Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Who is Your Boss?

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

We all like to think we are in charge.  My wife's first known phrase was "you're not the boss of me".  My 4 year old son always makes comments about how he can't wait until he grows up and gets to be MY boss.  He doesn't get that I will ALWAYS BE HIS DADDY!!!!  And since he claims he wants to live in my house even after he gets married, he better still be following my rules.

Rule #1:  My son, If you find a woman who is willing to marry you and then go live in your aging parents basement.....she is not someone I want for a daughter-in-law....Aim higher please.

Jesus is not just any man.  He is the Great I AM.  Fully man, yet fully God.  One of those beautiful and profound mysteries of God's heart for us.

What does Jesus do in this passage?  He submits to the Father.  He did not consider equality with God something to be "grasped".  When he approaches John, John responds by begging Jesus to instead baptize Him.  John knew that He needed Jesus, Jesus did not need John. 

But Jesus wasn't coming so that "John" could baptize him.  He was coming to submit to God the Father.  His ministry, his purpose, God's plan, did not really start moving until the moment when Jesus came humbly to the Father and submitted to Him. 

Immediately after this moment is detailed in the Gospel of Matthew we get the Temptation of Jesus by satan.  Which is itself immediately followed by Jesus's earthly ministry beginning. 

Life is full of these moments.  Temptation, opportunities for ministry, hard work, commitment. Our example, our North Star, in all things is Jesus Christ Himself.  What does he teach us?  You are not prepared until you come humbly to the Father.  

Our lives are filled with challenges and difficulties.  We like to think we are in charge.  We like to consider ourselves the Boss of all things "us".  That we are the ones making decisions, we are the ones moving things forward. 

But we aren't.

Something is going to be the compelling and controlling force in our lives.  And it will never be us.  We either become manipulated and lead by the nose by sin, or, we will come to the Father and have the strength to take ownership of who we are and finally experience freedom.

You can't have it both ways.

Wait a minute, how can giving up "control" to God give me freedom?  This seems antithetical to my concept of freedom.

You were knitted in your mothers womb by a loving Father who called you by name. Revelation 2:17 tells us that God has a name for us that only He, and we, will know.  And it is our true name.  It is the name we were made by God to be.  Here's the thing.  You cannot be free without God, because only He knows how you were made.  And He will not "squash" who you are.  Instead, he will "free" who you are.

Are you exhausted by defining life in your own limited and painful ways?  Trying to discover who you are, to only hate what you have made of yourself?  You are made uniquely and beautifully.  No matter what has happened or will happen.  What God makes, He says is GOOD.  We can try to hide that goodness under sin and pain, but God continues to call you by name to be who you really are.

When we fight God in our life, we are fighting against ourselves.  Stop pretending you're the boss.  You aren't.  You can never be. 

Did anyone ever really think he was in charge?  This is us.

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