Skip to main content

I'm seeing it now

How well do you know me? How well do you know the guy or gal who lives next door? How well do you really know your coworkers? Chances are we 'know' each other in some manner, but do we really 'know' each other? Occasionally as I am watching some news story on the TV, I will observe people being interviewed after some horrendous crime or accident that took a life. The news reporter will interview them for their "perspective" on the criminal's history, their "impression" of the victim's life, or some such. It is as though these individuals come out of the woodwork, claiming some sort of acquaintance with the criminal or victim. Sure, they live six streets over in a totally different subdivision, never worked or went to school with them, but "they knew them well". Silliness! I wonder how God feels about some of the reports we give of "knowing him well"? Do we really 'know' him, or is that just a facade, too?

Here's how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments. If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. (I John 2:2-63)

Pretty plainly stated, isn't it? If we claim to know him well, we will keep his commands - period. No arguing the fact - our life needs to match our words - not just when we feel like it. We all have probably heard the saying, "Do as I say, not as I do". No wonder we are confused about this "life matching words" concept! Words - actions - more words - do they align? If not, maybe it is time to rethink this obedience thing in our lives. If the image we behold the most is contrary to what we aspire to be, how can we truly follow the pattern? I am learning woodworking and am far from an expert. I make all kinds of mistakes and have to 'redo' things from time to time. As an artist or woodworker creates a new work, he tries to follow the pattern of the model or pattern provided. Unless he is into abstract art, the image of what he is trying to create comes reasonably close to what it is he beholds in the pattern. The model serves as a "pattern" to follow - we see the image and then we know what our finished product is to resemble. Yet, if you have ever tried to draw something that reasonably resembles the model, you know just how hard it is to have what you are putting on display match the original! That piece of woodwork will be 'close', but it will not be identical!

This concept is not dissimilar to the Christian walk. We have a model - Christ Jesus. We see him displayed for us in others who know him well. We also have a good impression of him in what has been recorded of him throughout all of the scripture. Yep, we probably don't match the image of the model! Our "display" of what has been "modeled" is likely to be kind of abstract! We all display God in some "abstract" manner to begin with. We are "generally" following the form, but we don't "specifically" match the image of the one we have as our model. The more we follow his commands, the more the image changes. The lines become more apparent - closer resembling his lines. In time, the "immature" display of God's "lines" in our lives is replaced with a "mature" display of who and what he is. We cannot rush this process any more than we can become instantly excellent at drawing overnight, or extremely gifted at this woodworking thing. We are reminded - it is in the day by day steps of obedience (repeated steps) we become more and more mature in his love (the lines of who he is becoming more apparent in us).

Just as the artist has to practice his skill, so we have the same opportunity in displaying Christ in our lives. It is in the daily choices to obey his commands we are "perfecting" the image of Christ in us. We truly don't "practice" obedience without it affecting us deeply. The more we practice - the more obedience becomes a true "art form" within! The "lines" become more defined and the image of our model becomes more apparent. We call this maturity. God calls this awesome! It is the last day of the year and a new one is upon us in just a few short hours. This would be a good time to begin to adjust our focus so we are seeing the 'model' in perspective and then allow those steps of obedience to be repeated time and time again until we match what it is we see. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…