Deal With IT

2 Apr

The world we live in tell us to want it ALL. We are told that we can live all the lives we want to live; marriage, kids, careers, vacations, hobbies, sports, education, video games, movies, and any food on the planet is there for our consumption – and it’s all good. Because we believe multi-tasking is possible we never have to choose. I do not believe that multi-tasking is a good option. I believe in the discipline of being fully present in the moment and focused on the task at hand, with God the foundation, aim, and enabler of that task. [not that I accomplish this state of being often, but it is my goal.]

Romans 8:6-11 (the epistle for this week) says we have choices to make, important choices, so deal with it.

5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

I think the world we live in has gotten us so distracted with STUFF we don’t notice that the stuff is killing us, leaving us dead shells of lives. Paul writes to the Romans that if you are going to find real life you have got to intentionally choose God, otherwise you just end up focusing on yourself. “And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.” I think it is important to know that even when God isn’t pleased, God loves us. It is the same with any child who is choosing badly in the lives, whose parents are not pleased with the choices, but are always loving the child and ready to jump at the chance to celebrate when the child does choose well. So, God is waiting for us to choose God’s way, it is “leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.”

9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

One of the great things about Paul’s writing is the ability truly incomprehensible theological ideas into a language of understanding. I think the concept of new life in Christ is one that is easier to experience than to explain and also impossible to understand the God activity involved. But here in three verses Paul says that the power that raised Christ from the dead is bring a spirit that will live in you and make you as alive as Jesus was after his Crucifixion. That is an amazing statement. Maybe it seems mundane to you because you grew up believing these basic ideas, but here is the man who articulated them and wrote them down so we could get a handle on what God is offering us through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus who was the Christ.

BUT all of this is an offer, a choice, that must be made. We cannot have it all – that is a myth. We can choose life or death. It is the choice that is offered from Genesis to Revelation. It is the same choice, offered by the same God, who has an infinite amount of ways to invite us along the way with the Divine.

Here to choosing the open, spacious, free life. Peace.

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One Response to “Deal With IT”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger April 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Amen!! I especially appreciate the comment about being fully present.

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