Friday, May 02, 2014

Authority of God or is he Grey?

Revelation 12:11"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."

There is plenty of talk out there about gender and acceptance and conversation and even the notion of a Grey God!   

There are those in culture today that are needing to authentically hold to defining themselves based on their feelings and desires.  You know what?  I'm so okay with that notion in the secular world, where people are needing to find truth and definition, in the things they face.  That is the human condition in many respects.  Yet, for the believer it's a different matter.  Human ideologies and sentimentality are far from the things we are called to hold tight to.  We in all definition no longer exist.  That may be a hard reality.  There are times when I so want to live.  My flesh wants to live yet it needs to come under authority.  Maybe in the midst of the equation we've held the notion that we no longer need to come under any type of authority.  OUCH!

Merriam Webster online dictionary states that:
Authority  (noun)
-the power to give orders or make decisions 
-the power or right to direct or  control someone or something
-the confident quality of someone who knows a lot about something or who is respected or obeyed by other people
-the quality that makes something seem true or real

I think of the Lord God Almighty, the alpha and omega...the creator of all things and the God who ultimately showed mercy to the world by sending his son Jesus to die and rise again, who bore all our sin and humanness on the cross.  This is our hope to which we stand and proclaim to a lost generation.  In the midst of this as believers, do we hold fast to the truth that God still had the power and authority to give orders and make decisions?  Does God have the power, right to direct and control someone or something?  Does God know a lot?  Is God respected and obeyed by his people?  Or in our waiting for Christ's return do we build our own idols of worship?  
Is the authoritative word of God makes it real and true?  Or do we need to water it down to appease our human condition.

These are thoughts I have today.  I know the extravagant love of Papa God who graciously saved me from my own doing.  My own sinfulness and choices to self define myself based on my broken human condition.  (which is the truth of everyone of us...for all have fallen short...)

Romans 3:21-24 out of the messages reads:

21-24 But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

The lie in what is spreading throughout culture is that you can't find or have JOY or HOPE in the midst of a struggle against our flesh.  I'm speaking specifically in terms of same sex attraction. But we can say the same for anything our flesh desires!  Give in to gluttony, give in to putting your trust in your own riches, give in to self indulgent (worship) behaviors like masturbation and porn use.  Scripture is full of verses that tell us to BEWARE of our flesh as it can so easily draw us away from the truth.  The TRUTH sets us free, it doesn't put us back into slavery (and slavery can feel good because it's familiar, it's easy if we are treated right!)

The truth is that many people have fallen away from the gospel, because they've had to 'try to gain perfection', they've had to 'try' to be like every one else that they've seen and heard around them.  To be 'delivered' to be 'set free' to be 'changed' must mean we no longer struggle with sin or our human condition.  When we hear "Change is Possible" what does that mean?  Is change possible?  It depends on what you define CHANGE to be.  If it means I put my faith in no longer struggling or facing the shadows of my sinfulness, then I've got it wrong.  For myself, I've had to make peace with my past.  I've had to acknowledge the good and the bad things that have happened and how it has shaped me to who I am today.  

I'm a Christ follower who loves God more than my own life.  More than my own desires and wants and needs could be.  (and I am FAR from PERFECT) Part of that equation also means that I need to submit my life to the control of the Holy Spirit who gives me wisdom and understanding.  I'm called to serve my wife in this posture of my own submission.  To love her like Jesus loved the Church.  I'm called to raise my daughter in the ways of the Lord.  Train her up so she doesn't depart from the truth!  I'm called to love and encourage...and love and encourage and then do that again, over and over again.  I'm also called to always be ready to share the hope within me...and that the power of my testimony and the blood of the lamb defeats the enemy...and I am not to be afraid to lose my life!

So where are you at with the Authority of God these days?  How is the battle of your human condition?  May you be encouraged to continue on the path set before you, not loving your life so much that you are afraid to lose it...and may you encourage and spur others on in authentic community relationship.  Be authentic and real with your journey.

I LOVE Aaron Keyes and the worship that is happening...and I've posted a youtube clip of a song that continues to speak the gospel to my heart and encourage me....may it do the same with you. 

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