Monday, March 06, 2006

A Real Change In My Perspective

I receive these "thoughts for the day" each day in my email from the Purpose Driven Life online. This one really created a paradigm shift in my perception of living the Chrisian life and following Jesus. I have always felt that no matter how "holy" and "Christlike" I attempted to live, I constantly fell very short of the mark. I knew that the Lord loved me anyway, but still felt guilty about each secular tv show I watched or book I read or music I listened to. I thought I should spend every minute watching a preacher on tv or listening to one on the radio, listening to only Christian CDs, and I should be reading the bible or a Christian based book. This has been a burden ever since I became a Christian almost 40 years ago. Today, just today, this made me see my life in a different way; I finally get it! I don't have to shift gears into a "worship" mode or a "spirit" mode (that imaginary line spoken of below). I can open my whole life to the Lord. I know that a lot of you figured this out right away, but I am a slow learner. I used to stop doing what I was doing to have a moment of worship and communion with the Lord at several points during the day. Now I comprehend that every minute of every day can be spent with Him.

Welcome to Our World
by John Fischer - Purpose Driven Life

"What God arranges for us to experience at each moment is the holiest thing that could happen to us." This quote is from Jean-Pierre Caussade, an 18th century writer who shows us that sometimes it takes writers and thinkers from other centuries to awaken us to new ways of thinking. Well… new to us, maybe, not to them. Nothing stunts our spiritual growth more than the imaginary line by which we separate holy things from secular things. Or how about the way we make “holy” things holy by removing them from their human context and making them glow with their own special kind of light? That's closer to superstition than it is holiness.

Jesus Christ lived human life on a strictly human level and yet all of it was holy because of who He was. I can't imagine Jesus ever having a purely “secular” moment. So does that mean He walked around with His hands in a praying position all the time, spoke in a low voice, never laughed, and whenever He opened His mouth, scripture came out?

Come now, we all know too much about being human to really believe any of this, but then where do these ideas come from? I think there are lots of answers to this but at least two big ones. 1) We like to keep the sacred far enough away as to be beyond our reach, thus having an excuse for not even trying to be holy. 2) We are too embarrassed about our humanity to imagine Christ ever really sharing in it. Well it's time to welcome Christ into our world. Welcome Him to coffee, to our cell phone conversations, to our chores around the house, to our commute, to the board meeting and the shopping mall -- to the kitchen, the family room, and the bedroom.

We've been trying too long to get into His world with little or no success, which is pretty silly when He already came to our world, lived in flesh like ours and intends to continue living in our flesh today. The Word became flesh and it still is flesh, it's just that the flesh it became here on earth is now yours and mine instead of Christ's. Until we believe this we will never understand what it means to be holy. So let’s set aside all those eyes-rolled-back, flipped-out ideas of holiness, and welcome Christ to our little, seemingly insignificant, dysfunctional lives. That's where He wants to be anyway. And that's precisely where the enemy doesn't want Him to be, because once He is there, we discover, in fact, that we are not insignificant after all. Suddenly all of life is sacred, and we can finally say along with Jean-Pierre Caussade, "What God arranges for us to experience at each moment is the holiest thing that could happen to us."

Praise you, Lord for the incredible revelation You have given me today. I am looking for miracles and You have given them to me. I love you, Jesus with all my heart and I want what You want for my life. Mold me, use me for Your purposes!

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