Here's A Thought...

Here are some "THOUGHTS" that will hopefully answer some of the questions that you may have about what the Bible has to say about our everyday lives. These articles are here to provoke thought; provide answers, guidance and resources; all in an effort to bring you into a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Jesus Christ: My trash collector.

You know what’s so amazing about God…? (Ok. So there are a lot of things that are amazing about our God). But one of the things that is so amazing about our God is that He can use anyone or anything to speak to us. How awesome is it that our God can use any circumstance or situation to speak to us; if we’ll just have the ears to hear. (Another lesson, I digress.)

It was during one of these experiences that God showed me how I was hurting people in my attempt to help people. I gotta tell you; that was a HUGE slap in the head for me! I’m talking about one whomping “Gibbs slap”. So I’d like to share the experience with you in hopes that it benefits you as well.

There has been a charming young lady that God and led into my life that I have been attempting to counsel on her life and her situation. The story is not original; got married young, had kid’s young and is now completely overwhelmed by her life’s circumstances. (For those of you that know me, this is not my life’s story.) Now my first gut reflex and reaction to “help” a person in a similar situation is to tell them; “You need Jesus!” However; to those who don’t know Christ, they have no idea what that means. I would have better results if I just said; “You need a drink!” And honestly, that would probably be more helpful.

So I opened up conversation with this person and I start down the path of going through the things in her life that are causing her so much anxiety and stress in an effort to point her towards some better coping skills and in the end…her need for the savior – Jesus Christ. Early on in this process, like most, I notice that what I was getting from her was behavior modification; not a heart change. This naturally was not helping her circumstances, just causing more frustration. So I sat down with her and we discuss how she was struggling with her new behavior and discussed her internal struggle to revert back to old habits. So I “wisely counsel” her and point out that she has just modified her behavior without changing who she is. (Man that sounded good coming out of my mouth). Until she looked at me inquisitively and somewhat hurt and said; “You make me sound like a horrible person.”

I was wrecked. Here I was attempting to help her - and with the best intentions, and without being aware of it; I had caused her more pain. The impact that had on me was beyond explanation. I had inadvertently brought her to the same issue that ran me out of so many churches most of my life.  The issue that I did not want anyone telling me that I needed to change. I liked who I was. I liked being me and NO ONE was going to tell me that I needed to be (or become) someone or something else!

You know, once we invite Jesus into our hearts and into our lives, as followers of Christ, we are excited about the changes that begin to take place in our lives. We get excited and we want to share our story with others. But that’s exactly it…the changes are not in who we are, but who Jesus is in us and what Christ is doing in our lives…not in who we are!

This sent me into deep reflection and prayer; and if I may, I would like to draw you a different picture of what Jesus does when He enters our hearts and give you yet another tool to use as you share with those that are unsaved; to possibly better help them understand what it is that Christ is offering.

So here we go:
We all have been beautifully, fearfully and wonderfully made (Palm 139:14). In God’s eyes, we all have been created by Him and in His image (Genesis 1:26). God looks upon each and every one of us as a proud parent holding their newborn child for the first time; looking at a new and perfect creation. Sure God sees our sins; but he sees them apart from his creation. This sin that destroys our lives is a part of our lives, but God still sees the creation…free from sin.
See, I have been created by the perfect creator in His image for the purpose of a relationship with my creator. So if I was created to be who I am, why does it make any sense that I would have to change who I am to become the person I was created to be? (You may need to read that a couple of times and let that soak in.        -        Take your time…)

So let me offer up a thought. My God, my father, my creator…created me as I am for the sole purpose to have a relationship with Him. In that relationship I will honor and serve Him out of love with the personality and gifts that He gave me when He created me. But there is something wrong that is keeping me from doing that.
You see, what happens is that we pick up and collect garbage. This garbage can come from our parents that get passed down. Garbage piled on us from the place where we are born and the circumstances we are raised in. Garbage we begin to accumulate from our friends, schools and influences. Garbage we carry from our decisions and their resulting consequences. It’s from all these exposures to the world, and quite frankly the sins of the world that we collect and accumulate our garbage.

Now we learn from a very young age how to hide our garbage. First of all we don’t want to suffer the consequences of having the garbage so it gets hidden. Then we get embarrassed about our garbage and don’t want anyone to know about it…so we hide it. We also, at a very early age, learn the importance of appearances; so we learn to hide our garbage.
We hide our garbage under the bed, stick it in the closet, toss it in the back yard…all in an effort to hide our garbage from everyone else (including God). After all it’s not who we are, it’s just garbage we’ve collected. But it’s not long that we begin to notice that our garbage is affecting others; plainly put – it stinks! We know that our garbage is a problem, but we just don’t know how to get rid of it. Some of our garbage has been with us so long, we’re not sure how we would function without it. No matter how bad it stinks, it’s like an old blanket that just brings us comfort. After all, there is security in what you know and fear in what you don’t. So we hang onto our garbage.
Heck, even if I wanted to get rid of it; where would I put it?
So we keep on going trying to find ways to hide our garbage, mask the smell, build up walls and barriers so that no one can get to or find out about our garbage. All the while realizing how much it makes us stink.

That’s where Jesus Christ comes in. He is my trash collector. He is my garbage man. You see, God is not trying to change who you are…he created you. He loves you so much that He sent his son to bridge that gap in the relationship between Him and you. He just wants you to allow Jesus into your compound so He can start clearing out the garbage. It’s not about changing who you are; it’s about discovering who you were really created to be: that you that has been buried under and behind all that garbage.

Jesus Christ is crying out for you to come as you are. There is nothing that you need to change, nothing that you need to prepare; and certainly nothing that you need to do or could hide. God is that Father that eagerly awaits the return of the prodigal son. Your Father cries out that there is no need to clean up, no need to change, just come home and I will clear away your garbage and place you in fresh clean linens and restore you to the place you were created to be. Don’t change, just come home.

So for all those that don’t know what it means to allow Christ into their lives, it’s simple; just call in the garbage collector and let him take away all in you that stinks, all that burdens, and all that shames. Let Christ clear away all that is keeping you from the person of God and the relationship with God that you were created to be.

May the Creator of the Universe and the God of our salvation guide you, lead you and strengthen you as you pursue a greater relationship with Him and may he give you peace as you traverse the battlefield of this life towards our pursuit of eternity with Him.

God’s Blessings be upon you.