As Christian people we continue to have so many problems and issues that dog our lives and hurt us. We are supposed to be people of the scriptures, reading, believing and working out the principles demonstrated there, in our lives, with the Spirit of God dwelling in us and motivating and giving us power to live right. And yet our lives are so taken up with trivialities and the reflection of Christ is hard to see.
Why is it so hard for us to follow the light? Why are we dragged down by responsibility and the hardships that life brings for us?
To be like Christ is a very difficult road, because, in our natural state, we are sinful and selfish, and we are really most comfortable doing what we want to do with the people we best relate to. We find a position in life that suits us and settle into it like a comfortable armchair, believing it to be our destiny.
We do not need to read far in the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life, to see that this was not his mind set, nor reason for being on this planet. He came to do his father’s will and to give his life, deliberately, as a ransom for creatures that hated him and had no intention of believing what he taught. Everything he did and said was for others, from the words that stilled the storm, to the intentional laying down of his very life to pay for our sins.
He was poor, a man of sorrows and aquainted with griefs. No one understood him, he had no confidant, except his father in heaven, and no fellow-human could care for his Spirit or deep emotional needs. Yet he reached out his hands continually to the needy and forgave the sins of the worst kinds of rotters imaginable. He had no prejudice, no ill-will, no spite, no self-righteous cravings and no hope of reaching a ripe old age. The people of his age would see to that…
This perfect person stood out above and beyond anyone, not because of cleverness or fake celebrity, but because he was true and honourable and loving. We don’t like this kind of thing, as it shows us up and makes our conciences hurt and blames us. We like those who are like us and who keep us lulled into a false sense of comfort, and justify our selfish ways.
The closer we seek to be in our walk with God, then the more conscious we become of our own wrong ways and the more painful it is to examine ourselves.
When we pray “Lord, make me as you are” what exactly are we asking for? Are we asking for hardship, pain and loss, or some sort of angelic-like aura around our heads? Perhaps we need to re-evaulate that particular prayer and think carefully about what we ask for. The Jesus of the scriptures, was such a loving and giving person, that we hated him. Is that really what we want? Surely this prayer, above all others, is the most dangerous, indeed perhaps even reckless?
To walk the narrow way is dangerous and only the convinced in heart can manage it, the recklessness of seeing beyond the here and now and seeing the joy of the presence of this amazing God, Jesus.
Can my problems all melt away, or am I doomed to fight endlessly with them, never quite overcoming the deadening grip they hold on me? We can find victory, as our Lord did as he walked this gloomy planet, but the fight is real and our weaknesses and sins will not be finally finished, until we step over the threshold into the glorious home, where Christ’s presence is bodily real.
However, as we learn to overcome them, we can know the power of Christ, daily, and the issues and skirmishes seem lesser and easier to put down. The power of his resurrection is real and his joy knows no bounds, and it is the Christians pleasure to know it and feel it.
Do you long for others to have what you have and know this Chirst? Now is the time to be brave and speak up, not allowing tedium and mediocrity to infest your spirit, but to share the love of Christ to those who happen to be around you. Then you will know him working through your weakness to bring people to the one who can turn them around and make them, also, like him.