Friday, May 11, 2012
Christ and Our Expectations
Oswald Chambers asks, “Are you more devoted to your idea of what Jesus wants than to Himself?”I think that is true for everyone. She uses this to urge worship:
Yes, Lord, I am.
His nearly naked dance into Jerusalem while the house of Israel brought the ark back into the city may be the metaphor that best depicts David’s joyous unselfconscious abandonment to God. It mortified his wife, Michal. Such displays of adoration will often evoke mortification in observers. Somehow, I don’t think the rich young ruler would have been caught doing such a thing. After all, he was more devoted to what he thought Jesus wanted than he was to Jesus.We must indeed abandon ourselves to God, wholly and fervently. Unfortunately, I find the example of David dancing himself into Jerusalem problematic. I have heard that passage cited far too many times as justification putting "worship" in the same role that service appears to be taking in Ms Dye's life. You see it is equally possible to make "worship" what we think Christ wants just as much as anything else.
This is really the crux of the matter for us. Do we merely believe in him and serve him carefully or do we love him and follow him, even if it means living with the contempt of others—even if it makes life untidy, even if it departs from what we always thought Jesus wanted?
Jesus minced no words when asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
It seems to me that when we love God, we please him most. The ruler came minus sins, but also minus love and was sent away sad. David came dancing and loving and yes, sinning. Expressing the most fervent contrition, David deplored his own sin, but he neither walked self-consciously through life nor stopped running toward God with a passion. It was David’s passion that pleased God and moved him in love to call this flawed king a man after his own heart.
There is no one thing, at least not that our minds can conceive of. Love demands obedience, which demands service, which must be done lovingly, and we can only be loving in our service to others as we love and are loved by God, and so it is a circle. The answer to overemphasis on service, or worship, or self-improvement, is NOT another emphasis - it is well roundedness.
I just started reading "Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues." The book begins by stating the principles in sentence form and then devotes entire chapters to each idea. As I read through the principles, I saw where each, on its own could be, and in fact had been, warped into something quite perverse. But when considered as a whole and together, the principles balance each other to create something quite good.
When we consider our faith, we must consider all of it. There is no emphasis, there is only the whole, other wise we will pervert and warp the emphasis into something God never intends.