A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When World and Word Collide!

Did you ever glance at something and think, "oh, that's a great thing" but then after thinking about it for a few minutes come to realize how stupid it was?  That's what I thought when I read this quote.  I have to admit I'm no fan of Oprah's but I didn't even realize that it was her quote when I read it because all I could see on my computer screen was the quote itself.  So we can set aside any kind of prejudice or personal preference and just examine this statement for a minute from a Christian perspective.

My first question was, if everyone had this attitude then there would be no one to lift me a little higher because they wouldn't bother with me at all since I would not be able to benefit them.  So the facts of the matter would be that the only time I would bother with a "lesser" human would be if there was some way my interactions with them would benefit me, right?

Secondly, is this really what life is all about anyway?  Is it all about us getting as "high" as we can in life?  Is that what determines a person's success in life?  Is it like a contest and the person with the highest position wins?

And what happens then when the person that is elevating you has reached their own plateau?  Do you then shove them aside or use them as a footstool to climb to the next person forgetting that it was them that got you to that point?  That's happened to me.  It's called ungratefulness.

What if we thought of our children this way?  What if God thought of his children this way?

Thank heavens God did not have this attitude.  Or Jesus!  If he had, he would have only hung around the religious leaders and left the dregs of society to rot on their own.  Realistically, he wouldn't have come at all!    But Jesus did come and he went to the broken, the poor, the sick, the hurting.  They had absolutely nothing to offer him.  In fact, his associations with them often brought him stout criticism from those who could have elevated him in his earthly ministry.  And there lies the heart of the issue, I guess.  Jesus was not concerned about earthly anything.  His eyes were on an eternal kingdom.  An eternal kingdom that does not operate on earthly principles.  He was not moved by the pressures of his culture to be or do or achieve a certain position.  

When I first read this, I immediately began to think of people that I could get around that might elevate or benefit me in some way.  That is when reality kicked in because immediately I thought of many people whom the Lord has given me to shepherd and care for through the years.  Very few of them had anything, in Oprah's way of thinking, that would have elevated me in any way.  Fact was, God had placed them in my life so that I could reach down and elevate them to where I was.  Furthermore I believe that I am to give them all I have so that they can move beyond where I am!

Think of it.  The Apostle Paul, as great as he was, poured into young Timothy!  Timothy, therefore, did not have to re-invent the faith-wheel, but was able to take Paul's wisdom at a young age and apply it.  This set him up potentially to exceed where Paul was when he reached Paul's age.  Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said that we would do "even greater works" than He did.  What could be greater than raising the dead?  But if we take His Spirit within us and go into all the world, we can be so many places at one time, affecting so many people at the same time, filling the earth with his glory by being willing vessels of His Spirit and power!  This is what I believe Jesus was talking about.  Not the "Wow factor" of the deeds, but the volume of deeds!  Instead of one bottle of oil, there would be many, everywhere, pouring out over all the earth until the earth was truly filled with His glory!

Scripture is very clear that Jesus did not elevate Himself.  He humbled Himself.  Psalms even tells us that Almighty God humbles Himself when he minds the things of earth.  Christ was our example.  The perfect reflection of the Father.  And we are to follow His example.  Personally, the people who have elevated me the most in my spiritual walk are those that are extremely humble and unassuming.  Their joy and security is found solely in the fact they know and love Christ and they know His love for them.  This frees them to be and touch whomever the Lord desires regardless of the public notoriety or position they receive.

"But, you say, the Bible says that if we humble ourselves then we will be lifted up!"  Yes, that is true, but we can never ascend any higher than Christ is, who still sits under the Father's authority and who still serves those that are lower than Him by constantly interceding on our behalf.  He came and remains in servant hood.   

Servants do not look to their masters as someone that can elevate them.  A servants heart looks to see how they can elevate their master.  That is our highest calling and our greatest joy!  Our reward is not of this earth.  It resides in those heavenly principles that dictate a heavenly kingdom.  Their perspective and their duration is eternal.  

"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."  Matt. 6:20

As for me, I will focus on "the least of these", as Jesus did.  It's only fitting that another paradox of scripture is that when you reach lower to those who can offer you nothing, then you are elevated in the Kingdom of God and given all it's blessings.  Because "when you have done good to the least of these, you have done it unto God."  And God takes notice of it and he repays.

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