Monthly Archives: February 2013

Consecration & Cars: A parable

I live in an area where automotive research makes a lot of money. Even though not in Detroit, the engineering schools attract a lot of top talent for companies like Subaru, Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, etc. However, there is a lack of study here on what excellence in spiritual life looks like: Christlike.

Most of the spirituality here is of the car-like variety: running & rusting. Dirty in the winter, idolized in the summer. Dreamed about, but wasted.

Often when the Bible talks about a soul running, they are either running to the Lord (Isaiah 40:31) or away from the Lord (Jonah). When a car is running, that means it works, likewise, when a person is running, they are exerting effort, laboring. The real issue though is: Are we exerting effort to draw closer to God or are we drawing away from God. Consecration (that is, our dedication of purpose) makes all the difference.

Often, we speak of cars resting. If they are resting at a traffic light, people will either be honking because it is green and they should go or the driver will be restless because they are wanting to go through to their destination ASAP! Except in Minnesota, where people are “Minnesota nice” and have contests waving each other through, most people do not regard stops as social events, much less ministry events. In sharp contrast, when the church is at rest it is growing. Think of a bunch of cars parked in front of a friends house during a house church or small group. Usually, in such instances the only time you think about the car is when parking and finding the address initially: if you want to go to a party or other gathering, go where the cars are resting. Hmmm, the cars are consecrated in this instance, because likewise, when saints are resting before the Lord, there are often great things that happen: prayer, mission callings, dreams & visions.

Maybe we should park out in the Lord’s presence more often. What would happen if you kept your spiritual life in as good repair as your car? You would listen for the little murmurs that indicate engine trouble, certainly you would keep the tires inflated for maximum efficiency. You would rest. You would drive your car to church on a regular basis to worship.

Now, it is time for a confession, I have no car I claim as my own. I ride busses. But those buses are consecrated to the Lord, as far as I am concerned. I look forward to the rides on the buses as a time when I can meet & encourage & bless people. Some may dread the bus, I delight in them because they are dedicated to the Lord.

Wait, I must address something else in which cars and consecration are very similar: it is about more than appearances. Would you rather have a handsome car with no engine or an ugly car with great gas mileage and great gusto? Hypocrisy affects both cars and people, just because it looks good, doesn’t mean it actually runs all that well. Are you in good repair spiritually? Are you tuned up in the Spirit? Next time you gas your car, pray that the Holy Spirit would fill you up as well. The longer you must pump, the longer you will pray. The more frequently you refuel, the more frequently you will pray.

And while you are at it, pay inside and share the Good News with the gas station attendant.

God loves you.

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The Confusion of Christ

There he goes, up from the river, into the back country. Nobody knows what happened other than what he says. He reports conversations with the devil.

Later, he would go into his hometown and speak about the Messianic Kingdom, in terms of fulfillment.

He refused to be a leader even when people wanted to make him one.

He chose to treated like a shepherd: despised, yet dealing with ravenous wolves.

He cared so much for those he tended to that he neglected to sit down for dinner. He was always talking about God and even talked about dying an early death, to the discomfort of his friends.

He knew those who hated him, but he still loved them.

He spoke against powerful leaders, yet was unafraid.

He promoted his mission shamelessly claiming that he would never leave his followers to the end of the age … and then he left … or did he?

This Jesus whom I talk about constantly is the Lord and Lifegiving Spirit.

Some run after visions in the wilderness only to chase this spirit or that spirit.
Others run after this denomination or that denomination.
A few claim to be the messiah themselves.
Personally, I am obsessed with the Man & Messiah: Jesus, Y’shua, Issa.

I cannot force him on anyone, but nor do I intentionally try to hide him. He has infected me with joy and I hope that that spreads to others. Sometimes I laugh at myself or the situation I am in, it is hard not to. Christ has conquered it all! Jesus really is King!

I lost my mind when I thought he was coming back in 3.5 days. Actually, he didn’t. Don’t worry, if you are reading this, you still have an opportunity to repent.

However, many people mistake the pictures of Christ for Jesus himself. They imagine Jesus to be a pleasant teacher who talked vaguely about intangible realities.

Actually, Jesus talked about life and death. He talked about sex and the dangers of sex outside the context of marriage. He talked about the risks of anger on your future. He talked about the failure of the day’s best religious trends to conquer the human heart.

Jesus claimed to be God.

He said, “Be before Abraham was, I am.”

A prophet is not just someone who confronts the age or opinion thereof, rather, a prophet is a God-guided & commissioned person whose words match the Life of Jesus and who emulates the life of God in their own walk.

I cannot claim to be a prophet, but I know that Jesus was more than merely a prophet.

He seemed confused to his family. His followers seem confused to the world. We face all kinds of difficulties, but those difficulties will be overcome through the blood of Jesus.

WHAT?? Human sacrifice is needed to cover our sins?

Yes. A particular sacrifice. A sinless sacrifice. A virgin’s sacrifice. Jesus.

No other way is available. We must tell the world about this. It must be told. We must tell everyone we can. We will seem like the village idiots when we confront sin. We will seem confused when we are so severe on self. We will seem stupid when we resist the ways of the world. But God’s confusion is more clever than the scholarship & psychiatry of the world.

Which will you choose?
Humanistic therapies & thoughts that lead to hell.
Hope from the Father that leads to Heaven.

I once asked a young man what NOT following Jesus was costing him.

His answer: Sanity.

How true that is. Not following Jesus costs you your sanity. You are crazy not to follow Jesus. Mental illness is all rooted in sin. Why is the Western World increasingly dependent upon worthless physicians? Because of sin.

Yes, you and I are sinners. We need Jesus to heal us.

Today is the day.

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