giving up our rights

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“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).

“He must become greater, I must become less,” John the Baptist (John 3:30).

“Paul, a servant of God….” (Titus 1:1).

Humility is elusive, because just when you think you’ve got it… you don’t!

For some humility is a gift.  It comes extremely naturally.  To very few humility is second nature (my maternal grandmother was like this).  However, for most, humility is a daily choice that runs contrary to our nature.  A decision that is willfully made.  Day after day.  Moment by moment.  To humble ourselves and be ever so willing to become obedient to death, even death on a cross (connect Philippians 2:8 with Luke 9:23) whether that cross is physical or metaphorical.  To give up our rights and die to ourselves so that Christ might be lifted up and exalted through us.

When someone is being questioned in regard to a crime by a governmental official they will first be advised of their rights before any questioning begins.  The Miranda warning reads, “You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.  You have the right to have an attorney present prior to and during any questioning.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to you.  Should you choose to begin answering questions, you have the right to terminate the interview at any time.  Do you understand you’re rights?”  When the answer comes back, “Yes,” the next question asked is, “Will you voluntarily waive your rights and answer some questions?”

In Christ, humility demands that we give up our rights.  We give up our rights to be first.  We give up our rights to be center stage.  We give up our rights to be heard.  To be proven right.  To be exalted.  In order that He might be first.  Center stage.  Heard.  Proven right.  And exalted.  The cross of Jesus requires that we give up our rights, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.  That we would willfully empty ourselves of self.  And that in turn, we would be filled by Him.

I wonder how this God-ordained approach might impact some of the struggling relationships that exist today? In particular, relationships that are struggling with God….

Glory to God!

Jason

fear, doubt, and anxiety

Sunlight Shining Through Forest

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it!’ (Numbers 13:30).

I love the story of Joshua and Caleb scoping out the Promised Land.  I think most of us do.  They covertly travel the landscape with ten other “spies.”  They return and confirm that the land God had promised to them was more than they could have ever thought possible.  Caleb declares before the entire Israelite community, “What are we waiting for?!” (It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul will write in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”)  But what do the other ten spies who went with Joshua and Caleb come back and say?  “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them” (Numbers 13:33).

Twelve men, two perspectives.  It is a story of fear versus faith in God.  Doubt versus trust in God.  Anxiety versus confidence in God.

A few weeks ago we held a premiere of the movie “Home Run” in the FLC.  We had 250+ in attendance, many of whom were invited by friends, all of whom benefited greatly from the evening together.  The movie centered upon struggling with addiction and struggling in relationships.  Ultimately, the movie centered upon trusting God.  One of the best lines in the movie was, “Nothing great happens when you hold back.”

Fear, doubt, and anxiety hold us back.  As a people.  As a church.  We fear failure.  We doubt God.  When we do, anxiety reigns, the Kingdom is crippled, and the enemy is pleased.

When will we understand, “Nothing great happens when you hold back.”

And so I ask you these questions:

  • What do you need to let go of?
  • Is your faith as strong as it ought to be?
  • In what way are you not trusting wholly in our Father?
  • What creates anxiety within you?
  • What do you need to give to God?

Caleb asks the people of God, “What are we waiting for?!”

Today, I ask the same.

Glory to God!

Jason