Sunday, April 19, 2009

If you think you can...

"We are all asked to do more than we think we can..."  From my devotional today.

Well, that's the whole point, isn't it?  The counter-intuitive, radical, denying self nature of the gospel.  In the world, we do it ourselves, we are taught from our first steps to rely on ourselves, to decide what we're capable of, and go after it.  Maybe we push ourselves to the limits--some of us, anyway.  Some of us sky-dive, climb mountains, go spulunking, deep sea diving.  Some of us are over achievers by nature.  But it's always only ourselves the world tells us to rely on.  "Just do it," Nike says.  "If you think you can, you can."  "You've gotta believe to achieve."  I've seen those aphorisms...we all have (for those of you who don't know, that means a succinct saying that embodies a general truth).

But in the Kingdom, it's exactly because we cannot do it, can NEVER do really do what we were created to do, that anything makes sense.  We come to the cross, deny ourselves, then walk around walls that have no business falling, stand before seas that can't possibly become dry land, speak to the lame, the blind, the dying--walk! see! live!--and the world rocks on its axis.  Not because of anything in ourselves.  I mean seriously--SERIOUSLY--there is not one gene or cell different from any other human on this planet.  But we are filled--oh, what glory in that word; I close my eyes to savor it--FILLED with the One thing, the one WHO that makes the difference.  Of course we are called to do more than we can do ourselves.  It is God asking us to let Him do in us what He wants in this world.  That's all He's asking.

Let Him use us as vehicles of grace, and peace, and healing to this broken world.  Think of that.  He came as the Incarnate once, but that's not even close to the end of it.  When we become His, we become Incarnate as well.  We may walk around like every other human being, but we have very God inside.  No matter what you do, who you interact with this day, whether you worship in a wide hall full of believers or sit silently without a single other creature, you are not alone.  And He is able, exceedingly able to do more than we could ask or imagine.

But here's the kicker: Isaiah tells us exactly what that Spirit wants to do through us.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anoited me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, comfort all who mourn
and provide for those who grieve in Zion--
to bestow on them a crown of beauty..."

I need to be reminded of this, I really do.  I need to be reminded that He doesn't want me to be about myself, but about His work, that He fills me for others, not just for myself, that it's not just so I'll 'be' a Christian, but so He and I together can 'do' for His Kingdom.  If I think I can...He can!

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