Tuesday, September 3, 2013

As I Am--Not As I Should Be

Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand." Then he added, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given--and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them." ~ Mark 4:21-25

We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us. ~ C. S. Lewis

Jesus crafted powerful words. Every single one of them was intentional--their target was our hearts. It was never Jesus' plan to spiritually and emotionally steamroll us with his teaching, and then bare before the world all the darkness he found there, like a cheap gossip tabloid. Without question, his words expose our sin, but there was a greater goal in mind, and that was to expunge the record they found--no matter how indelibly written we felt they were. His desire was to leave us with a pure heart that lived in the Light. "You are clean," said Jesus elsewhere, "through the words I have spoken to you."

However, Jesus' words come with a condition--what will we do with the Word once we receive it? Will we try to extinguish its glaring Light? Will we try to paint, in a lesser gray, the blackness it reveals? Will we, as Jesus says here, let his words go in one ear and out the other? If we elect to turn a deaf ear, things will really get out of hand. Jesus said what we needed to see and understand would be taken away. Not good.

This is where Lewis' quote may help us...

We have another option: when God's powerful, intentional Word makes its way into our hearts, we can choose to lay before Him what He has illuminated, and confess: "This is what you have seen. I see it too. I come to you, just as I am--not as I should be."

To play it any other way will not work. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, Jesus said. and every secret will be brought to light. So let's not spend a minute trying to convince God we are something we are not.


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