Sunday, March 04, 2012

Desperation


As I’ve been reading through Ross Rohde’s book, Viral Jesus, the last few weeks I’ve been both inspired and humiliated. Inspired, because the book is packed with story after story of how real Jesus is and how often he shows himself to those who are seeking him in everyday situations. Humiliated, because I realize that I have been so oblivious to this reality for so long now that I have become numb to the voice of God and the power of His Spirit within me.

So, what do I do? I am balanced on the precipice looking down a sheer drop into despair at the enormity of my failure. How could I be so foolish? How could I become so blind? My faith, for so long, has been slowly draining away until it seems now there is little left within me to even take a breath. My fear of man has paralyzed me somehow. I have forgotten that to die to myself I must suffer first the death of my reputation among men. I have tried to carry my cross when no one is looking, and this has made my cross a little bit lighter, a little less painful to my flesh. Maybe now it’s not even a cross at all? Maybe it has become an exercise in religious pride, or worse, hypocrisy?

This is why I cannot read much more than a page or two of this book without closing it shut and bowing my head to contemplate the glorious power of God and, at the same time, my own sins of compromise and self-deception.

While I could easily spend my time wallowing in the depths, and believe me, I am very tempted to do just that, I remember something wonderful. I remember that I’ve always known what a loser I am. It comes as no surprise to me that I am foolish and prideful and weak. This is who I am, inside and out. I admit it freely. So what? This is what Jesus came to fix. This is who He died for. This is what He lives to make right. This is why I came to Him in the first place, because I was so completely aware of my own desperate condition without Him.

This week as I shared this with our house church family at the Mission, my wife read from Philippians 2:13-14 where Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of (knowing Christ). But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

The good news? God gives us the opportunity to start over. Once we realize where have gotten off track, we can stop where we are, confess our mistake, turn around and start off in the right direction again. Like Paul, we can “forget what is behind” and “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (us).”

So, today I draw a line in the sand. This is the starting line. I am off now in the right direction. Jesus has given me a clean slate. He loves to make all things new.


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

1 comment:

co_heir said...

I'm learning those lessons myself. It's not easy, but I'm thankful the Father loves me enough to not let me go too far in the wrong way.