Out of Control

outofcontrol

Has there ever been a moment in your life when you felt out of control? Like when you stopped and looked around and wondered how in the heck you got there and how you’d ever get out of the mess you’d made?

I think EVERYBODY has felt that way to some degree or other. Kinda like King David, who started out lusting after a neighbor’s wife and ended up with not only adultery but lying and mass murder thrown in. It took a bold prophet named Nathan to get David out of his downward spiral.

You will at some point get yourself into a hot mess. You will wonder how you could have been so STUPID. You may well wonder if escape is even a possibility.

I love what I heard someone say: it’s never too late on this side of heaven to become what you might have been. It’s never too late to become the dream God had when He thought you up and gave you a purpose before anything was made. That gives me hope.

That means that those days that seem wasted, those years that seem lost have really served a purpose– to get you to where you are, with all your life experiences, good and bad, all your successes and failures– to be the person God can use to do what NO ONE else can do, to the calling only YOU can fulfill.

Even if you’re an 80-year old backwoods shepherd like Moses. Or a nobody sitting in a prison like Joseph.

God can take nobodies and confound all those who think they’re somebodies. He uses the lowly and the nothings in the world to shame all those who think they’re hot stuff. That’s my take on 1 Corinthians 1:25-30. Or as one translation puts it:

You can count on this: God’s foolishness will always be wiser than mere human wisdom, and God’s weakness will always be stronger than mere human strength.

Look carefully at your call, brothers and sisters. By human standards, not many of you are deemed to be wise. Not many are considered powerful. Not many of you come from royalty, right? But celebrate this: God selected the world’s foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. God selected the common and the castoff, whatever lacks status, so He could invalidate the claims of those who think those things are significant. So it makes no sense for any person to boast in God’s presence. Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption.”

 

Frump Girl and God’s Grace

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Ian Miller: I know this great place… Zorba something… anyway, I’d love to take you there if you’d like to go.
Toula Portokalos: Uh, that place, Dancing Zorba’s…
Ian Miller: Dancing Zorba’s!
Toula Portokalos: My family kinda owns that place.
Ian Miller: [looking at her closely] I remember you. You’re that waitress.
Toula Portokalos: Seating hostess.
Ian Miller: I remember you.
Toula Portokalos: Look, I was going through a phase. . . up until now. I was Frump Girl.
Ian Miller: I don’t remember Frump Girl, but I remember you. (from My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

I love that last line. What Ian is saying is that he saw past the awkwardness and the insecurity to the inner beauty waiting to be revealed. An inner beauty that he had a hand in unveiling.

Sometimes with God, I feel like saying, “God, remember me? That promise-breaker? That doubter? That worrier?”

God’s response would be, “I don’t remember Promise-Breaker or Doubter or Worrier, but I remember you.”

You might remind God of a past addiction to pornography or alcohol or status. You might throw in adultery (like David), or deceit (like Jacob), or outright lying (like Abraham). You might show God Polaroids of the wreck your life used to be. God doesn’t see that.

What does God see?  Thanks to the cross, God sees you as though you had never sinned, never broken a promise, never doubted, never wavered in your faith at all.

He looks at you and sees the finished product, the stunning reveal. He looks at you right now and sees Jesus in all His perfection and glory. And He likes what He sees.

Better yet, He’s wildly in love with what He sees.

I know the mirror’s not a fun place to look at 5:30 am on a Monday morning. There can be some scary critters looking back.

But remember God not only has claimed you and renamed you, but He has redefined your past. Once you were an enemy, now you are an heir and a child of God. Your past no longer dictates your future. God does.

Just think about that and see how it changes your week.

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More Lessons from Kairos

Tonight, Mike Glenn spoke about King David, literally the runt of the litter who became the most famous king in the history of Israel. You know it’s bad when you’re father forgets about you when counting his own sons and has to be reminded about you.

There are several ways to define David as a man and as a king. You could define him by his military successes and his lengthy reign as king. You could also define him as someone who made several tragically bad choices, starting off with gazing a bit too long at Bathsheeba in the buff. If you haven’t read the whole story, I’ll keep it brief and just say that the story involved adultery, bribery, lying, more bribery, more lying, and (to top it all off) murder. Not to mention a cover-up that would would have made national headlines even today.

But the Bible defines David a different way. David is spoken of as a man after God’s own heart. Not as an adulterer, not as a murderer. But a man after God’s own heart.

It took God’s prophet speaking some fairly harsh words to get David’s attention, but all you have to do is read Psalm 51 to see what true brokenness and repentance looks like. David wasn’t just sorry for his sins. He didn’t just feel bad and promise never to do those things again. From that point on, he was a different man.

To be sure, his sin had consequences. He had strife within his kingdom and even within his own family from then on. But he knew where to go when the troubles and storms came. God was his safe refuge in the tempest, a strong fortress, a cleft in the rock for him to hide in.

You may have a dirty secret you don’t want anyone to know about. You may have made horrendously poor choices and have lingering regrets that you live with on a daily basis. That doesn’t have to define you. That doesn’t have to dictate who you are or where you’re going.

Let God’s love define you. Let God’s forgiveness dictate your future. May you hear the voice of your Abba Father calling you the Beloved and may you not only hear it, but believe it and live in it every single day.