Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When the Product stays hidden on the shelf

He drives me crazy.

Jesus.  He drives me crazy.

I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, but I am a bit serious.  He does drive me crazy.

Just when I think I've got something about him figured out, he shows it to me again, from an entirely different viewpoint.  Maybe it's because he himself is a little bit of crazy.  I mean, one minute you are basking in grace and the things about His mercy that make you feel so safe and loved and, dare I say it.....Good.  The next minute.....He's not so nice.

I mean really, Jesus, which one is it?

I get the whole justification thing.  I get that there is no-thing I can do to earn His love, His approval, His salvation.  Nothing.  He did it all.

But then there's a whole other mysterious level that comes next where you live in grace, but at the same time there is still this pull to live right and judge myself and others in the light of the law.  That thing the Bible tells me he canceled - the written code, with its regulations, that was against me and that stood opposed to me; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

I mean, really Jesus, I can't do anything, you did everything, but then you say things like this:  "Jesus looked at them in anger and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts."  What say you on this?

If I can't do anything to save myself and to live by the faith you yourself gave me, than how am I responsible for a stubborn heart that causes you to feel two emotions at the same time - anger and distress?

Anger - ogre` - anger, to teem, swelling up to constitutionally oppose, settled anger rising up from an ongoing opposition; proceeds from an internal disposition which steadfastly opposes someone or something based on extended personal exposure, i.e. solidifying what the beholder considers wrong (unjust, evil); implies that it is not a sudden outburst, but rather God's fixed, controlled, passionate feeling against.

deeply distressed - sullupeo - to be moved to grief; I am moved to grief by sympathy

stubborn - porosei - a covering with a callous, hardness (from porous, a kind of marble, used later of a callus formed on fractured bones)

See why I think he's crazy?  At the same time he's feeling one emotion, he feels another.  Hmmmmm, sounds like a lot of us......

My problem is I get stuck on either or.  I'm either very grace filled about someone or something, or I'm very law-filled about someone or something else.

I wish I could be evenly balanced like Jesus.

All the while he's got this anger percolating, he's feeling this deep grief outside of the anger.  He's angry for stubborn hearts but he's grieved and hurting that the heart has been so stubborn as to not see his grace.

It would be so easy to chalk this up to the problem of the ancient Pharisees, but I'm a modern day Pharisee.  I want Jesus to act and behave in the way I think is the way he should act and behave to reach the hearts that are in this century.  Why doesn't he see it my way?

Am I the only one who thinks this?

We can feel free that grace has won our place in heaven and that we don't have to feel condemned when we do a stinky job of selling our Product.  But then at the same time, we are warned not to rest in that.  Our salvation is won, but it doesn't mean our hearts are not at risk of becoming hardened.

If I get too uppity about the way I would handle things were I God, and become angry with Him when he doesn't comply, my heart gets a little more calloused, a little more hardened, and soon, I may refuse to accept His ways at all when they continually do not match up with mine.

Or, if I get too grace heavy, the opposite happens.  Hardened bone can endure a long time and carry a lot of weight, but softened bone becomes brittle, fragile, unable to hold much of anything, let alone carry a grace drenched heart.

We have to beg him for both - grace and truth.  We will starve if we have more of one than the other.  Our hearts will either break or our hearts will turn to stone.

I can be the Pharisee that is looking for a way to condemn Jesus' children, those with the mustard seed sized faith, by what they do or don't do.  I can also be a Pharisee whose heart is hardening because Jesus is not doing what I think he should be doing.

Or the third option is this:  I can pray and beg and plead and surrender to His outpouring of grace and truth first on my own heart so that it spills over on the hearts that need a balanced Jesus.  The One who is full of grace and truth and never is more of one than the other.  He really isn't crazy.  He's just God...who once lived in human flesh.



Mark 3:5; Colossians 2:14

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