From the very first minute of a day when we wake up we decide things. When to get up. What to wear. What to do next. What to fix for lunch. Where to go, where to stay. Whom we meet. What we do when all the daily duties are checked off our list (if we have a list...), what book we read or which show we watch. When we go to bed. Who we chose to be our friends. What job we apply for. Who we marry. This list goes on and on and on.
If we want to live as Christians, we certainly decide some things differently. Our only desire should be to do what God wants us to do. But how can we know what God wants from us in so many specific situations during the day or on an even greater basis?
Over and over again I hear people say it doesn't really matter. We can do whatever we want to do as long as we take responsibility for our actions and God, as a good father, is watching us from a distance enjoying whatever we are doing.
One of the most dangerous quotes in my eyes I read yesterday again while surfing the internet for a certain quote is from John Eldredge. He says something like: "because Jesus died on the cross, he saved us and restored mankind so we can live our glory - as we were meant to be". (quote) I must admit, when I read another book from him a couple years ago this idea he promotes very often sounded great to my ears! I am special! I am someone!! And now I can live MY GLORY!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!
Last Sunday I watched a sermon about the coronation of two men that and who couldn't be any different. The coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte on one hand. Please read here to see how glorious it was.
An on the other hand - have a guess - the coronation of Jesus Christ, which is, can you believe it, His crucifixion.
What happened during these two ceremonies? The first one did all to have HIS GLORY shine and people, no, the whole world throughout history see it. The second one did not only give up all and died, he did it in the most horrible and shameful manner. For the whole world throughout history to see it.
Old man: self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, self-WHATEVER (aka flesh) on its highest
old man: self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, self-WHATEVER (aka flesh) being killed.
Someone who wanted to live out his own glory
Someone who never did something for His Glory or out of His own decision but "became obedient unto death" (Phil. 2:8) and did not one thing out of Himself (John 5:19).
Can one really assume that Jesus died the most horrible death so that MY GLORY can shine afterwards? I don't think so.
Interesting is, after I had listened to this lesson last Sunday, I read something about Abraham two days later. Abraham wanted to have a son. To have kids or not is a decision to take for many couples. Especially today we can plan and control even birth. But wait! If you look closer, it was not really a decision for Abraham, was it? Sara just didn't get pregnant! For ages! And this, although God had already agreed to Abraham's plan to have a son. Or wait! Maybe it was God's plan for Abraham to have not only a son but ISAAK...? And Abraham decided to have a son, but the result was ISHMAEL. Some would say, it doesn't matter. It's a son anyway.
Did you know that when Abraham had Ishmael God remained silent for 13 years (Genesis 16:16 - 17:1)? Did you know from the time that Ishmael was born there was no peace in Abraham's home and he didn't even care about it? In fact, he prayed "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee" (Genesis 17:18).
So what is the difference between Ishmael and Isaak? And what does that mean for us on a daily basis? I will continue in a following post.