Monday, September 7, 2015
God had an even better idea
One thing I have notice the mentally ill, have in common, is a low view of God and a low view of themselves. I don't think they are unlike any other person but it is more evident in them because the things in the mentally ill are so magnified. The worlds way is to give man a higher self esteem. Gods way is to let man know who He is in Christ. We are fallen and depraved and therefore come into this world lacking, broken, shameful and full of guilt. God's answer is not to bring man back to the garden but to bring Him in Christ to Himself.
We think of the garden, before Adam and Eve sinned, as the perfect place and it was. But only God can improve on perfection. He saw something better than man walking with God and that was God indwelling man through the Spirit. God saw more glory for Himself through the cross of Christ and man giving Him glory through a life of faith and trust and dependence on Him than man simply not sinning. God uses sin, sinlessly.
God is not restoring man He is redeeming Him. We are not moving backward to Eden but forward toward Heaven.
We are, the child of God, a new creation in Christ. The old has died and the new has come.
The answer to our fallenness and sin and shame is the cross. It is to be forgiven. It is to be made new in Christ. From our fallen nature we are self absorbed and everything in us, our motives, actions, thoughts and hearts have to be made in Gods likeness. God came to serve and to be served. We are to consider others more valuable than ourselves. Our motives change and our actions change to glorify God and not to bring glory to ourselves. This is a result of us being made in Christ and Christ living His life through us.
We die daily to our old nature and surrender to Gods will not our own.
Jesus tells us we are to follow Him. This is the crucified life. This is where new life is found. A life of living for Gods glory. Living to love Him and others more than ourselves. This is when He is most glorified as this change of being like Him is displayed in us. This is when we are most happy and content. We find that the happy life is not in getting what we think we need and want but looking to our Father to meet our deepest need and longing.
Satan deceived Adam and Eve in using a good thing for evil.
It was not bad that Adam and Eve wanted to be like God. To know the difference in good and evil. But it was a bad thing to disobey God to get it. To think this would make them happy. They did not trust God and His good gifts for them. How many times does satan do the same thing in our lives. He uses our marriages, our children, our ministry for us to love them more than God? We take things in our own hands and try to make a good thing happen rather than give our families and lives to God. We think we know what is best and we set out to make that happen. It is not that what we want is bad but that we try to make it happen apart from God.
We are independent creations and God wants us dependent in every way, on Him.
Many times our lives have to fall apart to look to God, instead of ourselves. This is painful for us because we are being stripped of control and pride in trying to find life apart from God even in good things. When we have despaired of ourselves and life and become weak and rely on Him is when we find true life and strength and power we have never known before.
Strength does not come through taking control and being strong but through being weak and through surrender.
We have to see our utter unreliability to make our life work. Our self confidence is broken and our fears are realized. We come out of hiding and covering ourselves into true fellowship with God. We become open and honest and real. We see life is not the life what we tried to find in this world and even in good things. He has achieved what we could not. He is life.
We are all insecure, not only the shy but the over achiever.
Once we see we cannot earn Gods approval and love we stop trying to earn mans approval through fear of rejection and being a workaholic. We stop looking to ourselves as our own savior and know we need Jesus.
Seeing Jesus was enough is when we began to long for more. It is in the shadow of being complete and healing that ours hearts yearn.
Once we begin to see Jesus is where our deepest needs and longing are fulfilled is when we quit looking to this world to fulfill us and we long for more of His Spirit to fill us. Our taste for anything but Him to bring life, peace, satisfaction and joy is when we began to find it in Him. We grow in our understanding of just how big He really is and that He cares for the smallest details of our lives. That He is for us and working it all for us. In being satisfied in Him is when He gives us more and more of the Spirit. He changes our hearts and our focus and our reason for living. It is not more for us to be great but for His greatness. He knows this is where we are most happy and most satisfied...We find Him as our purpose in life and are at rest. The Father needed man to display His love to His creation. So He decided to made Himself man and displayed Himself through other men. Not out of a lack but out of an overflow. He is fully satisfied in Himself and used Himself and man to do it. Jesus did it for joy of pleasing the Father. We are the Fathers gift to the Son. We please Him by trusting Him and in Jesus only.