Key Word:- BECOME
Title:- The Centre of All Things
Hebrews 4:12,13 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Stating that Christ will return in Glory (Matt 24:26) Brennan Manning writes,“Every man and woman who has ever drawn breath will be appraised, evaluated, and measured solely in terms of their relationship with the Carpenter of Nazareth.” In his book ‘The Signature of Christ’, Brennan Manning calls the context and continuity of this continual appraisal,"The Realm of the Really Real."
I have been involved in the so called, ‘Work of the Lord’ for many years. On the whole I love it. Oh don’t get me wrong, I do have my desperate times when it’s the last thing in the world I want to be involved in, but mostly, I like it! It’s always a challenge and I like a challenge! Church planting especially has continually called me ‘out of my box’ and offers so much variety. It sucks me in and uses my talents, my gifts, and energies. Oh yes, I love the work of the Lord and I can quite happily get on with it, without Him!
Yes, unfortunately you heard me right. I am stupid enough to face the double jeopardy of loving the work of the Lord, instead of loving the Lord of the work, and then thinking I don’t need Him to do it anyway! After all, a few plans, a couple of procedures, some good processes and of course, half a dozen purposes, money, buildings and advertising, and we’re ‘good to go!’ Money, materials, manpower and momentum and of course, good music, is all you need. If God wants to join in then that’s all right by me. What a fool! Such self-centered working is most destructive. For such self-centered, self-empowered, self-focused and totally self-orientated and selfish working is in the end so vastly self-destructive.
A pastor spoke to me regarding the comment of some Chinese brother, who some years ago, upon observing the American Christian scene, remarked that he was most especially surprised at “what the church had managed to achieve without the Holy Spirit.” We need to take note of this after all if we are honest with ourselves we know that so many, desires, intentions, motives, needs, and drives, are rooted and empowered in and by, the old man. Sometimes I am sure the enemy himself stokes these large old energy boilers of ours that often drive us to such seemingly ‘godly distractions!’ For being involved in such ‘works of the Lord’, and indeed, any consuming work, relationship, fantasy or dream can nicely hide the hurt and hungry you, cocooning you whilst justifying your existence. I tell you friends, there are thousands of pastors, as well as Captains of Industry, who have reached the pinnacle of their game, only to find the heady heights, empty and unsatisfying lonely places. After years of hard work and sometimes a good wedge of a long life, they have realized that what they stand on, is just so much wood, hay and stubble. Actually they have suspected it all along but those drives and that peer pressure! My God!
Only living right now, in the realm of the really real will stop up us from being embarrassed, disappointed and shockingly surprised on that great day when we are seen to be, who we really are. Like you, I find that thought, very disconcerting. After all, when all is stripped away, none of us is sure that there is much of any use and goodness left. Now of course that’s a massive lie. It’s simply our unfamiliarity with who we really are, and who He really is, that tips the scales of our discernment so much in that deceiving direction and so aids us in keeping the old boilers of self-achievement burning. For if, when we don’t don our adult clothing and put on the hard face mask, or when those same masks and position are unexpectedly taken away, or become suddenly transparent, we then look and feel like orphaned little children, lonely, all alone and frightened, then maybe that’s what our true selves are like? Orphaned from maturity and the family of God and therefore truly alone. Our true selves have never grown. If this is the case then maybe, we need to become His adopted little children once more, so that we can truly begin to grow. Didn’t He say something about becoming as little children? Now there’s a thought. Now there’s the beginning of living in the realm of the really real.
Friends, how can this quantum leap of being satisfied with Him in our real and true selves be achieved? Well my dear bother and my lovely sister, we need to begin to rotate and even orbit around what is our true centre and thank God it’s not us! We are not the centre of the universe. He is. Our family is not our purpose. He is. Our job is not our master. He is. Education and pieces of paper are not our goal. He is. Becoming our selves then, is in fact by becoming like Him! So then, we must pray that Almighty God would lift us from the pitiful turning around the selfish bellybutton of our own selves, so we might orbit around the majesty of the Son who is indeed, the centre of all things.
Listen:- All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence.” Colossians 1:15-18
Pray: - Jesus, be the centre, be my source, be my light, Jesus.