We are about to launch into a new series that I feel captures the most important practical lesson for a true expression of Christian faith. But before I do, I wanted to establish a framework from which we need to begin. This one issue can make all the difference between a life of victory… or a life of frustration. It all depends upon how we handle this one issue… But before we get there, we need to understand a common misconception about our relationship with God – and how deeply this misconception is embedded into our thinking…
Jesus was quick to tell us that in order to experience the fullness of the Kingdom of God, we must repent…
As we have stressed time and again, to repent means to change our thinking. Our “target” misconception is one of the primary reasons why we must think differently…
I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I have always been a bit bothered by the various “12-step programs” out there. It’s not that they don’t help people, because they do. There is something to be said for gathering, as a group, to address a common issue or struggle. Transparency. Humility. Accountability. Care and concern for other people. All these things are good things. They are helpful things.
But they are not a cure. They can help us to do battle with our inner “demons,” but they cannot chase those “demons” away for good.
I use to hang out with some friends who were regulars at a Narcotics Anonymous group. They would often gather and talk about “being clean” for so many months – while they drank several pots of coffee, or smoked untold packs of cigarettes a day. In other words, they traded one addiction for another. They got help for their destructive drug habits, but could not escape the clutches of other (less illegal) addictions. They got help (legitimate help) but they did not get a cure.
I have a common thyroid condition. Every day I take a small pill to counteract the effects of an under-active thyroid. Those little pills make a big difference in my moods, my energy levels, my body weight, etc. But my meds can only address my symptoms – they cannot take away my symptoms… or renew my faulty thyroid. They help. But they do not cure.
This is the point… we are so used to “helpful” things as a “normal” way of coping with life, that we bring this concept into our relationship with God. We see God as only another way to “help” us in our struggle with our sins, addictions, faults, character flaws, anxieties, and on and on. We seek God’s help. We ask for God’s help. We look at all the struggles of our lives, and we want God to do something to help us to do better.
But, here’s the shocking truth… God is not committed to helping us to do better. He is not even committed to (gradually) fixing our brokenness.
He is committed to be our cure. He is committed to the power and effectiveness of the work He has already done – through Jesus, on our behalf.
Until we understand that He is our cure – we will always struggle with whatever plagues our lives. If we only see Him as our help, we will never walk into the fullness of the type of life that He has graciously provided to us. The fullness of life is what Jesus promised!
Jesus came as The Cure for everything that ails our souls – we do Him a disservice if we only come to Him for help.
Prayer focus: God, I commit to rethink how I have looked at You… I seek that the eyes of my heart be opened to truly see ALL that You have done for me.