Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Can’t See Jesus? Get Out of the Way…

How you see yourself determines how you see Jesus: if you see yourself as being self sufficient, you won’t see any need for a Savior. This comment was made yesterday in a radio sermon by Dr. J. Vernon McGee.

Making a similar point is a quote I jotted down a few years ago from the Wall Street Journal which says, “Perspective is often the first casualty of self-righteousness.”

If our perspective of our self is based on our own high regard for our self, we are viewing our self from a warped perspective. We will be blind to the truth about ourselves, and that will blind us to seeing Jesus.

God is the one true plumb line against which we can measure ourselves. Only when we go to Him to see ourselves from His perspective will we see rightly.

And that’s a good thing. Because the last place I want to live in is denial, not to mention bondage to the darkness that is me. I don’t want to pathetically search and navel gaze into oblivion, making “me” a personal pastime, only to leave a “trail of busted stuff” (in the words of Dave Matthews) in my wake.

The old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The truth is, we’re all broke. And we’re excellent at breaking things and hearts. All of us. No exclusions. For those prone to using the “certainlywe’re notperfectwe’reonlyhumanafterall" line of thinking, stop a minute and ask yourself if that isn’t just the lamest excuse? So because we’re human beings we’re off the hook from change; from personal transformation? We can just carry on in our hit and miss pursuit of daily life because we’re not perfect? As if there is no number line when it comes to progress? Funny, man—imperfect as he is—has managed to progress and improve upon transportation, medicine, electronics, creature comforts, etc. But that same man cannot make the same progress in personal integrity? “I’m only human” is the fastest way to mediocrity and a wasted life.

It’s precisely because we are human, created by God, that we can progress. But only in the context of the author and finisher of our faith. He who created us also reveals how we operate. In His word we discover why we do what we don’t want to do and don’t do what we want to do. We also see the picture God has drawn for us of what life with him can be like, and it will contrast sharply with the picture of how we are living without Him.

The good news is that, over time, as we enter His presence and let Him work in our hearts, we will progress, in spite of our being fallen humanity. God is the one who makes it happen, but we are the ones who let it happen through our cooperation with Him. It’s a pretty sweet deal. We get to see who we are without Christ, and then who we can become with Christ. 

Once our self-esteemed selves get out of the way, the path is clear to see ourselves the way God sees us, and we begin to experience the personal transformation we have so long tried to bring about through our own efforts. Our perspective is reborn in His righteousness, and we accept, finally and gladly, our need for Him.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;” Isaiah 55:1

“Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:3

“Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:6-8

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

1 comment:

jim livingstones said...

Hey Barb, You always "hit the nail on the head", I like reading your stuff cuz it keeps me where I need to be! thanks again!