Friday August 6th, 2010
But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
Can we find hope in the humility of Christ? He, who is in His very nature, God, lowered Himself to death on the cross, and considers Himself a worm. As should I. There are times when I don’t feel worthy to be called a man, nevertheless a man of God. There are times when fear overpowers me. But even though I have failed, my Christ is victorious. He died on the cross. He was a reproach of men and He was despised by the people so I could stand. And if I follow, I may also be reproached and despised, but I will stand. I may be a worm and no man. I may be the butt of jokes or the object of the cruelty of others, but I will stand. I stand on the fact that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. There is no amount of conversation that can cause me to sway from that. No amount of “evidence” seen or rumors heard that can dissuade me. If I be wrong on this, then I‘ll be wrong to my death. You may call me closed minded or stubborn or a fool, but I know that Jesus died for my sins and I know that He redeems me by His blood. My feet are firmly planted and although the winds may blow and the waves may try to overtake me, I will not move from this spot.
Now the reason I am planted here is not by my own cunning. It is His goodness and His mercy that drew me here and His grace that keeps me. It is His promise and His hand that hold me and it is His strength by which I stand. I admit too that I am a worm, and no man. I can’t do this on my own. I firmly believe because He really died for me and rose again. If He does nothing else for me my whole life, and everything is completely miserable, isn’t His grace sufficient? Shouldn’t I just be happy that I’m going to go to heaven and be with Him forever? Why is it that the joy we had at our salvation fades like the glow on the face of Moses? Why must we constantly ask for a sign or a word from Him to believe that He’s there and He cares? Why isn’t His written Word enough for us?
I say we live a new kind of life. I say we live as if it is enough. I say we live out the joy or our salvation until the day we are delivered from these bodies of sin. If He never speaks to us again or performs another miracle in our presence, let’s live for Him anyways. Let’s pray even if it seems our prayers fall on deaf ears and let’s believe that He hears. Let’s sing songs of Worship as if He is there with us because we know, from His written Word that He is. Let us hope that even though the world around us is plagued with evil that we will be saved and delivered like Goshen was in Egypt. Let’s live our lives fully to God, expecting nothing in return, because we were already given the promise of salvation, and one day, maybe today, He will come to collect us. We don’t know when that’s coming, or if it’s coming through death or rapture, but we know He’s coming. And when He comes, let’s live our lives in a way that would allow Him to tell us that we didn’t falter when things looked bad. We didn’t give up when He didn’t answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to. We decided to trust in Him no matter what that means for us. We can be heros of the faith if we would just humble ourselves in the flesh. We can be the ones that God brags about to Satan when Satan thinks that we only love God because of the blessings. Job was tested. He was tried. And in the end, He had an encounter with the almighty God. He got educated by the Creator Himself.
Don’t be afraid to ask for patience or humility from God. You need them. Don’t be afraid of hard times or dry times or trials or tribulations or persecutions. You need them too. God refines by fire. If you haven’t been in the fire lately, God’s got one ready for you. We, as Americans, (and the rest of the world may have this problem too, but I know we Americans do,) are idolaters, giving ourselves to the gods of comfort and entertainment. We must run the ac in the summer and heat in the winter. We can’t stand it when the temperature is 20 degrees from room temperature. We must always have an iPod playing music because we can’t stand the sound of silence. We must have a tv and watch shows and movies because we can’t stand having nothing to do. I say stand. Boredom only comes to those who think they are better than the tasks that God lays before them. Comfort is dangerous and leads more into sin than opposition.
If I were the devil, (which I’m not) and I wanted to get you to sin, (which I don’t) all I would do is provide you with everything you need and give you a few things you want so you don’t want anything anymore and let your own desires lead you astray. Did you know that God did not make us to be lazy? God made us to strive, to work, to pursue, to race. And we are supposed to strive after Him, do His work, pursue His righteousness, and race toward the goal to win the prize. A crown that we can throw at the feet of Jesus saying, “I did this for You. You earned this, not me.” But when we feel like we’ve got everything we need, we no longer chase, and the chase is what gives us pleasure. We live for it. We love it. That’s why people seem happy when they are chasing, even after wrong things. They think that a particular woman or so much money or this video game or that level or job or status will satisfy, and it doesn’t. So they have to find something else to chase after or they are miserable: a drug, a lifestyle, a rebellion, a cause. We are meant to fight for something. To claim something as right and true and stand in the face of opposition. That is the thrill of life and God put that in us. But He wants that cause to be Him. Otherwise it’s not worth it. You’re either going to die for a cause or without one. Choose to die for the right one. But before you die for it, live for it. If you choose to live and die to save the trees and the rain-forests, they will eventually burn and you will have died in vain. If you want to save the whales, they will eventually die, and you will have died in vain. Live and die for Christ. He will last forever. There will be a new Heaven and a new Earth and the oceans will be taken away. Night will be taken away, but there will be Jesus. And there will be me. I will be there because I choose to live and die for Him. I want you to be there with me. What’s stopping you?