The Question That Curdled my Sabbath Day Pancakes

IMG_3807 I settled into my chair, belly full of Saturday morning pancakes, and opened my Bible. I read  one sentence and immediately wanted to shut it and unremember what I had just read. I don’t  know if you’re like me when it comes to walking with Jesus but I have all these really grandiose intentions and about a 30% follow-through rate.

I like when He tells me how cherished I am by Him, I don’t like when He challenges me to live differently because of it.

When Jesus talks in parables I love it because imagery is my favorite. I remember learning about similes and metaphors for the first time in middle school — I went home and couldn’t stop describing things with ‘like’ and ‘as’ – “My stomach is rumbling like thunder!” “Mom is as beautiful as the sunset!” etc. I was clearly a budding writer even at such a young age. And a brown-noser.

The parts of the gospels that I am least comfortable with are when Jesus asks straightforward, no-hidden-meaning, you- can’t- interpret- this- differently, kind of questions.

Like the one I encountered this morning (Luke 6:46): “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?”

Crap.

I think He actually wants me to answer that.

The thing about God asking us questions is He always asks them for our advantage. He’s not awaiting our response with pen and paper, eagerly hoping to gain some hidden insight into our hearts. He already knows the answer, which is exactly why he asks the question.

So, here’s my reasons for not doing what He tells me to do:

1) Fear of Man – Always first on my list. “What will people think of me?” God asks you to do weird stuff sometimes so if you’re all in, you have to be prepared to be misunderstood and judged. That terrifies me.

2) Apathy – This is where I lean almost entirely into the “Jesus loves me this I know” side of my faith, where I am forever protected and secured in His grace, and I completely abandon the “Go, tell the world about me and be my witnesses even to the ends of the earth” command. This is when I abuse grace.

3) Mistrust – Deep, deep down I don’t know always believe that God really knows what He’s doing all the time. Like my great-great (etc etc) grandma Eve, I often listen to the slippery voice that says, “How do you know that God isn’t holding out on you? What if He’s not all He says He is?” Doubt paralyzes me from obedience.

There you have it. If you thought I was some shiny Christian Wonder Woman before this, I have certainly set the record straight.

I still struggle with these things and I think a part of me always will this side of heaven — but the big “G” Gospel of Jesus Christ is what reorients my priorities when I feel like I deserve to be sucked into the black hole of pity and shame.

His Grace is limitless even when our obedience is so limited. We simply miss out on more of God when we choose not to obey.

He is not held back by our excuses and insecurities, we are. 

What are your reasons, reader? If you are a follower of Jesus, why is it that you call HIm ‘Lord’ and yet choose not to listen to His voice?

I just wanna say: I’m right there with you. None of us do this faith thing perfectly, but we have a perfect and good Advocate who empowers us to get up and keep going. So, keep going! We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The Question That Curdled my Sabbath Day Pancakes

    • Desiray — thanks for commenting! I agree, one of the hardest parts about following Jesus is “walking the walk” we all fall short in this area which just leads me to be more thankful for grace!

  1. I REALLY like how you’ve opened up and expressed something that applies to almost all of us who believe. To answer the question of why, I guess for me it’s simply that I’m a normal broken person. Like Paul (see Romans chapter 7), I know what I want to do, but my broken sinful nature keeps me from doing it. But also as Paul said, I’m saved by my relationship with Jesus and His Spirit that lives within me. It’s the Holy Spirit within me that does what Jesus tells me to do. Any obedience comes from Him. I can’t take credit. And I’m grateful for that.

  2. Great post 🙂
    I think for me, it’s justifying that I’m only making “tiny compromises,” and being quite sure that the Bible doesn’t apply directly to *this* situation when in fact, it does! That’s a slippery slope if you start playing on the edge. It feels good to stay angry for little while, nursing a self-indulgent, self-righteous, self-pitying spirit of wounded indignant entitlement… or to just avoid the conflict altogether! It doesn’t feel great to sit down before God and ask Him to show me my own sin in the situation, get humbled, ask Him to give me the grace to forgive as I’ve been forgiven, and go back to a difficult relationship to apologize or speak the truth in love.
    I love my sin. It looks deceptively like a harmless, fluffy, adorable baby monster I’d like to keep as a pet, and I want to cuddle it instead of crucifying it. That’s one reason why I don’t obey.. but God is at work in me, and all of us, turning those desires around as He purifies our hearts. He’s already won that war and calls us pure and perfect through Christ (and who am I to argue!), even as we’re in process. And what a surprise to find that those “tiny compromise” battles (or more serious ones- if I let the ‘tiny’ ones grow, they develop into mega-monsters) are the very arena God uses in the sanctification process…. so they’re certainly worth fighting, especially when I don’t feel like it.
    Geez Louise, way to write quite the thought-provoking post…. I wasn’t planning to preach a sermon this morning! I could write a whole new blog post on this comment if I’m not careful 😉

  3. You have the most amazing “voice” when you write! I love reading your posts! Your energy always comes through.

    Joanne

    Sent from my iPhone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s