Foolishness Redefined

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27

Christ’s work on the cross for the sake of reconciling our hearts to God seems foolish to those who don’t believe. We try to intellectualize everything we hear or see but as Paul also said, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25

I heard Kari Jobe say in an interview recently that her inspiration for her new song ‘The Cause Of Christ’ was that she wants Jesus more than she wants to understand. To the world this is foolishness, an upside down view of life. We want to know the why behind everything that happens to us. I find even more so in this age that we think we deserve to know the why. Perhaps this stems from our ability to obtain knowledge at our fingertips. It also ties into our desire to be so independent which I believe is the undercurrent of the epidemic of shame in our society.

In my life, the shame often manifested as false pride. Don’t worry about me, I can do it, I can do it because if I don’t do it then I feel less than and then people will think I am not capable and then they will talk about me and then I am not worthy and then I might as well not even try. In all of this the lies I believed would be affirmed in this habitual pattern of thinking.

Jesus interrupted this pattern of thinking. I chose Him and thus began the journey of process to heal my shame. I realized I really was weak without Him, that we all are. In this way, He uses the weak to shame the strong. My strong was a false persona to protect my heart. My strong was built on faulty foundations. When I first heard of the notion that Jesus loved me and died for me and my sins and to give me eternal life. That was foolishness to me. I didn’t understand it. But God’s foolishness is wiser than any man’s wisdom.

I saw the long-term fruit of choosing to believe what I initially thought to be foolishness 15 years ago. Tonight we were at an event for the bible camp my son has attended for the last 5 years. This summer he was in the Leader in Training program. He was asked to share about his experience. “Being a LIT does require a servant heart. You’re constantly doing chores and just working around the camp. Some people may think that is a bad thing but I think that is one thing that teaches me the most, like having to humble yourself before others…Just being able to share your story and tell the campers what God is doing in your life, you hope that will make an impact but you know God has a plan for that.”

That was part of his story he shared and in this world that may be seen as foolishness. A 15-year-old young man standing for his God, serving and knowing that is God’s heart for him, hoping that made an impact on others.  This kind of ‘foolishness and weakness’ is what is shaming the wise and the strong. People in the world may see a teenage boy saying dumb things about this God. God sees him and says well done, good and faithful servant. I see the fruit of redemption in who my son is today. Because I chose Jesus and allowed Him to change my life, the life of my children has been impacted as well in their choice for Him. I pray it continues so for all the generations to come.

What have you heard that seems foolish to you? The speaker at the event said, “There is no limit on Christ’s blood.” What kind of limit are you placing on our God?

Isaiah 55:8,9 “For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

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Doubt Rectified

Hebrews 12:2,”Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”cross-1177327_640

I was telling a friend recently that as our children become adults the things they deal with become bigger and harder but my trust in God has become deeper and wider. Our children have been given to us as a precious gift by God and our time influencing them is short. Peace of mind comes with being able to trust God has their best in mind. They are His children first.

If we can teach them at an early age to trust in God with everything in their life, they will rely less on their own devices. Our world places far too much importance in being independent. Don’t hear me wrong because I know there is value in independence and is part of the process in maturing. It is when we become too self-reliant and prideful that the humility of coming to God gets wiped out. I can do it myself makes even faith a place to perform and do it yourself. It does not allow for a place of trust and belief and seeing that we really can’t do things without God. At least not to the fullest potential of who He created us to be.

I lived over half my life, first of all not even knowing that God existed, second, not knowing He loved me. Now I can’t even imagine the opposite. Once you have experienced the love of God and the fullness of belonging to Him, your hope changes and your joy increases. It reveals that there is a purpose for your life and a reason you are on earth.

Hebrews 12:1 says,”Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” The race is marked out for us, are we going to choose to run it? Do we know what comes after the finish line?

The next verse goes on to say that we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the author of faith, the one who wrote the book on it. He is the perfecter and in Greek that means completer or finisher. He both creates and sustains our faith. It took me a long time to understand what was meant by the ‘joy set before him ‘or at least being able to reconcile that with death on a cross. But joy was His motivation. Just as we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus, Jesus kept His eyes on His Father to finish His race and purpose. In completing His race He gets to affect redemption and reconciliation for every person to God’s heart. If they so choose. As John Gray says it, ‘He did it just in case’ someone chose Him. This is pretty incredible motivation for Jesus to finish.

It was not an easy journey, enduring (suffering patiently) the cross which was a representation of shame and humiliation. Jesus scorned the shame of the cross which meant he despised it, ignoring that it was a shameful way to die. He got victory in the place of shame in order for us not to have to live in it any longer. Jesus was able to do this because He was set on the joy set before Him.

What are you set on? Sometimes our independence has us miss what has already been done for us.

He has created our faith, we just need to step into it and believe. “If you declare with your mouth,’Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

He completes it, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion to the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

He died for our sin and our shame, we just need to confess it and receive His forgiveness.“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

He will guide us. “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6

I tell my son that being right is highly overrated. I believe that independence is too. We were created to depend on our Creator. What can you trust to Him today?

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