Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Detachment. Reattachment. Freedom. Praise.

A fellow blogger used the term "Roller Coaster Ride", for what her life was about to resemble in light of her plans. Well .. I have been on one of those for forty-plenty years now. And something just jelled in my mind, mostly in reflection on Wade Burleson's post concerning the suicide of one of Emmanuel's members, and, considering I haven't thought all that much about the germ of an idea that invaded my brainspace, I'll be interested to find out what I have to say.

That happens a lot, particularly since I have gotten older.

I struggled a lot, with a lot of things, when new at the Christian thing. I'd been saved at 7 or 8 or 9 ... at whatever age one went to VBS back in the 1940's ... and God had finally lassoed me and dragged me into the active church thing in the early 1960's. And I've been at it ever since.

First, I struggled with whether I really believed or not. Whether I believed all the right stuff. Whether I'd done what I was supposed to. But then, one day, God pointed out to me that the very fact I was struggling with what I believed, and not with whether the Bible was true, Jesus was the only way, repentance over sin, etc, was itself proof that A) I knew Jesus was the only Savior, and B) I had to stop trusting in whether I got it all just right, and start trusting the One Whom I knew to be the only Savior I could ever have.

So, must of the hugga-mugga that's gone on since then has been trying to get it all right, here. Do what I should. And that's OK, but it's endlessly frustrating to see all that goes on around me, all that doesn't happen in my own life, and think of just how good God is at what He does, and just how good Jesus is at what He did, and just how good the Holy Ghost is at what He does today .. and then compare that to what happens here.

I am glad I'm not God.

Perhaps it is that we still don't comprehend the sovereignty of God. Perhaps we don't understand how He could that He WILL weave this all together. Perhaps we don't understand that all we can do is to do our part, and ... thinking of the old thought "means to an end" ... we have no dominion over the end. God has given us the means, we have no control over the ends, and every time we proclaim we're claiming a community for Christ, or demand God "give us the nations", we're setting ourselves up for failure.

And setting ourselves up to fail again, for what we've proclaimed we're going to do vs. what any observer could see happening.

For 20 years or so, I've shared Proverbs 3:5-6 with new Deacons, during our ordination services. I'm not sure I understood it all that time, as I understand it now, which is as follows;

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV)

I am nowhere near a scholar in any language, but I know how to get Strong's definitions, and the word "acknowledge" is, in the original, yada, which means "to know, properly to ascertain by seeing...".

Seems to me this is like entering a room, seeing you there, and calling your name. That'd be acknowledging you. Seems, to me, we're supposed to ascertain God by seeing Him in all our ways! Maybe that's the essence of a Biblical wordview. See everything as though Jesus Himself were residing in a little leather box-thing on our forehead or left hand, so that everything we saw or did, we'd see Him right there.

Hmm .. He really is there, anyway, right?

Being an old Presbyterian (read 5-pointer), I'm accustomed to thinking in terms of God's sovereignty, as a starting point, and going from there. When I get all verklempt about my circumstances, it's normally because I've lost sight of that most fundamental of Calvinistic thoughts.

So: what hit me this morning is that idea that I've had to stop thinking of Spiritual matters in light of what's going on around me. I have to detach myself from viewing scripture in light of current events. And I have to latch onto the principal of always, always looking at what's happening in light of scripture. In light of a risen Savior. In light of a present and indwelling Holy Spirit.

What a freeing thought. What a cause of rejoicing! Of worship! Of praise!

Who could but worship such a God, Who .. regardless of what my eyes see around me .. loves me and wants to bless me, usually more than I want to be blessed by Him?

The world's full of the sort of ugliness that's typified by suicide. It's called sin, and I only wish God had told us just how pervasive and shocking and horrible and troubling that's going to be, as long as we're shuffling around earth.

Oh. Wait.

He did.

What a God!

5 Comments:

At 3:26 PM, August 26, 2009, Blogger Aussie John said...

Bob,

You are so spot on! I can only repeat your words, "What a God!"

 
At 6:00 AM, August 28, 2009, Blogger Paul Burleson said...

Bob,


"I am nowhere near a scholar in any language, but I know how to get Strong's definitions, and the word "acknowledge" is, in the original, yada, which means "to know, properly to ascertain by seeing..."

"Seems to me this is like entering a room, seeing you there, and calling your name. That'd be acknowledging you. Seems, to me, we're supposed to ascertain God by seeing Him in all our ways! Maybe that's the essence of a Biblical wordview. See everything as though Jesus Himself were residing in a little leather box-thing on our forehead or left hand, so that everything we saw or did, we'd see Him right there."

You've truly nailed my core world view as a christin with these words to borrow Aussie John's phrase.

Good post. Thanks.

 
At 6:01 AM, August 28, 2009, Blogger Paul Burleson said...

Make that "christian."

 
At 4:53 PM, August 28, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

John, Paul, thanks for the kind words.

I somehow chased a rabbit clear from Romans, to this passage, in my Wed Nite small group. The only ones there were me and a new couple. For some reason I mentioned we need to see Jesus when we're interacting with church folks, but maybe even moreso when a waitress spills our coffee in our lap. He looked surprised and asked how that might be and I said that'd be a great time to show the grace and forgiveness we've experienced, by our reaction.

That was a pretty neat time for the 3 of us, and it sure wasn't hard to acknowledge Him there, right then.[

 
At 11:29 PM, August 31, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how The Message translates Proverbs 3:5....Trust the Lord from the bottom of your heart. Don't try to figure out everything on your own. (That last part nails me every time).

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home