Already this morning I have read two articles and watched a video via 3 different facebook friend’s status on the church and what is wrong with Christians and how we need to fix the problem, as if it’s really that easy? Yes, actually it is, but we aren’t willing to really pay the price. We aren’t really willing to fully surrender to the will of God like Jesus did. We can talk about taking up your cross, making disciples, or just jump on the next leadership bandwagon that is rolling by our churches, but they will all be temporary fixes, like trying to put a band-aid on a gushing wound. It may last for a moment but then it loses its effect and purpose that it was created for.
The basics is this, and I’m gonna do this without quoting any scripture, because I’ll end up tripping over my own best efforts. If you really are hungry for getting this, than you will go start digging in the Word and let it speak to you by asking the Holy Spirit to give you revelation. Jesus taught on the Kingdom of God. It was radically different from what everyone was looking for. The same principle applies today. Jesus came humbled, riding on a donkey, and so must we. I believe that some of the greatest moves of God happen when no one is looking, and a person is totally willing to die to self and let God do whatever He wants to do. That is radical obedience and what I believe God wants and is desperately looking for in His people. Surrender All, means Surrender All. PERIOD. This is a lifelong process, and as we live surrendered, God will draw closer and begin to place His kingdom in our hearts.
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. You may want to say, well, what was the Father doing? None of us have a bird’s eye view into heaven, but if God Is Love, then I think it is safe to say He was doing what He is; He was loving Jesus and pouring that into Jesus so that Jesus could then pour that out onto others on earth. Jesus’ relationship with the Father was based out of love and then in
humble obedience in fulfilling His will. He could not humble himself and fulfill the will of God on earth unless he fully trusted God out of experiencing God’s love. The same is true for us today.
Not only did He know who he belonged to, but that relationship was so deep and intimate that the only option that flowed out of his heart was to want to obey what his father told him and asked of him because he knew Him, he knew through experience with God that God’s love doesn’t fail, He knew by experience that God doesn’t lie, He knew by experience, without any doubt that He was truly loved, and He knew by experience that anything the Father asked of him was going to all work out in the end somehow, (remember how he asked for the cup to be taken in the garden?). We are shown a very human Jesus here, but He pressed in with obedience because once again, He knew God’s love out of experiencing God’s love. He trusted God by experiencing that Trust. He was able to be obedient because he had confident assurance that God would always be with Him no matter what. That my friend is radical obedience, and what God is calling us to.
If we look at the first two commandments, which Jesus said are the greatest, we may begin to see why. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” What did Jesus do? He loved God with all his heart. Without arguing the point, He was fully human, and the power and love that he displayed came out of his obedience to the Father. He was so filled with who He was, He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was not going to let him down, he trusted in God’s goodness because He experienced it fully. Because He had the right perception of God, and fully knew who He was, He was then able to allow that love to fill him and to then walk in obedience and pour it out, but it was poured out in love, in compassion, in humility.
I think I have been redundant in making this point of Jesus knowing who He was, but it cannot be underestimated. If we inside the church and even as individuals on a daily basis cannot come to God in full trust that stems out of an intimate love with Him than there lies our initial problem. Before we can walk out and be disciples, we must be filled by His great love. We must trust in the father the same way that Jesus trusted in the father. We must learn to abide and not strive.
For me recently, this has meant in learning to trust God’s timing, knowing that if I am walking in surrender, he is not going to allow me to miss something I may want to happen or experience. It sets me free to a new level of trusting him and his goodness, which then leads me to love him and want to share that same truth with others. Also, it is humbling in my obedience. An example of this is learning to be obedient in the small things. Even more, it is a dying to self. An example of this is putting my daughter’s needs before mine. If I see that I need to pour into her first, than I am going to do that not because I am a parent and it’s my job, (obligation), but I am going to do it because, a). I sense God or the Holy Spirit nudging me , and, b). I do it out of trust in the Father. I may have had to leave an event that I was enjoying early, but the bigger lesson is that God is calling me to die to self and to take care of my daughter. I stop and put my daughter’s needs above my own and expect the Lord to make it a teachable moment for me. This is humble obedience and daily cross bearing; being so tuned into the will of the father, because we have learned to love and trust him in complete abandonment, that we will humble our hearts to his, no matter what.
Unless we live out the love that Christ is filling us with, we are just going to do the same thing with the same results. We may find some new ways of spinning it, but it really will be the same thing in a different colored package. We cannot give away what we don’t have. If we aren’t abiding in His love, then we can’t expect to be filled by His love, and if we aren’t being filled by His love then we can’t learn to trust his heart for us, and allow Jesus to flow through us. So what’s the answer? We must return to our first love. Again,, the Bible is full of this theme of return to the Lord, I think it is probably its main theme. Jesus didn’t have to return, because God was His first love. He created us and calls us to that same relationship with the Father. This was the message of the Prophets; to turn and repent, and it was the same message of John the Baptist and Jesus, Turn and Repent. Over and over we hear the cry of the Father for relationship with His people.
So do you want to know how we change the World, our communities, or families, ourselves???? We turn from the things that have pulled us away from seeing the love of the Father, the great love that He wants to continually fill us with. We turn from the things that have fought for our attention, and had us believe that God’s love that He showed Jesus is unreachable. I know we all have different theologies; we all are wired for different church experiences, but as Christ’s Body we all have been told the same thing out of the mouth of Jesus. Commandment number 1 and Commandment number 2. Today, go spend some time with Jesus. Tell him you’re sorry for not trusting fully in Him, His love for you and His goodness and faithfulness. Surrender to His will and trust that He is changing you. He already knows, he’s just waiting for you to come to him. It’s OK to be vulnerable; He wants us to be like little children, coming to him in complete trust because we can rest in his goodness. He’s got our hearts, he formed them, and all He asks is that we give them back to him so that we can be forever changed by his great love. We must learn to be emptied of our own ways so that we can truly be filled by His great love and begin to have kingdom vision. So if today, you hear his voice, harden not your hearts, (Psalm 95:7-8, Hebrews 3:15). He is always speaking, are you listening? What does He want to talk to you about?