous work and life. And we will know fully that all will be well. He will get us safely home, because all the way along, we are at home in Him. The control freak in us has died. Has he died in you.....in me?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

  December 2017  
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