- Randy McKenzie
Our Christian Counter Culture
We suffer to get well.
We surrender to win.
We die to live.
We give it away to keep it.
This counter intuitive wisdom will forever be resisted as true, denied, and avoided, until it is forced upon us-by some reality over which we are powerless.
We suffer to get well
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
And when Jesus looked at the crowds, he felt sorry for them, because they were harassed and dejected, like a sheep without a shepherd.
I admit I do not understand why God created the world this way. I do not know why "power is at its best in weakness as Paul says, or "it is when I am weak that I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
All I know is it matches my own observation and my own experience.
People who move from success to success seem to not understand success at all, except in a very limited version of their own. People who fail to do it right are those who often break through to enlightenment and compassion.
'I have learned more from life's trials than its triumphs.' ~ anon
The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
Until and unless there is a person, situation, event, idea, conflict, or relationship that you cannot "manage" you will never find the "True Manager". So God makes sure that several things will come your way that you cannot manage on your own. Pride and self will try to manufacture an even stronger self or will power along with determination to try to take back control. This is an endless circle. The pain, the suffering, the guilt you will encounter will be too hard to bear.
You will try to continue this pattern. Eventually this game is unsustainable, unless you make others ,even your own family, pay the price. You heart will become hard and you will live a false self.
We surrender to Win
Your "false self" is all you have.
Hopefully you will reach bottom before it is too late and admit you cannot do this alone.
You have to let it go.
Letting go is not anybody's program for happiness and yet all mature spirituality is about letting go and unlearning.
A surrender of faith does not happen in one moment but an extended journey, a trust walk, a gradual letting go, unlearning, and handing over. We have to open our opinionated head, our closed down heart, and our defensiveness. That is why true faith is one of the most holistic free actions a human can preform. It leads to a deep perception, it leads to "light".
The God of old is still your refuge. This God has everlasting arms that can drive out the enemy before you.
Yes, we are carrying our own death warrant with us, but it is teaching us not to rely on ourselves, but on a God whose task is to raise the dead to life.
2 Corinthians 1:9
We die to Live
Any notion that "I deserve, "I am owed", " I have the right to" absolutely undermines any notion of faith, hope, or love between the involved parties.
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God"
Jesus says this about no other group. The mind of a rich person is invariably one of entitlement. "I deserve this because I worked for it". "I am owed this because of my station in life."
He said we should stay in the position of a servant, a dependent.
How you do life is your real and final truth, not what ideas you believe. We are all beggars before God and the universe. We can never engineer or guide our own conversion. To much "me" can never find "you".
“Don't act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves”.
...for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
God has to change the reference points of our life. Only he can do this, we do not even know where to look.
We need to humble ourselves and ask God to remove our shortcomings.
We need God to Change our heart:
I will remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed.
Ezekiel 36:20 MSG
Then we need to continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we can ask God at once to remove them.
Once removed we stay on watch for them to crop up again. We need to get rid of all before we can move to our home.
All of our faults and ego possessions are just heavy and burdensome luggage that keep us from walking through Heaven's Gate.
We give it Away to Keep it
If you help someone else, you will be helped. If you want to lose self-consciousness, be "other" conscious. If you want to feel better, the best way is to try to make someone else feel better.
When we gain humility, we gain perspective into what our true path is on this Earth. Remember, as God’s kids we are no longer human beings seeking spiritual experiences.
We are now spiritual beings encountering human experiences and humility helps us to make the right choices.
Our motives move from constantly seeking “what’s in it for me” to be in alignment with our efforts to see what we can bring to others in the form of service.
Being freed from the chains of selfishness we are able to follow a path that leads to happiness, joy, freedom, and fulfillment. Our very lives depend upon this change of motivation.
While we are in the grip of selfishness we are dead to the Spirit.
Our work helping others brings our faith to life so that we may truly live.
"God Loves to see the Hearts of His people glowing toward Himself.
...Let us use the texts of Scripture as fuel for our hearts fire."
C. H. Spurgeon