Thursday, December 06, 2007

2 Corinthians 3:5 (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 3:5 (NKJV)-“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God…”

I want to declare spiritual bankruptcy.

I want to scream it to the heavens, and on the earth. I want to take my life, throw it down, and tell God that I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired of trying on my own, and I want Him to just take it now. I can’t make this work and I’m tired of trying to go on without Him.

I just can’t. You know what else? I’ve watched you, and you can’t do it either. You’re holding on just as tightly as I am to what you used to be. You’re holding on just like me to the patterns and habits of before.

See, I’m circling around the place where I just THINK that I’ve given it over to God. I thought I had given Him my life, and placed myself in proper relationship to Him. I was wrong. See, what I thought I was doing was giving over control, when in actuality I was just giving God a test drive of my life. I was really just allowing Him to get behind the wheel for just a bit. Then, when I got tired of Him driving, I pulled over and took the wheel again. Oh, it’s okay for Him to drive when I feel good about it; but that’s as far as it goes. I keep taking back over for Him, thinking that I’m ready to go this on my own.

I’m not really there yet. I’m not really at the place where I have given Him everything. In my mind, I’ve said, “God, please be Lord over my life.” But in my heart I’ve said, “God, please be Lord over these portions of my life. You can bless me here, here, and here; but the rest of these places are off limits to You.”

We all do it.

I’m really a jerk sometimes. I say things without thinking, with no regard whatsoever for what it does to the person I’m talking to. I read my Bible and study, but on some level that I either can’t find or refuse to see, I still think that it makes me smarter than you and thus able to look down my nose at you.

I’m impatient, uncaring, and coarse; so much so that sometimes I even disgust myself. But it doesn’t stop me from doing it. And then I have the nerve to pretend to God like I’m really sorry I said/did/thought the things I did.

This is the truth. I’m not worthy. I’m writing this because you need to know the truth about me. You need to know the kind of man you’re dealing with here. And you need to know that it’s time for you to be honest with yourself as well.

C. S. Lewis, in his book “Mere Christianity,” says it in a way I like: “It is the change from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God.”

I have drifted away from my first, true love. I have allowed Pride and Arrogance to replace Humility and Charity (Love). I have forgotten that which brought me to Him in the first place. I have forgotten the feeling when I first realized that I had a hole in my heart that was shaped like God. I cried out to Him and allowed Him to fill it. Then, I turned into a Pharisee. I turned into someone who thought He was better than he really was in life. I forgot my upbringing.

So, here I am now, telling you this. Why? Because it happened to me, so I know it is or can happen to you. We are responsible to each other, as well as to God. He expects each of us to undergird and uplift each other through good times and bad.

Don’t look down on me in shame. Don’t stare at my fall from your high horse. You will find yourself in court one day as well, seeking protection from your own debt load. You’ll come in, looking for understanding and help. You’ll be like me, looking for a judge to hear your bankruptcy case.

When we get to this point though, the fight has really just begun. Now, you have to admit that you can’t do it on your own. You have to say, “My pride debt is too high, God. I can’t afford the payments anymore. I need help.”

You’ll throw yourself on the mercy of the court. And in the midst of it, you’ll see where you did actually do it; that is, declare your spiritual mismanagement to the world. You’ll admit that you’ve been trying to follow God only so far as to be able to still have your way, so you haven’t really been following Him at all.

You’ll see where you have changed and rearranged your priorities, because you have realized they are not priorities at all. You’ll see that nothing matters except what matters to Him; and what matters to Him is you becoming.

This hurts, because it shows weakness. It shows inability to do those things that I am expecting everyone else around me to do. It shows that I too am ready to scream for mercy for myself and justice for everyone else.

But it also means that I’m advancing. I’m progressing beyond what I was before, into what I am now with God’s help. It means that I’m learning what it means to walk with Him and be in Him. It means that I’m learning that it’s okay to be spiritually bankrupt. When I reach the point of least worth of myself, I’m beginning to be of the most worth to God.

I can be the weak one who is used by God; and its okay. Once I admit to Him how truly spent I am, He will open up the treasury of Heaven into my life and pour into me such blessings that I will not have room enough to receive it.

I’m really trying to give it to Him. And sometimes, it’s not the success or failure, but the CONTINUAL TRYING that means I have succeeded. And the best part of it all is that God doesn’t keep it on my record.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

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