Sunday, September 25, 2022
An Observation of People
An Observation of People
by David Brenneman
We often stay in situations that God doesn't desire for us to remain in. We willingly enslave ourselves to a moment in time, to a circumstance, to things that cause us to fixate on them and not on Jesus.
Psalm 23 says that He leads us THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death. He didn't say anything about setting up camp and putting up an address number.
In Matthew 18:12-20 NASB "What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains, and go and search for the one that is lost? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish."
Jesus doesn't want us living in a lie. He wants us to live in His truth.
He wants to reach as many as would have Him save them.
We often wonder at the behavior of the children of others in public. Much can be attributed to parenting. Children who don't know of the concept of consequences to their deeds and actions. That it's going to hurt sometimes and that there's reasons why you don't do some things.
When people's perceptions are fixated its difficult to get them to move.
In my life I had several decades of day after day of lies of Satan berating me, of trying to convince me of my worthlessness in this world. Of how I would never measure up to what my thoughts of God required of me.
I am oh so thankful that at my lowest, Jesus reached through it all and pulled me up out of it. Speaking truth to me. Telling me who I am in Christ. Telling me that I indeed am loved by Him and His Father.
Our world couches lies within a sliver of truth. Beit everything from jobs to diet programs to medical procedures. If mankind's thoughts are involved, we have a significant chance that lies are involved.
Sin is in this world.
My life wasn't happy deep inside. I knew not what to do about it. I knew that I accepted Christ at a young age but the follow-up wasn't there. The Discipleship teaching that is. Which does leave a lot of room for misconceptions and error.
Our minds want acceptance for exactly who we are. We want the confirmation of others that our choices are right and true.
We want our kingdom established that runs the way we want. Free of conflict.
This is exactly what is meant by "everyone does what is right in their own eyes".
When we let go of our wants our ideas on living life, and invite Jesus to lead instead, life is promised to be interesting.
Our lives are plagued with opportunities to misdirect our passion and desires.
Our lives are easily caught up in fears that keep us from moving.
When we stand alone that is.
It often blows my mind the way people love living in a lie rather than what could be for them. I know of many people who have a misguided sense of loyalty that's actually causing them great misery that they refuse to acknowledge as that.
I know of people who have turned away from God's calling in their lives because of conflict with others in their past. They've embraced the world's ideas on a peaceful life rather than what God's wanting to do through them.
These people have sat down in the valley of the shadow of death and aren't listening to Jesus telling them that this isn't what He wants of them.
Jesus didn't want me living in my own brand of misery. He came to give us life, life more abundant. He came to sanctify us in His truth. He came to bring us moments of joy that are often inexpressible in words.
When indeed we are in thess low points it's often that we are carrying baggage that we need to let go of in order to get to the other side of the valley.
Our wants and desires need to align with God's in order to grow in Christ Jesus. We are tempted in every way to embrace the small and great things of this world.
We are tempted to doubt our standing in Christ Jesus.
We are tempted to be stubborn about situations rather than letting go, trusting in God, and moving on.
The thing about that story of leaving the 99 to search for the one is that the Good Shepherd does something intentional to that one to make it more dependent upon the Shepherd than it ever was before. To teach it not to go off and do its own thing.
He breaks the leg of the sheep to cause it to stay close to the Shepherd. We often are in some tight circumstances because we are needing to learn to be dependent upon our Great Shepherd rather than on our own devices.
Praying without ceasing becomes like breathing. Our hearts hide less when we open them more to Jesus to work with.
Our lives get reshaped to be what Jesus needs us to be and not what we thought it should be.
It's not written down but it's easily implied by the part of the Gospels where Jesus told them when He sent them out of what not to take with them. They carried around no caravan of supplies. Their being a Disciple meant a wholehearted dependence upon Jesus for everything, every day.
It matters not what the situation is in our lives, from dietary to medical to employment to parenting to anything...our dependence ought to be on our Shepherd before its on the world. Yes God often uses things of this world as answers to prayer but we need to be sure of what's presented as being from God and not just a moment of weakness bearing fruit.
It's more than what would Jesus do.
It's what is He wanting me to do.
It's am I letting go of what He says.
It's am I taking up what He says.
It's am I trusting in Him to see me through what He never once intended me to remain in.
We cannot know the will of God if we aren't going to listen to what He's told us already...why would He tell us more?
Indeed God freely gives wisdom to all who would ask. But listening to it is another thing.