Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paupers and Kings

Why is it we are so willing to call on God as our Lord and King when we know we will receive all the benefits of his royalty. How easy it is to swear allegiance to a king in a land of peace and in a time of plenty.
We live in a country where for generations to be a Christian meant to be a person of character. The "Christian thing to do." was synonymous with good and charitable. But now the Kings name has been trampled. Christianity is synonymous with bigotry and "intolerance." And many have shaken off their loyalty to God because they don't understand the Servant King. What has been plaguing my mind lately is my allegiance to the king. Where is my loyalty?
The king laid a great honor upon my head (and heart) many years ago and in my overwhelmed state I said "Yes my Lord, entreat me not to leave you, [Or to] turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people [shall be] my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If [anything but] death parts you and me." (Ruth 1:16,17)
Has anyone but me uttered a prayer like this, "Lord do whatever You need to do in my life to make me like You. Do whatever You need to do in my life to impact my family and the ones I love, draw them close to You. I want to make a difference in the world. USE ME! "
If you have prayed that way, you have also asked questions like these, "Lord, why have You abandoned me? Why has this happened? Where are You? Why do we feel so so put upon and picked upon by God when He answers the prayer of our sincere heart? Why do we fight the process that He uses to make us like Jesus? We are in good company, David prayed these same types of prayers and asked these same types of questions. I love the Psalms!
These circumstances are often God's opportunities to walk in faith, to be a testament to family and friends ( and often others we don't even realize are watching :D ) of His faithfulness. Bad things happen to everyone regardless of color, creed, financial status, age, or disposition. The storms of life will come and come again. They can show without a doubt that our faith is anchored to an Awesome God! It is the storms that help define who we are in Christ!
Christ my King, who was rejected and hated, beaten and bruised, talked about maliciously in secret and slandered in public, betrayed by the closest of friends, betrayed by all. And yet when He allows me to partake even in a small amount in His suffering I wonder at my own faithfulness and character! Even Job, came face to face with his own self-righteousness because of His trials.
Trials hone our character and reveal much about who we are becoming. They also expose flaws in our character God wants to deal with. Like the old saying "Don't fix it if it ain't broke." Well we are broken, and God first exposes that brokenness to us so we will yield to the fixing process.
The fruits of the Spirit we all desire love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, are born through trials and tribulations. All birth has a travailing process. Each of these things are of the Spirit and have to be born of the Spirit. Our flesh with its passions and desires cannot produce spiritual fruit. Trials cause us to die to self-if we don't harden our hearts. The Christian life is a beautiful one and can be a victorious one if we can learn to embrace the process of becoming Christlike.
We are not Cup-a-Soup. God doesn't just pour out His Spirit once and TaDa....Super Christian! God slow cooks a wholesome homemade soup from scratch using a secret recipe and only the best ingredients! It is a process that takes every minute of our lives to complete. The process is about the cook, not the soup!
Last night during my quiet time an Old Jimmy Owens song kept playing in my head. I sang it and tears came to my eyes as I thought about the words, it was the prayer I had uttered so many times.
Make me like You, Lord
Make me like You.
You are a Servant
Make me one too.
Lord I am willing
Do what You must do.
To make me like You Lord
Make me like You.
This is my heart Lord Jesus. Make me like You! Teach me to embrace ALL you allow into my life. Teach me not to see them as good or bad but opportunities to serve my King and become like Yeshua Adonai!

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