Tag Archive for 'everyday'

Page 2 of 2

maintenance vs sustenance

Maintenance vs. sustenance.
I don’t know if this is a new idea or something that has been brought up to me in that past that I’m just now recalling… but it’s just about to consume me.

I have spent the last several weeks becoming more and more aware of the fruitless pursuits of my life. My intentions are to pursue Jesus with everything, but I’m still continuing in worldly pursuits. Hopefully some familiar imagery of Peter walking on water can help illustrate my point. Peter looks at Jesus walking on the water, sees the impossibility of the entire situation, and is then called to step out. Peter is obedient and steps out. He’s standing on water. In my life, I’m standing on the water, staying afloat, but I’m wearing a life jacket. Jesus isn’t going to look at me and say, “Now that’s faith and obedience right there. You’re standing on the water!” He’d probably shake His head at me as I boast to my friends about the miracle I just performed.

So let me translate this to real life. I know Christ, I understand His calling for all of His followers to go, I go on mission trips to make His Name known, I seek Him to be the first in my life. Yay! I’m walking on water! All of these things truly are miracles and the work of Christ in my life. But what bothers me is this horseshoe life jacket that is kind of itchy and scratches against my neck (you’ve worn one). I’m working an 8am to 5pm job that usually requires me to work 7am to 9pm or 10pm. I have a house. I have a car. I have a wife. I have things.

John 6:26
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

(This post originated a month or so ago. Thankfully I was presented with the above Scripture tonight and was able to draw the parallel to my maintenance vs. sustenance postulate.)
These people had their temporary needs met and they wanted more. Their food digested and they were hungry again… so they went back to the one that met that need. Maintenance.

My car, my clothes, my status, my job, my home, my friends, my salary. All of these things have standards set by someone, somewhere. And I have to meet these standards…. and believe it or not, they’re not easy to meet or maintain. The car breaks, the clothes stain, the weeds grow. Our lives are centered around maintenance… Maintaining an appearance… Maintaining the American Dream.

John 6:27
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Jesus said to these people, ‘Look. I’ve got a bread that will satisfy your hunger for eternity. Quit pursuing this earthly bread that doesn’t last and pursue me.’ He didn’t say, ‘Lay back and I’ll give you my bread.’ He said, “Work… for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” Sustenance.

I want to be sustained. Maintaining the things of this life is tiring… and futile. Jesus said that He is the source of food that endures to eternal life. That’s what I want. Don’t give me any of this temporary bread that meets my temporary needs. Give me a bread that ultimately satisfies all of my hunger for eternity. Sustain me with who You are.

 

If you are spending your time or efforts on anything that you can’t take with you when you die… then what is the point? Measure your life up against eternity and you’ll realize that you don’t have any time to waste. Don’t maintain your life, your status, and your possessions. Be sustained… by pursuing Christ and receiving His gift that meets every need and every desire.

people.

People are all around us. Really. They are. Look around you if you don’t believe me. Does that mean anything to you? Do you even care about these people? Jesus didn’t walk around in a bubble. He invested in people… but more than that, He took the time to notice people around Him and talk to them. Do you do that? Do you ever talk to people? Do you ever care about other people’s lives, even a random strangers’?

I meet Wednesday mornings at 5:30 at Waffle House to just ‘do life’ with my best friends. We made a pact of sorts to ask whoever is serving us if there’s anything we can pray about for them. That way, someone has to ask or we end up with an awkward mess among ourselves. It was almost an experiment at first… nervously asking and not knowing what we’d get in return.

You don’t know what someone is going through until you ask. This morning, we asked our waitress if she had anything we could pray about for her. She quickly said “No,” then proceeded to tell us about how her friend had died two days ago and she’s been such a wreck that she can’t even cook without burning the food. Oh… and her grandfather has a brain tumor. Another server didn’t have the money to pay a ticket and was going to end up in jail if she couldn’t pay it in the next 48 hours. A cook who told us he didn’t believe in prayer. Another server who is going through a rough divorce from an abusive husband. The list goes on and on. All from the simple question, “Do you have anything we can pray about?”

People.
You’re one of them.
How many strangers have taken an interest in your eternity? Count them. Go ahead.
Assuming you’re in the majority and have one or two fingers up, this leads me to two questions…

  1. How would you know about Christ’s sacrifice if no one told you or if you didn’t go to church? You wouldn’t.
  2. Do you believe people are ok without Jesus? The easy answer is “No.” But seriously…… do you?

 

(My scathing rebukes are merely my own convictions in my heart.)

despair

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” -2 Corinthians 4:7-12

In my life, I have either been quick to praise God in the good times or quick to call on Him in the bad times, but never at the same time. I need to realize tough times will come and that they are times that should be celebrated and that God should be praised for those times. I’m able to look back on many tough times in my life and now realize that I wouldn’t be at the place I am if those tough times had not come. God has a purpose in all tough times and that purpose is that His life may be revealed in my mortal body. When I can’t see the end, resolution, or the victory to come, I need to realize that is when Christ is carrying me through. I should praise Him in those times because His sovereignty is not for me to question and my feeble, mortal mind would not even be able to comprehend His purpose for my troubles even if it was revealed to me.

When you can’t see the end, resolution, or the victory to come, celebrate. Celebrate Christ’s faithfulness and your weakness. And when you do come out victorious, do not forget that it was not by your power.

fears of the everyday.

I’ll speak for myself.

Fear is always in me, in some form or fashion.

Where am I going? Who will I meet? What will I do? How will I do it?

And these are not deep fears of a vast, unknown future.

Webster says:

turn – to cause to move around an axis or a center; make rotate or revolve

Fears of the everyday.
I’ve got a meeting…

Oh my gosh I’m so late. I’ve never met this person before. Will they understand what I say. What if I can’t do it.

The fears of the everyday.
These might be the times I turn to God the most.

I turn to God in the fears of the everyday.

Oh please don’t let me be late. Please let them be nice. Please let me speak clearly. Please help me through this.

Webster says:

rely – to be dependent; to have confidence based on experience

Hardly do I rely on God… “post” fears of the everyday.

Thank you for them being late, too. Thanks for getting me there safely. Thank you for their joyful heart and their good mood. Thank you for the conversation. Thank you for helping me get my point across. Thank you for handling it all when I can’t.

Turning isn’t a change in location.
Reliance is a leap.

Hours after this meeting, the part God played was brought to my attention.

I quickly recalled every worry I had before it. I realized everything went perfectly.

I would have passed through my day without any thought to how well the meeting went, but beforehand I was extremely concerned with my fear. If things went sour, I might’ve even prayed about it.

Realizing God’s role and acknowledging Him after the fact is what pushes ‘turning’ to reliance. I acknowledge how He acknowledged me.

I prayed in my fear, out of fear. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious prayer to God. But thankfully,

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

For some reason, God doesn’t base His response to me on my response to Him. God has no reliance on me.

If I face the fears of the everyday relying on God, I have confidence based on experience. There’s no need to fear. His faithfulness to me has nothing to do with me. It’s not about me. At all. He hasn’t let me down… He hasn’t ignored me. I have let Him down… I have ignored Him.
Reliance on Him will take the fears of the everyday and turn them into thanksgiving.

Turning is stationary.
Reliance is a leap.




%d bloggers like this: