Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Above Me

Above Me


But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Matthew 16:23

I’ve had plenty of time for my mind to just be at rest these past few days.  During that time, while in and out of sleep, strange things would crowd my mind, like the word ‘crack’.  It starts with something got broken, but maybe not completely broken, so then it’s just cracked.  It’s not useable because it’s not perfect and like new.  Then I wander to the crack in my front porch.  How deep is it?  How did it get there? Could I put a thin piece of metal in it to see where it ends?  And on to the cracked “R” stepping stone beside my walkway, and thinking how perfect an insignia for us because we’re not so perfect either.  Then on to the phrase “not all it’s cracked up to be” and what should that mean?  Shouldn’t be it “not all it’s cracked DOWN to be” since being cracked is a depreciation of value rather than adding value? And what about the Japanese pottery called Raku that has cracks in it which adds to its beauty and appreciation? And such would be the thoughts of my ever wandering mind until the next tsunami of stomach flu arrived.
After hours of this kind of mindless meandering, I’ve discovered it’s not mindless at all.  This is that thing that I hear is called “rest”.  I knew it as a child.  Then these thoughts would come while lying on my back looking at clouds and finding animals and faces in the fluff overhead.  I knew it as a young adult (child-less at the time) when I could sleep in till noon, and dream of far-away places and things that seemed real but never happened. 

These past few days have been like being on a merry-go-round for a long time, and not being able to focus on anything around because I moved too fast, and then jumping off.  When the constant spinning stops, everything slows down and comes into focus (with an also similar side of nausea). 
All things in focus, I realize another year has gone by, and for some yet to be discovered reason, God left me here, and blessed me greatly here.  New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing because, in all honesty, I like breaking the rules too much to make my own.  But I do believe I should read His word daily, or expect to be sick in a much worse, spiritual way.  When I did pick up His Word and start reading, one verse pounded on my head like the headache I thought I’d gotten rid of.

“Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus said it, and He said it to one of His most faithful disciples, Peter. Yes, Peter, the “on this rock I will build my church” Peter.  And He said it in reply to Peter’s refusal to let Jesus be murdered and taken from them, which would seem to be a noble act. 

So where’s the pounding?  Where did the headache come from?  Read it again.  What was Peter’s sin?
He was working against God’s plan.  God’s plan, since before the world was created was to have Jesus come and die for our sins.  He was the “lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).  Peter didn’t take time to consider it was Jesus Christ, Son of God, who said he would be murdered.  He thought he could just stop the whole thing.  Yet, if Jesus hadn’t have wanted to fulfill God’s will, He being God, would not have.  They didn’t twist His arm to put Him on the cross.  He went willingly. 

It’s a matter of aligning wills.  My will has to disappear, and then His will can be fully filled in me.  I don’t want to be the little kid running around the parent singing “You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me!” until the long arm of God reaches out and stops me.  It’s all too easy, as Peter did, to believe we know what God wants without taking time to ask. 
Time with God has to be a balance between talking and listening. Peter spoke before he listened.  He heard with his ears, but maybe not his heart.   

So here’s a semi-hardened - not going to call it a resolution - “lesson” to begin the year. 
What if everything I did I did after asking God permission and knowing He granted it? 

What if I stayed so close to Him that His voice would be the one that was loudest in my heart of the thousands of others? 

What if I could react to His will, rather than being mindful of what everyone else wants of me? 
What if His plan was my plan?

John 3:30-31 says He must increase, but I must decrease.  He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.”  He is, and must be, above me.

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